Sugar Bowl Predictions | Alabama vs Kansas State

Last Updated: Jan 2, 2023

Alabama can cap a substandard season with a victory over Kansas State in the Allstate Sugar Bowl at Caesars Superdome on Dec. 31.

The Crimson Tide (10-2) finished the regular season No. 5 in the nation, just outside the four-team College Football Playoff field, after a pair of gut-wrenching losses to Tennessee and LSU. They shared the SEC West title but lost out on the tiebreaker after their 32-31 loss to the Tigers on Nov. 5.

The Wildcats (9-3) won the Big 12 championship in stunning fashion, defeating previously undefeated TCU 31-28 in overtime in a wild conference-title game in Arlington, Texas. K-State has won four straight and enters the Sugar Bowl ranked No. 9 in the country.

Here’s a look at the odds for Alabama vs Kansas State.

Alabama vs Kansas State Odds for Sugar Bowl

The Crimson Tide were a four-point favorite as of early December, and the over/under was set at 54.5.

Alabama ranks fourth in the nation in points per game (40.8) and ninth in points-allowed per game (18.0). K-State is scoring about 33 points per game and allowing about 21.

Alabama vs Kansas State Prediction for Sugar Bowl

Alabama 37, Kansas State 31

Will Alabama, which is used to playing College Football Playoff semifinal games on New Years Eve, show up for the Sugar Bowl this year? If the Crimson Tide are at all sleepy, the Wildcats are a game opponent which will undoubtedly be targeting another statement victory and a 10-win season.

Alabama should be able to put up points with quarterback Bryce Young and his seemingly endless array of weapons that includes top receivers Ja’Corey Brooks and Jermaine Burton plus running back Jahmyr Gibbs. Bama averaged nearly 41 points per game and only failed to top 30 points in two games this season.

The key matchup will be if the Crimson Tide can slow K-State junior running back Deuce Vaughn. Vaughn had 1,425 rushing yards — his second straight 1,400-plus yard campaign — and is coming off a 130-yard performance against TCU in the Big 12 Championship Game.

Alabama ranked 31st in the nation against the run, allowing about 125 rushing yards per game. But in the Crimson Tide’s two losses, they were gashed for 180-plus yards by LSU and Tennessee.

Still, Alabama hasn’t lost to a non-conference opponent in three years — since the 2019 national-championship game against Clemson — and hasn’t lost to a non-Clemson non-SEC team since the 2015 Sugar Bowl, which was the CFB playoff semis that year. I think K-State can keep it close, but I can’t bet against the Crimson Tide.

Alabama vs Kansas State Best Bets for Sugar Bowl

Over 54.5 Points (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook

WAGER: 1 unit

These teams are combining to score about 74 points per game, albeit while typically playing inferior opponents. Vaughn has run over every opponent, plus the Wildcats hope to have senior quarterback Adrian Martinez back from a lower-leg injury that should make their running game even more difficult to stop.

Martinez, a Nebraska grad transfer, hasn’t played since Nov. 12 but has six games of 50-plus rushing yards this season. Will Howard has filled in admirably in Martinez’s absence, and you can bet coach Chris Klieman will design offensive plays for each quarterback.

We know ‘Bama is going to score. K-State probably will, too, which makes this relatively low Over a good pick.

Alabama -4 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook

WAGER: 1 unit

I’ll regret this if the Crimson Tide take the Wildcats lightly, but coach Nick Saban should have his team up even for an 11 a.m. local time kickoff. Alabama doesn’t usually take any opponent for granted, so it shouldn’t in this game either.


Pat Pickens

Pat Pickens is a seasoned sportswriter who has covered pro sports since 2013 for various websites, including The New York Times,, Bleacher Report,, USA Today, the Associated Press and many others. His debut book, titled "The Whalers" about the history of the NHL's Hartford Whalers, was released in October 2021.

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