Pop-Tarts Bowl Prediction: NC State vs. Kansas State Odds, Spread, DFS Picks, and More

    Will NC State or Kansas State lift the greatest trophy in sports? Step this way for the latest odds, DFS picks, and a Pop-Tarts Bowl prediction.

    The Pop-Tarts Bowl recently unveiled what is arguably the greatest trophy in all of sports, and the 8-4 NC State Wolfpack of the ACC and 8-4 Kansas State Wildcats of the Big 12 will go into battle for the right to lift it on Thursday evening.

    Who lifts the trophy and gets to eat the edible mascot at the end of the first-ever matchup between these two teams? Ahead of the game, we’ve got the latest college football betting odds, DFS picks, and a Pop-Tarts Bowl prediction.

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    All odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook and correct as of Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2023. Want to take advantage of the Pop-Tarts Bowl odds? Visit the College Football Network live college football odds page to place bets in your state.

    • Spread
      Kansas State -2.5
    • Moneyline
      Kansas State -142, NC State +120
    • Over/Under
      47 points
    • Game time
      5:45 p.m. ET
    • Location
      Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL
    • Predicted Weather at Kick
      65 degrees, 6 mph winds, potential showers
    • How to Watch
      ESPN, FuboTV

    Wanting to place a stake on NC State? Looking to cash in on Kansas State on Thursday evening? If you’re going to take advantage of the Pop-Tarts Bowl odds, consider some of the following factors before you part with your hard-earned cash.

    NC State, possibly one of the more under-the-radar teams in the 2023 college football season, comes into the Pop-Tarts Bowl on a five-game winning streak, despite being the underdog in four of those encounters. They’re an underdog again here, against a Kansas State team who came up short of defending their Big 12 title after some losses in key spots — including against Texas.

    MORE: CFB Bowl Game Opt-Out Tracker

    Both teams have some key opt-outs that could impact this game, with Kansas State possibly having the roster advantage here despite being the underdog. Our Pop-Tarts Bowl prediction has the Wildcats walking away with the win, and NC State hasn’t lost by less than a field goal this season. So, if you think Kansas State can win, taking them with the spread is a given.

    With a stellar defense, NC State has been involved in just four games this season that cleared the points line. Two of those have come in their last two games, however, while Kansas State has cleared the line in three of their last four. Both teams being without star defensive playmakers could impact this game, with points available — enough to cover the 47-point line.

    Top DFS Picks and Fantasy Plays

    NC State Depth Chart | Kansas State Depth Chart 

    • QB Brennan Armstrong, NC State
    • QB Avery Johnson, Kansas State
    • RB Kendrick Raphael, NC State
    • RB Delbert Mimms III, NC State
    • RB Jordan Poole, NC State
    • RB DJ Giddens, Kansas State
    • RB La’James White, Kansas State
    • RB Joe Jackson, Kansas State
    • WR Kevin “KC” Concepcion, NC State
    • WR Keyon Lesane, NC State
    • WR Bradley Rozner, NC State
    • WR Keagan Johnson, Kansas State
    • WR Jayce Brown, Kansas State
    • WR Jadon Jackson, Kansas State
    • TE Trent Pennix, NC State
    • TE Will Swanson, Kansas State

    There are four college football games on Thursday to compile your DFS team from. If you’re new to DFS, Fanduel Superflex contests require you to select a quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, and a “Superflex” that can be any of the above or a tight end.

    You’ll struggle to find a more reliable receiving option across the Thursday slate of college football action than NC State wide receiver Kevin Concepcion. The true freshman pass catcher has been an unstoppable force as the go-to option in the Wolfpack offense. Racking up 171.08 fantasy points this fall, he’s a legitimate offensive weapon with exceptional versatility.

    MORE: CFN’s 2023 All-American Team and Individual Honors

    Kansas State will be without four of their top five highest-scoring fantasy assets for the Pop-Tarts Bowl, but that might not matter. Running back DJ Giddens leads all available Wildcats with 202.1 fantasy points. He’s in a rich vein of form, rushing for over 100 yards in each of his last three games, while finding the end zone in all of those games. A big night could be in store.

    On the face of it, neither quarterback can contend with some other options on Thursday. However, your Pop-Tarts Bowl picks shouldn’t completely discount the position. Kansas State freshman Avery Johnson offers great value as a creative mobile quarterback, is yet to throw an interception, and averages more yards per attempt than the outgoing Will Howard.

    Prediction for the Pop-Tarts Bowl

    Okay, so we’ve furnished you with the Pop-Tarts Bowl odds and some DFS picks. Now, it’s time to close this thing out with our prediction. Will the Wolfpack extend their winning streak, carrying momentum into the 2024 season? Or can Kansas State wrap up the 2023 campaign with a win that would give them the second-best record of the Chris Klieman era?

    NC State hasn’t won a bowl game since the 2014 season but has the opportunity to extend its current win streak and record a double-digit win season for the first time under Dave Doeren — their first for over 20 years. The Wolfpack have eaten up and spat out both Clemson and North Carolina on their current run, establishing themselves as an ACC heavyweight.

    Their success has come from dominating the turnover margin, with an interception-hungry defense and a fumble-shy offense. Only two other teams in the country have snagged more interceptions, with All-American linebacker Payton Wilson and Devan Boykin leading the way with three interceptions. Wilson also leads the team with 138 total tackles and 17.5 tackles for loss.

    There might not be a player in college football who means more to a team’s success than Wilson, and it’s not hyperbolic to say his absence from the Pop-Tarts Bowl could be game-defining. Not many other players would be all out to stop Kansas State running back Giddens from having his way on a defense, which is exactly what could happen on Thursday evening.

    Prediction: Kansas State 30, NC State 23

    Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football’s transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!

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