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Houston vs. Kansas State picks, best bets for Week 9 matchup

The Cougars and Wildcats meet in Week 9. Kansas State enters as a home favorite.

UH Quarterback Jason Fochtman/Houston Chronicle via Getty Images

The Houston Cougars take on the Kansas State Wildcats in a Big 12 matchup in Week 9. Kickoff is scheduled for noon ET on Saturday, October 28.

Houston (3-4, 1-3 Big XII) fell to Texas in a heartbreaker in Week 8, failing to find the end zone to tie it up on their final drive. In the 31-24 loss, quarterback Donovan Smith passed for 378 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. Houston defeated West Virginia by two points in Week 7 for their first conference win since joining the Big 12, and Smith notched four passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown in the victory.

Kansas State (5-2, 3-1 Big XII) has won three of their last four games, over TCU, UCF, and Texas Tech. They fell to Oklahoma State in that stretch. In their latest win, a 41-3 victory over TCU, both Will Howard and Avery Johnson played at quarterback. The Wildcats may be employing a two-QB system going forward. Howard finished the day with three passing touchdowns, and Johnson had one.

Here’s everything you need to know and a pick for the game.

SP+ Rankings

Houston: 58 overall, 22 offense, 94 defense
Kansas State: 14 overall, 10 offense, 32 defense

Injury update


WR CJ Nelson - Out indefinitely (leg)

Kansas State

TE Ben Sinnott - Questionable (ankle)
WR Keagan Johnson - Questionable (undisclosed)
WR RJ Garcia II - Questionable (undisclosed)


Against The Spread in 2023

Houston: 4-3 ATS
Kansas State: 5-2 ATS

Total in 2023

Houston: Over 4-3
Kansas State: Over 4-3

Team Pace

Houston: 2.39 plays per minute of offense
Kansas State: 2.35 plays per minute of offense

Odds at DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: Kansas State -17.5
Total: 60.5
Moneyline: Kansas State -1000, Houston +650


45 degrees, cloudy with a few showers, 9 MPH winds NNE with 21 MPH wind gusts

Our Best Bet for Houston vs. Kansas State

Houston +17.5

Donovan Smith has showed some real poise in high-pressure moments for the Cougars in the last two weeks, and he should be feeling good heading into this game as they take on K-State. While the Wildcats will make things hard on Houston with their two-QB approach, they are still adjusting to the unique system, and with Houston’s offense looking the way it has, I like the Cougs to cover.