It is certainly no secret to America’s Bookie customers that the Auburn Tigers came within an eyelash of winning a national championship last season. And if they intend to get into the four-team College Football Playoff this season, they will probably have to get past a big non-conference road test, as the pay a visit to Snyder Family Stadium in “Little Manhattan” to take on the Kansas State Wildcats in college football betting action that is scheduled to get underway at 7:30 PM ET on ESPN.
Kansas State had a warmup game against Stephen F. Austin (55-16), then a very close call against Big 12 rival Iowa State, edging the Cyclones 32-28. They did not play on Saturday, so they have had nine full days of preparation here, and truth be told, they have probably been looking ahead to this game from the start of fall practice. This is a game that could strengthen their case for a spot in the playoff, should they get over a few land mines along the way.
Auburn has not had much of a problem at all getting by Arkansas State (45-21) and San Jose State (59-13), covering the football pointspread in both. They have had the same amount of prep time as KSU.
This is a power matchup, to be certain; Auburn is the fifth-ranked team in the country in both major polls, while K-State is #20 in both the Associated Press and coaches’ polls.
In the college football betting odds that have been established on this game at America’s Bookie, Auburn is the road favorite:
Auburn Tigers -8.5
Kansas State Wildcats +8.5
Over 64.5 Points -110
Under 64.5 Points -110
Kansas State may not have the most innovative offense in the country, but the ‘Cats have a couple of stars who should produce. Jake Waters can run it a little and pass it a little, and he proved to be very effective against Iowa State, with 138 yards on the ground. And there is a legitimate All-America caliber receiver on the premises in Tyler Lockett, who had 1262 yards last year and is averaging 21 yards a reception in the early going.
Many college football bettors are not necessarily sold on Auburn’s defense; last season they allowed 4.6 yards a carry and had to replace three members of the front seven. So this will be a test. But there could be some major stress on the K-State defensive front, as Auburn probably has one of the two or three most formidable rushing teams in the nation.
One thing America’s Bookie patrons must admit about Bill Snyder is that he is a cagey leader (with a 10-2-1 ATS mark as an underdog over the last four seasons), and his Wildcats have seen the no-huddle, hurry-up look from teams like Baylor and Oklahoma in their own conference, so getting themselves prepared for the pace of Auburn shouldn’t be all that much of a problem. And with all due respect to Nick Marshall, the Tigers are probably more one-dimensional than the Sooners or Bears.
Gus Malzahn appears to be one of these coaches who turns everything he touches to gold. Indeed, his Auburn team has now covered thirteen straight games against the college football betting odds. So this won’t necessarily be an intimidating situation for his squad. But this is a scenario like almost no other for the crowd in Manhattan, with an appearance by a non-conference foe of this caliber. In fact, the America’s Bookie audience should take note that no opponent from outside the Big 12 has ever come into this town with a higher ranking. Considering as well that this is the only game in the country on Thursday night, there is going to be a fever pitch. Auburn has what it takes to silence that crowd, but we’re not sure it is going to come easy for them.