Over/under win totals released, KU projected to finish last in Big 12


Kansas head coach Les Miles talks with quarterbacks and running backs during football practice on Wednesday, March 6, 2019 within the new indoor practice facility.

Kansas head coach Les Miles talks with quarterbacks and running backs during football practice on Wednesday, March 6, 2019 within the new indoor practice facility. by Nick Krug

Why is FanDuel giving away money?

That was my first thought when FanDuel Sportsbook released 2019 win totals for a majority of the FBS teams on Tuesday. I immediately scrolled to the team I cover to see what the number was. And, I must admit, I was shocked.

Kansas opened with a 3.5 over/under win total for the 2019 season, which marks the first year under Les Miles. It has since been dropped to 3.0, as the under is +102 and the over is -120.

I’m less confident that FanDuel is giving away money with the updated odds, because a push with three wins is a likely outcome. If a bettor got the original odds, however, then the under seemed far too easy.

With Miles at the helm, there is undoubtedly more buzz around the program than in recent memory.

But buzz doesn’t always mean success, especially not at first. Based on the current roster, and historical data, it is hard to imagine the Jayhawks winning four or more games. At the very least, it would be tough to put a significant amount of money on them doing so.

For starters, KU hasn’t accomplished that feat since 2009 when the team went 5-7. That is nine consecutive seasons of the Jayhawks winning three or fewer games, so it would be tough to bet on any coach breaking that trend in his first year.

Miles won four games in his first year at Oklahoma State in 2001, but the team had just three consecutive losing seasons before he took over. The Cowboys only lost more than six games once in those three years as well.

To top it off, Kansas will have more roster turnover than last season. The Jayhawks return just 10 starters, five on each side of the ball. As a result, a pair of prominent college football insiders predicted that KU would match its win total from 2018.

In his preseason magazine, Phil Steele projected Kansas to finish 10th in the Big 12 with a 3-9 record. Steele ranked the Kansas running backs as the team’s best unit, which was listed sixth out of 10 teams. No other positional group is ranked higher than eighth by Steele.

Bill Connelly recently moved to ESPN from SB Nation. His final story for SB Nation was a preview for KU, in which he projected a 3-9 clip with an 107th overall S&P+ ranking.

According to S&P+, the Jayhawks have a 72% win probability against Indiana State and a 64% win probability against Coastal Carolina. KU’s next-highest win probability is against Kansas State, and that is just 23%.

Both Connelly and Steele tend to know they are talking about, so I’d trust them when it comes to putting down any sort of money on win totals. With the updated odds, I’d prefer to stay away completely since three wins seems reasonable.

If I had to bet, though, I’d take the under.

Big 12 win totals

Oklahoma: 10.5 (Over -130, Under +112)

Texas: 9.5 (Over +102, Under -120)

Iowa State: 8 (Over +106, Under -124)

TCU: 7.5 (Over -120, Under +102)

Baylor: 7 (Over -156, Under +132)

Oklahoma State: 6.5 (Over -130, Under +110)

Texas Tech: 6.5 (Over +116, Under -136)

Kansas State: 5.5 (Over -108, Under -108)

West Virginia: 5 (Over -146, Under +124)

Kansas: 3 (Over -120, Under +102)


Michael Sillman 3 years, 3 months ago

Sports prognosticators will never be able to call the turnaround of a program like Kansas ahead of time. None of them would ever have the guts to buck historical trends. It’s much easier to pile on with some clever trash talk like Connelly.

We Kansas fans have to hope that this group of coaches will be able to develop a bunch of overachievers and perhaps reach that stretch goal of four wins in the coming season.

Dirk Medema 3 years, 3 months ago

To Connelly's defense, it is not about guts or anything like that. IIRC, his schtick is entirely based around some analytics. How many players are lost from the last team, recruiting classes, ... What I don't think he takes into consideration is the number of players we've had in the past 5 years who were not counted as part of a recruiting class. I think he does talk about/factor in coaching changes, but I don't remember how. That would seem to be a pretty big change/upgrade in our case. Not so much for the others.

Armen Kurdian 3 years, 3 months ago

I think you'll figure that out pretty quick based on Coach Miles' first set of postgame comments. It will set a tone for the season.

