The Baylor Bears welcome the Kansas Jayhawks into Waco on Saturday afternoon for what will be the Big XII opener for both sides. Each team comes into the contest sporting identical 2-1 records, but the moods in the opposing locker rooms are decidedly different at this point. Kansas is riding a two-game winning streak and coming off of a blowout victory over Rutgers, while Baylor gave up 40 points in a home loss to Duke. The Bears lead the all-time series 13-4 and have won eight straight, including last year’s 38-9 victory in Lawrence.
Kansas Coming Around
This is not your father’s Kansas Jayhawks. They certainly looked to be to start the season though. KU came out an laid an egg in the season opener, dropping an overtime contest to FCS school Nichols, 26-23. They followed that up with a convincing road win over Central Michigan, 31-7, which honestly for Kansas, was unexpected. What was even more unexpected was a 41-point win last weekend over the state university of New Jersey.
It was the first time that the Jayhawks have recorded back to back wins over FBS opponents since 2009. Yes, you read that right. They had not recorded consecutive wins against the top level in college football in nine years. They had six takeaways for the second consecutive game and are at 13 for the season after only recording nine all season last year.
This is the teams first 2-1 start in 2014 and they are averaging over 36 points a game through the three contests. Baylor’s defense is not exactly the ’85 Bears and they are giving up nearly 30 points a game. If KU can get things rolling offensively then the possibility of a 3-1 start is a real possibility.
Baylor Ready to the Bury the Past
After so much scandal off the field, the Bears are ready to do their talking on it, and no offense to the Jayhawks, but the perennial Big XII doormat is pretty much just what the doctor ordered for such an occasion. After a one-point victory over Kansas in 2011, the closest Baylor has allowed KU to get since then is 27 points in 2012, and includes last year’s disaster of a season.
This season started well enough with a 55-27 win over Abilene Christian followed by a 17 point win on the road over the Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners, but in the first test of the young season, the could not handle a Duke Blue Devil side that is not exactly known for its football prowess. As a matter of fact, the contest was never even really competitive and by halftime, the Bears trailed 23-0. Charlie Brewer (pictured) and Jalan Mclendon split time at quarterback throwing for a combined 270 yards with McClendon having a touchdown and interception on the ledger. Unfortunately, those two players were also the top two rushers on the team, with Brewer going for two scores in that department. The next closest back was JaMycal Hasty who had 13 yards on four carries.
The team is averaging 500 yards a game with 328 of those coming through the air, but the Kansas defense is allowing less than 300 per contest and just 147 passing per contest. If the Bears can have success throwing the ball then it should be another long day for the Jayhawks.
- 3-8-1 ATS in their last 12 games in September.
- 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
- 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games on grass.
- 0-5 ATS in their last 5 home games.
- 12-3 ATS in their last 15 games after allowing less than 275 total yards in their previous game.
- 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Something about this game just feels different. Yes, it is Kansas and they always have the potential to disappoint you, but scoring 55 points against another Power 5 team is nothing to shake a stick at, even if it was Rutgers. Baylor looked awful against Duke and are giving up 7.5 points here. With that touchdown cushion for the Jayhawks, it is really hard not to take KU here. Hurry up and jump on it while you are getting more than a touchdown.
Prediction: Pick: Kansas +7.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Kansas has their offense on form and Baylor is not the Bears of old. They are giving up 30 points a game and the Jayhawks will take advantage. KU has hit the over 10 times in their last 11 games while the Bears have done it in their last four outings. Expect these trends to continue come Saturday.
Prediction: Over 56