Bet of the Day – Nebraska Cornhuskers at Kansas State Wildcats, Oct. 7, 2010

Nebraska Cornhuskers (-10.5) at Kansas State Wildcats (+10.5), Over/Under 48

Yesterday’s bet, New York Yankees at Minnesota Twins, was a loser.  Went 2-1-1 on twitter picks.  The Yankee bats came through yesterday.  Who is in a tougher spot now, the Twins or the Rays?  Today’s game is the Big 12 opener for Nebraska and Kansas State.  Both teams are unbeaten.  Nebraska coming off a lackluster performance and 5 extra days to prepare.  They will be “up” for this game.  Kansas State is hosting a top 10 team on Thursday night prime time as the home underdog; they will be highly motivated tonight.

Despite their last performance, Nebraska is an excellent team and will look to show the country that tonight.  Nebraska hasn’t faced much competition yet, but they have destroyed 3 of the 4 teams they played.  Nebraska averaged 7.7 yards per play (YPP) and 11.8 yards per point scored (YPPT) on offense while allowing a stingy 4.0 YPP and 20.8 YPPT.  Again, the level of competition should be considered here but they are very efficient on both sides of the ball.  Freshman QB Taylor Martinez had some growing pains last time out but is averaging 9.33 yards per attempt (YPA) for 2 TDs and 3 INTs with a 139.10 QB rating.  Oh yeah, can’t forget the 9.4 yards per rushing attempt (53 attempts, 496 yards) and 8 TDs he’s rushed for either.  Nebraska has a good offensive line to protect Martinez and open holes for their two running backs.  Kansas State gives up too many rushing yards and will have their hands full with Nebraska.

Kansas State is undefeated and has beaten some decent teams.  Senior RB Daniel Thomas has 628 yards through 4 games (6 TDs and 0 fumbles).  The Wildcats average 6.1 YPP and 12.3 YPP on offense while allowing 4.9 YPP and 17.7 YPPT on defense.  Those are solid and efficient numbers.  Senior QB Carson Coffman is averaging 8.41 YPA for 5 TDs and 2 INTs with a 147.6 QB rating.  He has been okay but not great.  Nebraska has a very good secondary and will put pressure on Coffman.  Kansas State will look to start off quickly but can they hang around in the 2nd half?

The Sagarin Ratings have Nebraska at 84.58 and Kansas State at 77.45.  With the home advantage, the fair line is Nebraska -4.12.  This indicates the betting value is with the home Wildcats.  According to Pregame.com, 68% of bets are on Nebraska while the line inflated it is back to where it began.  Is the sharp action on Kansas State?

My football model predicts a high scoring game (maybe too high); Nebraska 37.6 over Kansas State 22.6 for 60.2 total points.  On paper, both teams move the ball very well on the ground and mediocre in the air.  Kansas State gives up more yards on defense.  Both teams score efficiently.  The key variance contributor is Kansas State being able to move the ball.  If they can’t move the ball close to their mean performance, it will be a long night in Manhattan, KS.

I am going to recommend two plays tonight.  A two-team teaser with Nebraska and the Detriot Lions and a total.  Here’s why.  Nebraska is clearly the better team.  They will eventually wear down the Wildcats.  The Wildcats have a stud running back but their QB is inconsistent.  Nebraska has several weapons and much more depth.  Nebraska will be up for the game after their last performance.  I don’t like being stuck just off the 10 point line.   Bet 1: Two-team 7-point teaser Nebraska Cornhuskers (-3.5) and Detroit Lions (+4). Bet 2: Nebraska/Kansas State Over 48.

Feel free to comment or ask a question below or email me at derekbets@gmail.com.  Follow me on Twitter for all my picks.  Good Luck!

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