Cotton Bowl Odds: Arkansas vs. Kansas State Predictions 1/6/12

Last Updated: January 2nd, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
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A day off in the bowl betting bonanza on January 5th won’t stop us from enjoying another fantastic game on the college football bowl schedule on the 6th. The Kansas State Wildcats and Arkansas Razorbacks were both good enough to be BCS quality teams this year, and they are going to face off in the 2012 Cotton Bowl.

Cotton Bowl: Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Kansas State Wildcats
Cotton Bowl Location: Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, TX
Cotton Bowl Date/Time: Friday, January 6th, 8:00 p.m. (ET)
Cotton Bowl Television Coverage: FOX

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Key #1: Collin Klein has to have the biggest heart on the field
Say what you want about Klein. We know that he isn’t a great passer. We know that he stands very little chance of completing even 60 percent of his passes in any game that he plays. We know that he looks to run first and then throw the ball. We know that, for a mobile quarterback, he has a miserable yards per carry average right around 4.0. However, with all that being said, you can’t measure a kid’s heart, and that’s exactly what Klein has. This is a man that carries the ball over 24 times per game out of the quarterback spot, and he isn’t doing a heck of a lot of sliding or running out of bounds. There’s a reason that he led the team in scoring with 26 TDs on the campaign and why he came up with 1,099 rushing yards. Klein has the ability to do some real damage, and though his offense’s numbers aren’t all that impressive in totality this year, he just finds ways to keep putting points on the board, a trait that has to show to beat the Hogs.

Cotton Bowl Odds at Wager Web Sportsbook
Arkansas Razorbacks -7.5
Kansas State Wildcats +7.5
Over/Under 62.5
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Key #2: The Razorbacks cannot let their special teams beat them
The Hogs were only beaten twice this year, once by the Alabama Crimson Tide and once by the LSU Tigers. Both games were on the road, and they were against the two best teams in the country. There was no shame in either defeat, but both games shared a common bond: Bad punt coverage. Against Alabama, WR Marquis Maze had 125 punt return yards, including an 83 yarder that came all the way back for a touchdown. That took a 17-7 game and made it 24-7. The Hogs were beaten 38-14. Against the Bayou Bengals, DB Tyrann Mathieu had two massive punt returns and totaled 115 yards on two runbacks. One went for 92 yards and a TD. From that point on, LSU outscored Arkansas 34-3.

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Key #3: Tyler Wilson has to shred a very suspect secondary
In fairness to the Wildcats, they had to play a schedule this year that included taking on Robert Griffin III, Seth Doege, Landry Jones, Brandon Weeden, and Ryan Tannehill. If we had to play those five guys, who will combine for over 20,000 passing yards when the bowl season is said and done with, we would have a secondary with some suspect numbers as well. However, Wilson is another one of these quarterbacks that could inch near 4,000 yards when the season is said and done with. He has 3,422 yards and is averaging a rock solid 8.4 yards per pass attempt this year, and he has a great set of receivers that can really spread the field all over the place. Wilson also did a nice job taking care of the pigskin on the campaign, throwing just six picks against 22 TDs. KSU’s secondary can be had; just look at the 505 yards and five TDs that Jones came up with when the Oklahoma Sooners came to Manhattan. Wilson just has to take advantage of it if the Razorbacks are going to have a shot at beating the Cotton Bowl odds.

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Posted in College Football - Last Updated on Monday, January 2nd, 2012 @ 8:59 am (EST)
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