Montana State vs. Kansas State Prediction, Odds, Props: Wildcats Win Battle of Felines

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Two fierce felines are set to claw at each other in the 2023 NCAA Tournament when the No. 13 Montana State Bobcats take on the No. 3 Kansas State Wildcats in the Round of 64.

Let’s take a look at the Montana State Bobcats vs. Kansas State odds, props, and betting trends, as well as go over our prediction for this contest.

Montana State vs. Kansas State Betting Lines: Spread, Moneyline, Total

Kansas State (between -340 and -400 on the moneyline) is a 7.5-point favorite against the Bobcats, who bettors can snag for +310 at BetMGM as of Friday morning.

The betting public is leaning heavily towards the Wildcats in this one, with 69% of spread tickets and 91% of moneyline tickets at DraftKings being placed on the No. 3 seed. The Over/Under total has hovered in the 139.5-140 range on legal US sports betting apps.

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Montana State vs. Kansas State Betting News

Montana State

The Bobcats were 8-7 heading in the New Year and trending towards missing the national tourney. But then they stepped their game up in the second half of the season, going 13-1 to close the season and winning the Big Sky title, to earn a spot in the Big Dance.

Montana State thrives on defense, ranking 70th in defensive efficiency (per KenPom). 6-foot-9 Jubrile Belo protects the paint and is the main reason this team is 56th in defensive rebounding rate, while also contributing 13.0 points a night. On the perimeter is senior guard Darius Brown Jr. who won the Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year award.

The offense (164th nationally in offensive efficiency), however, is what causes the Bobcats the most trouble. They rank outside the top 200 in three-point percentage (.338) and threes made. 6’5” junior guard RaeQuan Battle leads the attack with 17.4 points a game and dropped 25 in the conference championship.

While they can’t buy a bucket from beyond the arc, they are very trustworthy from the charity stripe. Montana State makes the second-most free throws and ranks 37th in free-throw percentage (.759).

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Kansas State

Kansas State finished third in the loaded Big 12 and made the national tournament under first-year head coach Jerome Tang after a three-year drought. That’s quite the accomplishment.

Kansas State's Desi Sills
Desi Sills and Kansas State lay points on odds boards against Montana State (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)

However, the biggest headline surrounding the 2022-23 Wildcats – and maybe even in all of college basketball – has been fifth-year forward Keonte Johnson.

Johnson collapsed on the court four games into his second year with Florida and was forced to miss two seasons. He then transferred to Kansas State, where he’s averaging 17.7 points and 7.0 rebounds, as well as earned All-Big 12 First-Team honors. The 6’6” forward knocks down threes at a 41.9 percent clip and has logged double-digit points in all but one game.

Johnson is the team’s leading scorer, but the offense by and large goes through all-around point guard Markquis Nowell, who averages 16.8 points and 7.6 assists per game (third in the nation) and has made 75 treys.

The offense is solid, but the team’s calling card is defense. The Bobcats hold opposing offenses to the 16th-lowest three-point percentage in the nation (.301), resulting in the 20th-best defensive efficiency.

Also read: How pro gamblers are moving March Madness lines | How to hedge NCAA Tournament futures bet

Montana State vs. Kansas State Betting Trends

Montana State

  • Montana State is 19-11-2 against the spread (ATS) this season
  • Montana State is 5-1 ATS as the underdog, 14-9-1 ATS as the favorite
  • Montana State is 2-3-1 ATS at neutral sites
  • Montana State is 3-6 ATS in its last nine games
  • The Over/Under total has gone 14-18 in Montana State games

Kansas State

  • Kansas State is 21-11 ATS this season
  • Kansas State is 15-3 ATS as the favorite, 6-8 ATS as the underdog
  • Kansas State is 3-1 ATS at neutral sites
  • Kansas State is 4-2 ATS in its last six games
  • The Over/Under total has gone 16-16 on the Over in Kansas State games

Montana State vs. Kansas State Betting Pick

The Wildcats win partly due to their perimeter defense, though that won’t matter against a Montana State squad that barely shoots from downtown. The Bobcats would much rather attack the basket and draw fouls, which should be easy considering Kansas State ranks 285th in the nation in free-throw attempts allowed.

Trips to the charity stripe will keep Montana State in the game for the first 38 minutes, but Kansas State will close the game out because it’s simply better.

Montana State may not beat tougher opponents outright, but it does an excellent job keeping the game close. The program is 5-1 ATS as the underdog this season and will be 6-1 by the end of Friday night.

Pick: Montana State plus the points

Futures2023 March Madness Odds

How to Watch Montana State vs. Kansas State

  • Game Day: Friday, Mar. 17, 2023
  • Game Time: 9:40 p.m. ET
  • Location: Greensboro Coliseum | Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Channel: CBS

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About the Author
Cyrus Eshaghoff

Cyrus Eshaghoff

Writer
Cyrus Eshaghoff is a New York-based sports betting writer at Gaming Today who covers the UFC, NFL, and NBA. Whether it's heated debates or uncovering statistical insights, he loves discussing (and writing about) sports.

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