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Pop-Tarts Bowl: NC State an early 4.5-point underdog to Kansas State

Odds of Pop-Tarts 100%, win or lose.

Pop-Tarts Invites New Yorkers to Start Their Day at Pop-Tarts World Opening Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Pop-Tarts

Lines have been released from a few sportsbooks already and NC State is a modest underdog across the board. This is in spite of Kansas State losing quarterback Will Howard and running back Treshaun Ward (team’s second-leading rusher) to the portal already.

Plenty still can change, what with the portal window officially opening Monday, and with the potential of opt-outs from both sides still to come.

Kansas State finished the regular season 8-4 (6-3), with losses at Missouri, at Oklahoma State, at Texas, and at home to Iowa State; not a bad loss in there, and the Wildcats lost by only three points to both Mizzou and Texas.

They’re heading into the postseason at No. 16 in SP+, with the No. 8 offense and No. 39 defense. Their special teams ranks 94th, though. SP+ considers K-State a six-point favorite over the Pack (which is up to No. 30), but obviously that’s informed substantially by Howard’s presence under center.

The Wildcats likely will be starting freshman Avery Johnson at QB, and he’s a good athlete—he ran for 225 yards on 45 carries in mop-up duty this season, but has just 35 pass attempts in 2023.