The point spread in this game is insulting in that Kansas State is the far superior team from the line of scrimmage, and the technical analysis also favors the Wildcats. Let’s take a look at the technical analysis favoring Kansas State in the Alamo Bowl:
- The Wildcats are 34-16-1 ATS in L/51 games overall;
- The Wildcats are 19-6-1 ATS vs. teams with a winning record;
- The Wildcats are 25-12 ATS in competitive games (i.e. +3 to -3 spread);
- The Wildcats are 21-9 ATS on artificial turf;
- The Wildcats are 32-15 ATS following a double-digit conference loss
While the above team trends are persuasive, I can’t finish the technical analysis without noting that Kansas State is 51-19 ATS following a loss under head coach Bill Snyder, including a perfect 10-0 ATS over the last four years. And, when the Wildcats are favored by nine points or less, they zoom to an incredible 36-8 ATS!
The fundamental analysis is less exciting to digest, but you are entitled to know why I favor Kansas State from the line of scrimmage. The Wildcats are averaging 35.8 points per game on 426 total yards at 6.5 yards per play against teams that would combine to allow just 5.4 yards per play.
Kansas State quarterback Jake Waters is one of the most underrated players in college football as he threw for 3,163 yards (66.2%; 22-6 ratio) at 9.3 yards per pass play against teams that would combine to allow 7.2 yards per pass play to a mediocre quarterback.
Overall, the Wildcats are 1.1 yards per play better than average offensively, while their under-appreciated aerial attack is 2.1 yards per pass play better than average. Despite being 0.5 yards per play better than average (5.2 yards per play to teams that would combine to average 5.7 yards per play), the Bruins find themselves overmatched against Kansas State’s attack.
Meanwhile, UCLA’s solid offense (6.0 yards per play against teams that would combine to allow 5.4 yards per play) only possesses a nominal 0.1 yards per play advantage over the Wildcats’ stop unit (5.3 yards per play to teams that would combine to average 5.8 yards per play).
Kansas State once again fields an excellent special teams unit that is led by star kick returner Tyler Lockett, who averaged 19.0 yards per return (2 touchdowns) and place kickers Jack Cantele and Matthew McCrane, who were 7-of-10 from beyond 40 yards, including a perfect 2-for-2 from 50+. Grab the points with Kansas State in the Alamo Bowl and invest with confidence.