Last Updated Jan 04, 2022, 2:42 PM

Texas Bowl Picks, Predictions and Odds: LSU vs. Kansas State

Jan. 4, 2022
Jonathan Willis
VI Betting Expert

The LSU Tigers will take on the Kansas State Wildcats in the final Bowl Game before the College Football Playoff National Championship with the Texas Bowl. Kick off is set for a late 9:00 p.m. ET and will air on ESPN from NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.

Score Prediction

Kansas State 26, LSU 17

Best Bets

Kansas State -4 (-120) at Treasure Island

Texas Bowl Predictions

The powers that be have decided to give college football fans one more appetizer before the College Football Playoff National Championship Game on Jan. 10. The LSU Tigers will take on the Kansas State Wildcats in the Texas Bowl on Tuesday, Jan. 4. LSU was originally a short favorite in this game, but Kansas State is now a moderate favorite as the Tigers have a limited roster and major questions at quarterback.

LSU is in a very tough spot entering the Texas Bowl. The Tigers do not have a tested quarterback on the roster after Max Johnson transferred to Texas A&M in mid-December. Interim head coach Brad Davis has been coy about LSU’s quarterback plans, and the feeling is there will be a lot of smoke and mirrors. That could work on some teams, but Kansas State plays disciplined defense.

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Texas Bowl Betting Odds

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Texas Bowl Betting Resources

  • Matchup: SEC vs. Big 12
  • Date: Tuesday, January 4, 2022
  • Venue: NRG Stadium
  • Location: Houston, Texas
  • TV-Time: ESPN, 9:00 p.m. ET

LSU Tigers Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 6-6
  • ATS: 5-6-1
  • O/U: 5-7

No one knows who LSU will start under center in the Texas Bowl. The only scholarship quarterback on the roster is freshman Garrett Nussmeier, but the Tigers don’t want to blow his redshirt for just one game. They appealed to the NCAA for a waiver so that he could play in this game without losing a year of eligibility, yet there is no word on whether that waiver was granted.

If Nussmeier doesn’t get the start, things will get interesting. Walk-ons Tavion Faulk and Matt O’Dowd are the next most likely starters, and we could see wide receiver Jontre Kirklin under center since he played quarterback in high school. LSU might deploy a lot of option or mesh looks in order to confuse Kansas State’s defense.

The Tigers will also be without star running back Tyrion Davis-Price after he decided to enter the NFL Draft on New Year’s Eve. LSU’s two top receivers will be unavailable for the Texas Bowl too, further testing the depth of this team.

LSU released a depth chart on Sunday that illustrated the dire situation this program is in on Tuesday night. There are numerous transfers and walk-ons in the two-deep, and the situation at cornerback is particularly scary. The Tigers only have three players listed at the position, and they are a freshman, an FCS transfer, and a walk-on senior.

Kansas State Wildcats Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 7-5
  • ATS: 6-5-1
  • O/U: 5-7

Skylar Thompson will play his final game for Kansas State on Tuesday. The senior has never lit up the stat sheet for the Wildcats, but he has been consistent during his time in the Little Apple. Thompson has completed 62% of his passes for 6,875 yards (8.0 YPA) with 39 touchdowns and 16 interceptions during his five years. He has run for 1,077 yards and 26 touchdowns, averaging 3.1 YPC.

The Wildcats have one of the most underrated running backs in the country in Deuce Vaughn. He was a Second Team All-Big 12 selection alongside fullback Jax Dineen after running for 1,258 yards (5.9 YPC) and 15 touchdowns. Vaughn ran for 100 yards or more with a TD in five straight games to close out the season.

Kansas State has the 18th ranked defense in SP+. The Wildcats have a solid front seven that is allowing 3.7 YPC, and Felix Anudike-Uzomah was named First Team All-Big 12 after leading the Wildcats with 11 sacks. The pass defense has had some ups and downs though aside from safety Russ Yeast.

Inside the Stats - LSU Tigers

  • Record: 6-6
  • VI Ranking: 40
  • Points Scored: 325
  • Points Allowed: 304
  • PS/G: 27.1 (79th)
  • PA/G: 25.3 (56th)

Inside the Stats - Kansas State Wildcats

  • Record: 7-5
  • VI Ranking: 42
  • Points Scored: 316
  • Points Allowed: 253
  • PS/G: 26.3 (81st)
  • PA/G: 21.1 (23rd)

Key Players to Watch

  • LSU: Jaray Jenkins - WR (33 catches, 479 yards, 5 TD)
  • LSU: Jack Bech - WR (43 catches, 489 yards, 3 TD)
  • KST: Skylar Thompson - QB (141/205, 1,844 yards, 9 TD, 4 INT)
  • KST: Deuce Vaughn - RB (214 carries, 1,246 yards, 15 TD)

Texas Bowl Betting Conclusion

It’s hard to see a way that LSU wins this game given the Tigers don’t have a quarterback and several skill position players. The lack of depth is a serious issue against a Kansas State team that is content to just wear their opponent down, so the Wildcats should have little trouble covering the number in a low scoring game.

Texas Bowl Betting Trends

  • Kansas State has failed to cover the spread in three of its last four games away from Manhattan.
  • Kansas State has failed to cover the spread in two straight games.
  • LSU has gone UNDER the point total in four of its last five games.

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