Can Kansas St. Defense Contain Stanford's McCaffrey Enough To Cover?

Kansas State Wildcats

Charles Stark

Friday, September 2, 2016 2:30 PM GMT

Friday, Sep. 2, 2016 2:30 PM GMT

Kansas St. is not thought by many people to keep their game with Stanford close. But our capper believes that there is a chance that the Wildcats keeps it interesting. Read on his expert College Football pick.

Christian McCaffrey had a breakout season last year for the Stanford Cardinal and he looks to be a strong contender for the Heisman Trophy this season. Today his Stanford team takes on the Kansas State Wildcats in what could be a closer game than people anticipate. Stanford is ranked in the top 10 while Kansas State is trying to bounce back from last season. Is there any value in backing the double-digit road dog and the Wildcats?

 

Shop For Live Odds For Kansas State Wildcats vs Stanford Cardinal

 

Kansas State Wildcats
Kansas State allowed 285.5 passing yards per game last year which ranked them 121st nationally as one of the worst pass defenses in the nation. Last year was really just an anomaly in my opinion because head coach Bill Snyder is one of the best in the business and you can bet that Kansas State will be back to battle for a Big 12 title sooner than people think. It might not happen this year but I definitely expect for them to have a better season as they have some key personnel back to make them perhaps a surprisingly tough team. 

Last year they lost starting quarterback Jesse Ertz to injury in the first game but he is back and should really boost a Kansas State offense that only average 333.7 yards per game last season which ranked them out of the top 100 teams. Along with having Ertz back, the Wildcats have some good skill players including senior running back Charles Jones and senior wide receiver Deante Burton both of which led the team in yards rushing and receiving respectively. They had a ton of injuries last year on the defensive side as well and they got burned in the passing game. Fortunately, they have a much better secondary this season and a veteran group returning upfront which they will need to stop a run happy Stanford team.

 

Stanford Cardinal
Stanford averaged 37.8 points per game last season which ranked them third in the PAC 12 and 18th nationally. Their bread-and-butter has been running the ball in David Shaw's five-year tenure and last year the Cardinal averaged 223.7 yards per game which ranked them second in the PAC 12 and 19th nationally. This season I look for them to put the ball on the ground a lot once again as they will have a new quarterback under center and they simply just don't put the ball up that much as last year they averaged 211.8 yards per game which ranked them 76th in the country. 

What could hurt Stanford a little bit this season is not so much the new quarterback but the fact that they had to replace three starting spots on the offensive line. With Kansas State having a veteran core of players back on the defensive side upfront this could help them stay within a reasonable number of this tremendously talented Stanford team highlighted by Christian McCaffrey. On the defensive side, Stanford will most likely be tough once again with a combination of youth and experience but they did lose their leading tackler in Blake Martinez.

 

NCAA football odds
Oddsmakers have Kansas State right now as a +14.5 underdog across the NCAAF odds board. I'm a huge fan of David Shaw but for my NCAA football pick, I'm going to grab the points with a rejuvenated Kansas State team that will come in and play Stanford tough. Some good matchups should help the Wildcats keep this game a bit closer than people realize although I expect Stanford to ultimately win the game.

 

Free NCAAF Pick: Kansas State +14.5 
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes -102

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