The Kansas State Wildcats are favored against the Texas Longhorns for the first time since 2002, as they look to clinch an automatic BCS bowl berth on Saturday. Let’s take a closer look at this Big 12 Conference matchup from a betting perspective.

Longhorns come up short on Thanksgiving Day

Texas LonghornsTexas suffered a 20-13 setback to the TCU Horned Frogs as 7.5-point home favorites on Thanksgiving Day, while going UNDER the total for a fourth consecutive contest. The Longhorns entered the game third in the nation in fewest turnovers committed, but suffered three turnovers that led directly to 14 points for their opponent. The program is now focused on trying to earn a berth in the Cotton Bowl.

Time to regroup

Kansas State is a double-digit home favorite on the college football odds page, as it attempts to bounce back emotionally after having its national title aspirations dashed in a 52-24 blowout loss to Baylor on Nov. 17. The Wildcats have lost the statistical battle in their last four games, while the OVER has cashed in three of those affairs. The program is 0-3 against the spread (ATS) off a big upset loss by 17 points or more as a favorite since 1996.

Brown has failed to deliver in this series

Mack Brown has lost six of his eight meetings against Wildcats head coach Bill Snyder, while the Longhorns have failed to cover the spread in the last five games in this Big 12 series. Texas was handed a 17-13 defeat as 7.5-point home favorites in last year’s meeting—despite finishing the game with a 310-121 edge in total yards. His defense limited Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein to 87 total yards.

Klein falters in Waco

The Wildcats were unable to overcome three costly interceptions from Klein against the Bears in Waco, as it matched his season total in that statistical category, while likely ending his chance of lifting the 2012 Heisman Trophy in New York City.  Kansas State was forced to abandon the run game early after falling behind by 21 points in the early stages of the second quarter, which caused its signal-caller to set career-highs in passing attempts and completions.  I’m expecting a lot more balance from this group in coming off a late-season bye week.

Issues under center

I’m going to have a hard time backing the Longhorns as one of my college football picks against the spread in Week 14, considering they continue to shuffle David Ash and Case McCoy under center.  Texas doesn’t have a true No. 1 starting quarterback on its roster, which could lead to a disastrous result in its last regular season game of the 2012 campaign.

Prediction

I’m definitely leaning towards the Longhorns in this spot due to the underdog covering the last seven meetings in this series, while the Wildcats are 1-8-1 ATS in their last 10 games in December. I’ll be releasing my official pick on this game on Friday.