The Kansas State Wildcats have lost five straight bowl games and failed to cover the spread in any of them. But they are favored to change that against the Michigan Wolverines in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.
Oddsmakers monitored by Odds Shark had the Wildcats as 3.5-point favorites in mid-December, with a total hovering near 55.5. There are a few intriguing OVER trends on the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl betting menu (formerly the Insight Bowl). Eleven of the past 15 editions of this game have played OVER and Michigan has been a reliable OVER bet at 11-2 in their past 13 bowl games.
[Computer Prediction says Kansas State wins 36-34: Details]
Michigan started the season on a five-game tear, including a 41-30 victory over then-No. 15 Notre Dame as a 4.5-point home favorite, but the wheels came off from there, with just two SU victories in its final seven games. The Wolverines (Big Ten, 7-5 SU, 7-5 ATS, 6-6 OU) did cover in their final three contests, and the total stayed UNDER in four of their last five games.
The offense tallied 41 points or more in three of those first five wins, but that number dropped to 33.8 points by the end of the season. The Wolverines passed for an average of 252.1 yards a game behind the arm of Devin Gardner with Jeremy Gallon leading the way with 80 receptions for 1,284 yards and nine touchdowns.
Fitzgerald Toussaint was the team's leading rusher with 646 yards on 183 carries. Michigan's defense was ranked 64th in Division IA in points allowed (26.5).
The Wildcats' season took an opposite twist with a 5-1 SU run down the stretch after going just 2-4 SU in their first six games. They finished the season with a 5-4 record in Big 12 play including victories over Texas Tech and TCU.
Kansas State (Big 12, 7-5 SU, 7-5 ATS, 5-7 OU) was also a very profitable team to wager on over the second half of the season with a 6-2 record ATS in its final eight games. The total went OVER in three of its last four games. Overall, Kansas State is just 1-8 ATS in its past nine bowl games, but finished 2013 on a 6-2 ATS run.
Kansas State's offense averaged 33.4 points a game, but this number got elevated to 36.7 points during its six-game run to close out the year. John Hubert led a rushing attack that averaged 180.4 yards a game and Jake Waters threw for 2,198 yards and 15 touchdowns as part of a passing game that averaged 220.8 yards.
The Wildcats gave up their fair share of points over the course of the season but overall they held teams to a respectable 23.7 points a game.