Kansas State vs Arkansas 2012 Cotton Bowl Picks: The 8th ranked (BCS) Kansas State Wildcats (10-2, 7-2 Big 12), who finished 2nd in the Big 12 Conference behind Oklahoma State, will play the 6th ranked Arkansas Razorbacks (10-2, 6-2 SEC), who finished the season in 3rd in the SEC West Division behind No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama, in the 2012 Cotton Bowl Classic Game at Cowboy’s Stadium in Arlington, Texas this Friday with an 8:30 PM ET kick-off. The Cotton Bowl will be televised on Fox.
Oddsmakers at online sports book JustBet.cx opened the Razorbacks as a 7-point favorite, a line bet out to an 8-point spread. Kansas State backers are getting +250 College Football Odds on the off-shore moneyline while a SU moneyline wager on Arkansas is priced at -300 ($300 bet to win $100). The combined score total (over/under) is currently 63 1/2.
On offense, both schools feature dynamic junior all-conference quarterbacks. Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson is third in the SEC in passing efficiency rating and leads the league in passing yards (3,422), in attempts and completions. Wilson has thrown for 33 touchdowns with only six interceptions while leading the SEC in total offense with 3,401 yards. KSU’s Collin Klein collected a school-record 26 rushing touchdowns this season – two shy of the Big 12 and FBS quarterback record, also rushed for a school record 1,099 yards, two shy of the Big 12 and FBS quarterback record. Klein has completed 145 of 251 attempts for 1,745 yards and 12 touchdowns through the air.
The game has two of the prolific return specialists in college football – Arkansas’ Joe Adams leads the nation in punt returns and Kansas State’s Tyler Lockett leads the nation in kickoff returns. Both teams defeated Texas A&M this season in high scoring contests, Arkansas, 42-38, and Kansas State, 53-50 in four overtimes. The Wildcats are second in the nation in non-offensive touchdowns scored since 1999 (81). Arkansas’ 43.8 percent scoring efficiency this season, ranks 14th in the SEC since 2000 … The Razorbacks 25 scoring drives of under 2:00 is second in the SEC this season. Arkansas has given up just 48 points in the fourth quarter, third lowest in the SEC. Bobby Petrino’s 74.0 winning percentage as a college coach is sixth among active FBS coaches (74-26). Arkansas’ trio of senior wide receivers Jarius Wright, Joe Adams and Greg Childs are 2-3-5 among active SEC receptors and have combined for 452 catches for 7,252 yards and 55 touchdown grabs in their careers.
With the exception of Wednesday’s Orange Bowl, many of these bowl games have been close contests. I don’t expect this game to be any different. Arkansas has had trouble with mobile quarterbacks and methodical offensive schemes. The Wildcats will need to keep the ball away from Arkansas’ offense to have a chance. If the Razorbacks play relatively mistake-free football, they will not only win but win big. My Pick – Arkansas -8.
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