Jim Stauffer 3 years, 3 months ago

While these guys can back up their predictions with the old adage the best prediction of the future is a look at the past, they also must admit that teams do eventually turn things around and the first year they make a change in their record is always a surprise statistically. No doubt the wise pick is 3 but there are factors that lead one to believe more than three could easily happen. Beaty won three last year with Peyton Bender at QB running a very ineffective offensive plan. Miles and Koenning are both very experienced coaches. I would expect them to get more out of similar material that Coach Beaty did.

Ryan Ferree 3 years, 3 months ago

Maybe its just me but with the players we had last year, with a competent coach we probably win what 5 games? We won 3 and lost another 3 by less then 7 points. Not saying we go bowling this year but wining 4-5 games and being more competitive in the rest is not that crazy of a possibility.

Go Jayhawks! Lets bring back the thunder to memorial!

John Joseph Gorski 3 years, 3 months ago

Just to build on what you said, Three of the League teams we have at home have new coaches as well.

Dirk Medema 3 years, 3 months ago

It hurts that BC is one of our non-cons and seems to be rolling strong, but John has a great point about the other teams predicted to be at the bottom coming to Lawrence with new coaches. Makes a W a much better possibility.

Brett McCabe 3 years, 3 months ago

Ryan, here's the key: The Jayhawks return just 10 starters. So, we aren't returning much from that team.

Jim Stauffer 3 years, 3 months ago

The only area where talent concerns me is the interior of the DL. Our numbers are not good there. Incidentally, BC is a team that loves to run the ball. I believe this kind of team will be difficult for us until the interior DL is restocked. We will need to win 2 conference games to get to 4 IMO.

Dale Rogers 3 years, 3 months ago

We shouldn't forget the conference we play in. It's not easy to win in the Big12, especially when we're starting at the bottom. For this season, I'll be happy with 4 wins and look competitive in the rest. Should we win 4, I'll be ecstatic. I just hope our doomsayer posters don't lose hope when we don't win 4 or 5 games this first season.

Eric Eakins 3 years, 3 months ago

I'll take the over. My guess is last years team under Miles leadership would've had 5 wins. Our talent matches close to the other bottom 3 in the conference so it comes down to development, planning and execution.

David Kemp 3 years, 3 months ago

2 huge factors playing into this are coaching and fact that Bender was the worst an on the planet and only occasionally looked better because of the talents of Pooka. I say 4 is achievable but may require 3 noncon wins

Bryce Landon 3 years, 3 months ago

Meanwhile, FanDuel has the over-under on Iowa's win total at 8.

I think I'll stick with my Hawkeyes.


Michael Maris 3 years, 3 months ago

No one really cares about your Iowa Hawkeyes. Everyone who regularly post on here knows that you are a fair weather fan. Just don't be changing your tune when the Jayhawks do start winning again.

Joe Ross 3 years, 3 months ago

Why doesn't this site consider giving us the option to block some people like on facebook?

I could tune out the idiocy of Bryce Landon and Jay Scott.

I mean, NOBODY CARES Bryce! You're the emporer with no clothes (you should be embarrassed but evidently don't have the sense to know you should). Shove off if you're a turncoat. Nobody will miss you. #reality

Dirk Medema 3 years, 3 months ago

David - If we go to BC and win, it will completely change the trajectory of the program and some will start talking about bowling then be pissed if we don’t make it.

David Kemp 3 years, 3 months ago

Agree. Key to season is BC game and all this as Steve Corder states depends on an emerging qb AND Pooka magic

Steve Corder 3 years, 3 months ago

All hinges on the QB play, the big unknown!

Brett McCabe 3 years, 3 months ago

The schedule smiles on us, but will that be enough?

I anticipate that the staff will create an offense to fit our QB's, so I believe we will at least be serviceable at the position. I won't be shocked to see Stanley emerge as the starter, simply because he knows the pace and competitive level of the league. And he's a tough competitor.

The Battle of Chestnut Hill looms large.

Mark Wooden 3 years, 3 months ago

Picking a QB and sticking with them is a start.

Jim Stauffer 3 years, 3 months ago

I believe the major accomplishment this year will be finding a QB who can comprehend the offense we decide to run and operate it effectively. I believe Tory Locklin is our most talented QB. Whether he will get the opportunity this year, we will have to wait to see, but he can really operate the RPO that Dearmon prefers.

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