KU is a 5-point underdog for Week 10 matchup with Kansas State
This year’s Sunflower Showdown has a different feel to it, and the early betting line helps give us an idea why.
As of Monday afternoon, Kansas was considered a five-point underdog on FanDuel’s Sportsbook. The line has really bounced around between 4.5-6 points, from what I have seen at multiple sportsbooks. Even a casual bettor would understand that there is something different about that line.
The betting line hasn’t given Kansas this much respect in the Sunflower Showdown in nearly 10 years. According to Odds Shark, the Jayhawks should be less than a 10-point underdog against the Wildcats for the first time since 2010. KU, which was just a three-point underdog under Turner Gill, was handed a 59-7 drubbing back then.
Since then, Kansas has been an underdog by 20-or-more points in five of the eight meetings with Kansas State. Last season, KU was a 10-point underdog before a 21-17 loss to K-State in Manhattan. The Jayhawks have actually covered the spread in three consecutive games against the Wildcats.
None of that matters for this week’s rivalry matchup, though it certainly shows why KU fans might feel more confident than in previous years.
Ending a 10-game losing skid in this series will still be a tough task for the Jayhawks. Kansas State is coming off a 48-41 win over Oklahoma, which earned the team a No. 22 ranking in this week’s AP Poll. The Wildcats (5-2, 2-2 Big 12) have won two games in a row since their bye week.
KU has also been much better since the bye week, which was when the team promoted Brent Dearmon to offensive coordinator. The Jayhawks (3-5, 1-4 Big 12) nearly knocked off Texas and are coming off a 37-34 win over Texas Tech. Kansas has covered the spread in each of its last three games.
It is still too early in the week for me to commit to a pick in this game, but this is certainly a winnable game for Kansas. The Wildcats are actually allowing 6.39 yards per play, which is 110th in the nation. For comparison, Texas is giving up 6.42 yards per play and ranks 112th in the country.
So the Jayhawks should be able to move the ball this week, as has been the case since Dearmon took over play calling duties.
The key for Kansas will be avoiding a slow start like the 17-0 deficit it faced against Texas Tech this past weekend. Kansas State wants to get out to an early lead and then control the clock. Only four teams in all of college football have a better average time of possession than K-State.
All of that is obviously easier said than done, but it could ultimately decide if the Jayhawks can notch their second win in a row.
Rest of Big 12 spreads for Week 10
West Virginia at Baylor (-17.5)
My pick: West Virginia covers
TCU at Oklahoma State (-3.5)
My pick: TCU covers