When Bill Snyder came to Kansas State, he knew one thing would please the fans: Beat Kansas. And he has kept them happy 19 of the 23 times he has taken the Cats against the Jayhawks.
KU fans talk mostly about basketball when bringing up the K-State rivalry — a sport that KU has dominated. For this Saturday’s football meeting in Lawrence, they have more interest in the eligibility of basketball player Cheick Diallo than the football team’s chances against the Wildcats.
The football players, however, want to salvage an iota of pride for the season and a victory over K-State certainly would help. Heading into the final game of the season, the Jayhawks are winless and for the most part, they have looked hapless. Can they do something about it against K-State? Probably not.
They may draw hope knowing that the Cats have just one victory in the Big 12 Conference and had lost six in a row until the miraculous 38-35 win last Saturday over Iowa State in Manhattan. The Cats lack consistency on both sides of the ball and overall team speed. But they have the ability to dominate a team like KU.
Snyder has enjoyed supremacy over the Jayhawks. He lost the first two games 21-16 in 1989 at home and 27-24 in 1990 in Lawrence. The next loss came in 1992, also away, 31-7. But KU didn’t win again until a 31-28 victory in 2004 at home.
But the last five years have belonged to Snyder — 51-13 last season and then, going back, 31-10, 56-16, 59-21 and 59-7.
K-State needs to beat KU and West Virginia to become bowl eligible. Is that incentive enough to win and cover? It should be. Plus, stir in the rivalry and Snyder’s penchant for hammering the Jayhawks, and you have a recipe for the Cats to cover the 20 points.
In looking over the stats, it appears the Cats can put points on the board. They have allowed lots of points, too. They are scoring 29.7 points a game and giving up 32.7; KU is 15.4 and 46.2. Neither has covered all that well — K-State is 4-6 against the spread while KU is 3-8.
So, does Snyder maintain his dominance? Will K-State cover the spread? I think so. Lay the points and bet $22.
Two big games loom in the Big 12 — Oklahoma at Oklahoma State and TCU at Baylor.
Did the OU-TCU game cost you last week? As news swelled that quarterback Trevone Boykin and wide receiver Josh Doctson wouldn’t play because of injuries, the point spread widened. After being off the board for most of the week, the odds finally appeared, opening OU minus-11. By kickoff, it had grown to 19. The 11 points looked pretty good Saturday until OU went into the usual Bob Stoops second-half dive mode. OU led 30-13 in the fourth quarter but had to hold to win 30-29.
Oklahoma State had a big chance to impress the college football world last Saturday at home but Baylor’s punishing offense helped dump the Cowboys 45-35. Saturday, of course, is a big rivalry game and the Cowboys should be ready to play at home.
Oklahoma owns the football rivalry, leading the all-time series 84-18, but the Cowboys have won two of the last four meetings outright, going 3-1 against the spread.
The Cowboys were proud of their defense until they ran into Baylor. So this may turn out to be a real shoot-out. OU is giving 6½ points. Hmm, quarterback Baker Mayfield is questionable for the Sooners and the Cowboys like the offense of their quarterback, Mason Rudolph. Too, there’s talk of Cowboy Mike Gundy a possible replacement at LSU if boosters buy out Les Miles’ big contract. Still, I like the home team getting the points and will go with $11.
Boykin is expected to play for TCU but the Horned Frogs won’t be able to stop gun-slinging Baylor. Yes, the game is in Fort Worth. But Baylor has to give only a point and a half. I’m going with the Bears for $22.
Demoralized Iowa State is on the road at West Virginia and getting 14 points. That’s not enough. I’ll go with the Mountaineers for $11. Texas Coach Charlie Strong has had to stamp out numerous rumors since going to Austin and the latest one is that he’s being considered for the vacant Miami job. He has enough to worry about in stopping Texas Tech’s vaunted offense. But, at home, the Longhorns will do just that and cover the 1½. Go with another $22.
While the colleges are closing out the regular season with bowls and playoffs on their minds, the NFL has six more weeks of regular action.
Three games are on tap for Thanksgiving — Philadelphia at Detroit, Carolina at Dallas and Chicago at Green Bay. Lots of talk that Chip Kelly is in trouble as coach with the Eagles. That probably won’t affect the outcome, but I think the Lions will uphold the Thanksgiving tradition and cover the minus-1. I’ll go with $11. Dallas has Tony Romo back at quarterback after recovering from injury. Couple that with the solid Cowboy defense, you probably are going to lay the point. I think I’ll pass. But I think Carolina will cover. Chicago was a major disappointment last week in losing to Denver. You would have thought the Bears would have put up a better fight with Coach John Fox facing his former team. The bad taste will linger and Green Bay will shoot down the Bears in a big way. Lay the nine points for $22.
No, I haven’t forgotten about the Chiefs. Heavens no. They’re back home after what seems like weeks and weeks of being away from Arrowhead.
The Chiefs are playing well now, winning four in a row and will take on Buffalo Sunday.
The Bills, 5-5 this season, are coming off a deflating 20-13 loss at New England on Monday Night. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor has completed 67.9 percent of his passes 11 touchdowns and four interceptions and he has rushed for two touchdowns. LeSean McCoy is the Bills leading rusher with 610 yards and three touchdowns and Charles Clay is the top pass catcher with 41. The Buffalo defense is allowing 22.7 points and 350.2 yards per game with 11 interceptions, 15 sacks, and eight fumble recoveries.
Kansas City is 4-0 against the spread in their last four games, 4-1 against the spread following a win, and 5-2 against the spread against the AFC. Buffalo is 7-1 against the spread following a loss, 4-1-1 against the spread in their last six road games, and 9-4-1 against the spread against the AFC. The road team has covered the point spread in six of the last seven meetings of these two.
So, do you lay the five? I’m tentative but will go with $11 in the hopes that the streak stays alive.
One more intriguing game — New England at Denver. Petyon Manning won’t play but a 6-8 quarterback will loads of potential will — Brock Osweiler. Can he match the master, Tom Brady? Don’t think so. The Pats will go against a good Denver defense but they have to give only three points. Do so. For $11.
NFL $22 bets: Minnesota +2 at Atlanta.
NFL $11 bets: New Orleans +3 at Houston, St. Louis +9 at Cincy, NY Giants -2½ at Washington, NY Jets -3½ vs. Miami, San Diego +4 at Jacksonville, Baltimore +2½ at Cleveland.
NFL picks: Indy -3 vs. Tampa, Tennessee +2 vs. Oakland, Arizona -10½ at San Francisco, Pittsburgh +4 at Seattle.
College $33 bet: Iowa -1½ at Nebraska.
College $22 bet: Ohio State +1 at Michigan, Alabama -14 at Auburn, Clemson -17 at South Carolina.
College $11 bets: Mizzou +14 at Arkansas, Tulsa -6½ at Tulane, Michigan State -11 at Penn State, Temple -12 vs. UConn, Indiana -6½ at Purdue, Tennessee -17½ vs. Vandy, North Carolina -6 at North Carolina State, Florida State -2 at Florida, Texas A&M +5½ at LSU, Stanford -3½ vs. Notre Dame, UCLA +3½ at USC.
I’m minus-$25 in the NFL and minus-$74 in the colleges.
SANDS BLOG WILL RETURN MONDAY NOVEMBER 30