North Carolina State vs. Kansas State Prediction, Odds, Trends and Key Players for Pop-Tarts Bowl

Nov 11, 2023; Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA;  North Carolina State Wolfpack quarterback Brennan
Nov 11, 2023; Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack quarterback Brennan / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

North Carolina State takes its hot streak into bowl season in hopes of finishing with a 10-win season, its first since 2002.

The Wolfpack will travel to Orlando, Florida to take on Kansas State in the Pop-Tarts Bowl. The Wildcats are an above-average Big 12 team, but one that fell short of lofty goals in 2023 and has seen several key players opt out of this game and hit the transfer portal.

Will the Wildcats show up for this bowl game? Oddsmakers have installed the Big 12 entrant as favorites but the money has been pouring in on the underdog Wolfpack, can the team win a sixth straight game to close the season?

Here's our betting preview for the Pop-Tarts Bowl!

Get more of our bowl coverage here!

North Carolina State vs. Kansas State Odds, Spread and Total

Kansas State vs. North Carolina State Betting Trends

  • Kansas State is 7-4-1 against the spread (ATS) this season
  • North Carolina State is 6-5-1 ATS this season
  • North Carolina State has gone UNDER in eight of 12 games this season
  • Kansas State has gone OVER in seven of 12 games this season
  • North Carolina State is 4-1-1 ATS as an underdog
  • Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren is 5-3 ATS in bowl games

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North Carolina State vs. Kansas State How to Watch

  • Date: Thursday, December 28th
  • Game Time: 5:45 PM EST
  • Venue: Camping World Stadium
  • How to Watch (TV): ESPN
  • North Carolina State Record: 9-3
  • Kansas State Record: 8-4

North Carolina State vs. Kansas State Key Players to Watch

North Carolina State

Brennan Armstrong: Lauded over the offseason, but benched during it, Armstrong returned to QB1 status and looked like his former self, leading the team to three straight wins including eight total touchdowns and no interceptions.

Kansas State

Avery Johnson: Johnson is the highest-rated Kansas State recruit in program history and will start this game in place of Will Howard, who is in the transfer portal. Johnson is a raw passer in limited usage this season, completing 66% of his passes with three touchdowns but is a dangerous run with 215 yards on 42 carries and six touchdowns.

North Carolina State vs. Kansas State Prediction and Pick

This is a motivation mismatch as the Wolfpack are trying to finish a double-digit win season and should have full attendance in this game for a veteran roster.

Meanwhile, Kansas State has been fairly overrated this season and now will be replacing a ton of key contributors, including the likes of Howard, starting safety Kobe Savage, cornerback Will Lee, two key pass catchers in Phillip Brooks and Ben Sinnott, and future first or second round pick Cooper Beebee on the line.

Kansas State gave the freshman Johnson plenty of reps this season in unique packages, but he will draw the state against an elite North Carolina State defense that is 20th in points per drive allowed and 33rd in yards per carry. The team has also generated the fifth most turnovers this season (24). I believe the team can give Johnson fits in this bowl game setting.

Meanwhile, Kansas State's defense is a bit overrated, 75th in yards per play allowed and 90th in yards per carry allowed. I believe North Carolina State is peaking at the right time and gets the upset win, but I'll happily take the field goal.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Track Reed's bets here!