The ranked No. 8 Stanford Cardinal is the college football betting favorite to defeat the Kansas State Wildcats on September 2nd at Stanford Stadium in California. The NCAA betting odds are as follows:
Kansas State +16 (-110) 47½ (-110) +550
Stanford -16 (-110) 47½ (-110) -800
It is easy to see why the Cardinal football program is favored to start its 2016 regular season with a win. Stanford finished last season with a 12-2 record (8-1 in PAC 12 play), ended in first place in the North Division, and defeated the USC Trojans 41-22 in the PAC 12 championship game. In addition to that, they won the Rose Bowl by beating the Iowa Hawkeyes 45-16.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats finished the 2015 season 6-7 (3-6 in Big 12 play) to finish in eighth place, and lost the Liberty Bowl to Arkansas Razorbacks 23-45. Kansas college football betting fans may be ambivalent about the fact their defense. Eight starters are returning on defense. That’s good. Said defense gave up an average of 452 yards and 31.5 points in 2015. That’s bad. Don’t be surprised if Stanford running back/return specialist Christian McCaffrey has a field day.
McCaffrey had an ESPY-nominated record-breaking performance in 2015. He rushed 2019 yards in 337 carries for 8 TDs; had 45 receptions for 645 yards and 5 TDs; recorded 130 yards and 1 TD in punt returns; and 1070 yards and 1 TD in kickoff returns. All told, McCaffrey posted 3864 all-purpose yards. Elsewhere on the gridiron, senior QB Ryan Burns will start under center, but head coach David Shaw has said that junior QB Keller Chryst will lead “a few series” as well.
Burns is pretty much a cipher wrapped in an enigma, smothered in secret sauce, having thrown a single pass and rushing yards in six games in the past two seasons. Then again, it couldn’t have been easy living under the shadow of Kevin Hogan, the most winning QB in Stanford history. Hogan was drafted in the 5th round with the 162nd overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs.
Kansas State’s starting QB Jesse Ertz can do Burns one better – or one worse, depending on how college football betting fans look at it. Ertz redshirted his first year, played at the end of blowouts as a freshman, and suffered a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament tear in the first play of his first game as a sophomore. As a result, he has failed to attempt a single pass. The Wildcats completed just 47 percent of their passes last season without Ertz – though it’s anyone’s guess how many passes they would have completed without him.
However, Ertz will get a second chance at leading the Wildcats’ offense, which features a new line including Byron Pringle and Isaiah Harris at receiver. All things considered, Kansas State should be a better team this year – provided Ertz stays healthy – but their schedule, which includes away games versus Stanford, Oklahoma, TCU and Baylor, will be no picnic, and Stanford will most likely be the bear that steals their pic-a-nic basket.