Kansas vs. Baylor Odds & Picks: Defenses Expected to Shine in Waco

Kansas vs. Baylor Odds & Picks: Defenses Expected to Shine in Waco article feature image

Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Qualan Jones (Baylor)

  • The Kansas Jayhawks and Baylor Bears meet in a Big 12 college football matchup in Week 8.
  • The Bears enter as double-digit favorites, according to updated odds, but we see betting value on the over/under.
  • Check out Kody Malstrom's full betting guide and pick for Kansas vs. Baylor below.

Kansas vs. Baylor Odds

Saturday, Oct. 22
12 p.m. ET
Kansas Odds
-105o / -115u
Baylor Odds
-105o / -115u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

After a 5-0 start that led to Kansas captivating the nation and being ranked in the top 25, the Jayhawks have now dropped two in a row, losing to TCU and Oklahoma.

Success has been hard to come by for the Jayhawks over the past few weeks, as they've dealt with both a quarterback injury and a horrific defense. Success may be tough again, as Kansas enters this game as a touchdown underdog.

After being pegged as one of the favorites to win the Big 12, Baylor has immensely disappointed. The Bears are just 3-3 after a loss to West Virginia.

With both of these Big 12 squads reeling, this week serves as a must-win should either team want a puncher's chance at reaching the Big 12 title game.

Kansas Jayhawks

While the undefeated dream was fun for the first five weeks, Kansas has been exposed, and the outlook isn't looking pretty.

The defense has serious issues, and that was on full display against Oklahoma. After conceding 52 points to a reeling Sooners squad, Kansas will have to find answers fast.

This is a unit that is below average in nearly every metric on the defensive side of the ball. The Jayhawks limit extended plays with an elite PFF Tackling grade, but still give up yards at an alarming rate.

Until the defense can figure it out, the Jayhawks will need to rely on the success of their offense to get wins. Even with Jalon Daniels going down, this offense has not skipped a beat, as Jason Bean brings more of a downfield presence with his rocket arm.

He will be poised for another big game as he tries to take advantage of a Baylor secondary that ranks 87th in Defensive Pass Success. Baylor will be hard pressed to limit this passing attack, as Kansas spreads it around with four pass catchers over double-digit receptions and 200+ yards each.

Baylor Bears

After winning the Big 12 Championship last year, Baylor has grossly disappointed this season.

A major reason for the drop off is a lack of production on defense, mainly in defending the pass. Opposing offenses have been able to throw all over this secondary and put points on the board, as Baylor ranks 77th in Defensive Finishing Drives.

The Bears have also been vulnerable to prolonged drives because of their inability to make the open-field tackle, as they rank 66th in the nation in tackling, per PFF.

Like Kansas, Baylor has had to rely on the success of its offense to stay alive in games. After the injury to Blake Shapen — who is questionable to return for this matchup — backup Kyron Drones did a respectable job.

Even if Shapen doesn't suit up, the Baylor offense will have plenty of opportunities to show out against a Kansas defense that is below average in every defensive metric.

We may see Baylor lean more towards the run — a unit that ranks 19th in Rushing Success Rate — to limit Kansas' possessions on the other end.

Kansas vs. Baylor Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Kansas and Baylor match up statistically:

Kansas Offense vs. Baylor Defense
Rush Success6318
Line Yards6125
Pass Success1287
Pass Blocking**2543
Finishing Drives2377
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Baylor Offense vs. Kansas Defense
Rush Success19109
Line Yards46100
Pass Success29104
Pass Blocking**2183
Finishing Drives1868
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling1866
PFF Coverage8332
SP+ Special Teams10767
Seconds per Play28.7 (113)26.3 (66)
Rush Rate59.7% (22)56.0% (48)
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Kansas vs. Baylor Betting Pick

While Kansas was a feel-good story early in the season, I think its struggles are going to continue. But that's not enough for me to take the points with Baylor in any capacity.

Instead, I think we are due for an ugly one as both backups duel it out.

While both defensive units are poor, the open-fielding tackling and run-heavy scripts may just be enough to bleed out the clock and allow this under to hit.

If we can get Baylor to generate some Havoc against this high-powered Kansas offense, we will be in good position to cash this under.

Take the under at no lower than 58 for a half unit.

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