Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Kansas State Wildcats: Sugar Bowl Prediction, Preview, Picks & Odds - 12/31/2022

by Chuck Sommers

Sugar Bowl

Time: Noon ET
Venue: Caesars Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Where to watch: ESPN

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings: Alabama -6.5; Alabama -245, Kansas State +205; O/U 56
FanDuel: Alabama -6.5; Alabama -260, Kansas State +210; O/U 55.5
BetMGM: Alabama -6.5; Alabama -250, Kansas State +200; O/U 56
Caesars: Alabama -6.5; Alabama -270, Kansas State +215; O/U 56

Season record
No. 5 Alabama: 10-2
No. 9 Kansas State: 10-3

Bowl season is here! There are 42 games that are going to be determining how this season ends. We appreciate you for hanging with us during this college football season, and you know it’s not over yet. We’re going to keep on rolling and giving your our best picks over the course of the next month. All the way up until the College Football Playoff, which is going to have some incredible games. Do you have the right idea when you head to the books for these important games? Our champion handicappers surely have you covered. Will Rogers is running an impressive 24-11-0 in the last month. Al McMordie has also been cashing in heavily with a 40-29-1 mark in college football over the last 30 days. Our guys here have you ready to go for what should be an exciting week. Be tuned to for everything!

Alabama - Kansas State preview, analysis and prediction

Alabama analysis
If there’s anything good in this world, the Alabama Crimson Tide are not playing in the College Football Playoff. The powers that be saw the two losses and said, ‘no, we’re not doing that this time around.’ So thank you all for sparing us from this ridiculousness that would’ve entailed had they been in the playoff. But not just the fact that Alabama has lost two games and now finds itself in the Sugar Bowl: It’s a situation where you can’t even trust Alabama to cover in a game right now.
Alabama has failed to cover in four of its last six — starting with that upset loss to Tennessee back on Oct. 15. They bounced back with the win over Mississippi State, but that followed with a string of three straight failed-to-covers against LSU, Ole Miss and Austin Peay. Yes, winning by just 34 against Austin Peay did not handle things well in that regard. But at least the Crimson Tide did win by 22 against Auburn in the Iron Bowl … only to cover by 0.5 points because Alabama was 21.5-point favorites.
The key to this whole thing is going to be Bryce Young. Since dealing with his injuries in the first part of the season, he hasn’t looked like himself. His play in the Iron Bowl was a sign that maybe he’s coming back to the grind with 343 yards and three touchdowns. But we have to remember this is not Auburn. The defense that Alabama is facing is no slouch, and the offense on the other side is no slouch.
Sure, they’re going to have the advantage in terms of pure talent, but what Kansas State will bring to the table is an entirely different style that Alabama has to deal with. The Tide are 0-4 ATS in their last four against Big 12 teams, including this year against Texas. It’s going to be an interesting showing for how Alabama does business in this game.
Kansas State analysis
Perhaps the most surprising team in this field of important games are the Kansas State Wildcats, finishing as strong as they did with four straight wins and winning the Big 12 championship. But if you’re not watching this team and thinking they can beat anybody at this point, you haven’t been paying attention.
What quarterback Will Howard has been able to do in place of Adrian Martinez has been truly incredible. His play, along with the star power of running back Deuce Vaughn, has been a tremendous combination. Kansas State closed the season with four straight wins and four straight covers with road wins over Baylor and West Virginia, and a 20-point home win over Kansas, and then the TCU victory in which they were favored by a point.
Kansas State, as a whole this year, has been great against the spread going 9-3-1 this season. The only push was a 10-9 win against Iowa State, which shows you how insane that kind of year was for how good K-State was. Trying to keep that success going is going to be important for Kansas State as it faces one of its biggest challenges in this season.
I still have a hard time believing in Alabama as much as I do but the offense and the ability of that quarterback is still going to be the most challenging that Kansas State has space to this point. And if Kansas State slips up in any way, this is going to be a long game. Kansas State is going to need to play a near perfect game while getting 6.5 points in order to really put the hammer on this one.
This is going to be a very fun game because the contrasting styles both offensively and defensively are second to none. We're talking about a Alabama defense that has given up just 125 rushing yards per game while facing a Kansas State rushing attack that is top 20 in the country. Something is going to have to give here and unfortunately for those who hope for the upset, I'm not entirely sure that that is going to be the case here. Alabama 34, Kansas State 24

Betting trends

Kansas State is 200-154 ATS in all games since 1992.

Kansas State is 38-21 ATS after winning 4 of 5 since 1992.

Kansas State is 69-47 ATS off an under since 1992.

Alabama is 83-59 ATS off an over since 1992.

Alabama is 34-17 ATS after gaining 6.75 yards or more per play in 2 straight games since 1992.

Statistical leaders

Passing: Bryce Young – 3,007 yards, 27 TD, 5 INT
Rushing: Jahmyr Gibbs – 850 yards, 7 TD
Receiving: Jacorey Brooks – 623 yards, 7 TD

Kansas State:
Passing: Will Howard – 1,423 yards, 15 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Deuce Vaughn – 1,425 yards, 8 TD
Receiving: Malik Knowles – 719 yards, 2 TD

Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert football picks today. And if you enjoyed this Alabama - Kansas State Sugar Bowl prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily college football projections and previews.

Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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