Kansas State Wildcats vs. Stanford Cardinal Preview
Where: Stanford Stadium, Stanford
When: Friday, September 2, 9:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: FS1
Writer’s Pick: Stanford (-14.5)
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Betting on the Kansas State Wildcats (+14.5)
Ertz, who suffered a torn ACL on the team’s first snap last season, will return as the team’s starting quarterback after beating out Joe Hubener and Alex Delton in fall camp. Ertz will help boost a Kansas State offense that averaged just 107.7 yards on the air last season, 107th in the FBS. Ertz can’t do it all alone, though, and he needs Kansas State’s much-maligned defense to step up its play against Stanford. The Wildcats allowed a whopping 452.2 yards and 31.5 points per game last season. The Wildcats’ secondary collapsed down the stretch, surrendering 300 yards or more in seven of their last 11 games.
The onus then is on linebacker Elijah Lee, preseason All-Big 12 defensive end Jordan Willis and the returning Barnett to provide stability for the Kansas City defense this season. They will be licking their chops at the prospect of facing the inexperienced Ryan Burns in the season opener. The Cardinal’s starting quarterback has only attempted one pass in three seasons for Stanford.
Kansas State is 3-7 SU and 5-5 ATS in its last 10 games.
Betting on the Stanford Cardinal (-14.5)
Stanford was already pretty good last year – they went 12-2 (11-3 against the spread), and won the Rose Bowl in impressive fashion – but they could be even better this year, as their +3,500 odds to win the College Football Playoff bear out. In fact, for the first time in the history of the conference preseason poll, Stanford has been picked to win the Pac-12.
Their 2016 campaign begins at home where they will lock horns with the Kansas State Wildcats. Stanford Stadium proved to be a fortress for the Cardinal last season with David Shaw’s men going 6-1 in their seven home games. Their only home defeat last season came against Pac-12 rivals Oregon.
There are plenty of reasons for the Cardinal to feel confident even against a tough opponent like Kansas State. For one, the Cardinal have in their ranks Christian McCaffrey, considered by many to be the nation’s best running back. Priced at +450 to win the Heisman Trophy this year, McCaffrey is going to be a major problem for the Wildcats this coming Friday.
McCaffrey, the Heisman Trophy runner-up, racked up an NCAA-record 3,864 all-purpose yards last season. He shattered the 27-year-old NCAA single-season record of 3,250, set by Oklahoma State great Barry Sanders. McCaffrey became Stanford’s first single-season 2000-yard rusher as well, gaining 2,019 yards on the ground in 2015. The sky’s the limit for McCaffrey who will also be taking over as Stanford’s short-yardage back with the departure of Remound Wright.
Stanford is 9-1 SU and 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games.
Stanford (-14.5) wins and covers.
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