Game time: 3:30 p.m. ET, Sept. 18, 2021
Venue: David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, Lawrence, KS
Where to watch: Big 12 Network, ESPN+
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Baylor -18; O/U 49.5; Baylor -1000, Kansas +650
BetMGM: Baylor -18; O/U 49.5; Baylor -1250, Kansas +625
Caesars: Baylor -18; O/U 49.5; Baylor -1000, Kansas +650
The opening of the 2021 football season marked Larry Ness’ 38th year as a professional handicapper. He's off to a solid start, going 15-9 with all CFB and NFL regular season releases. "The winning continues" on Saturday with Larry's 10* Group of 5 Game of the Month. Catch Larry’s and other plays available right now at the Shop Picks page, where you can find all of the Best Bets from our champion sports handicappers.
Baylor - Kansas preview and analysis
Baylor: won 66-7 vs. Texas Southern on Sept. 11
Kansas: lost 49-22 vs. No. 17 Coastal Carolina on Sept. 10
If only this were a college basketball game.
Not on this night. The Baylor Bears are likely to roll the Kansas Jayhawks in another football contest for another season, and there should be no doubt that they should roll in this one.
The Bears have won 16 of the 20 meetings all-time and have won 11 straight times over the Jayhawks. Not only has Baylor won, but the Bears have dominated by an average score of 49-10 in the last nine meetings.
While it should be applauded that the Jayhawks were hanging with the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers last week -- and only failed to cover because catching a football is a foreign concept in Lawrence, Kansas -- Kansas football is still nowhere near to being considered serious.
Baylor’s defense has taken care of business through two wins, holding teams to 258 yards per game. That number is skewed a bit due to a dominant 66-7 win last week against Texas Southern, while also holding Texas State to 20 points and 235 yards.
It’s not Allen Fieldhouse, so it’s not a daunting task to go to Kansas and win a game. The key is will the strong Jayhawks defense keep things close enough for a potential cover upset? Kansas held CCU to only 460 yards, but the Chanticleers still put up 49 points. Kansas’ defense might not be ready to contain the Baylor ground game that has had three players combine for five 100-yard games already.
The matchups have been lopsided, and you shouldn’t expect anything different in this one. Baylor is going to win this one straight up, and should cover easily, but keep in mind how the home games in Lawrence have dictated the wins for Kansas in this series (Bears are 6-4 at Kansas). This one shouldn’t be a problem and the momentum will continue. Bears win by 24
Baylor is 3-3 against the spread as a road favorite in its last six, but is 5-1 SU.
Kansas is 1-6 ATS in September the past seven games.
The Jayhawks are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 home games.
Players to watch
Baylor: R.J. Sneed is the other playmaker that Kansas needs to atone for. The wide receiver has caught only eight receptions but for 132 yards, averaging a team-high 16.5 yards per game.
Kansas: Jason Bean is the entire Kansas offense. The quarterback is the leading passer and rusher for the Jayhawks. He had 291 total yards but was sacked five times. If he stays clean, Kansas can hang around.
Passing: Gerry Bohanon -- 395 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: Trestan Ebner -- 245 yards; Abram Smith -- 244 yards, 4 TD
Receiving: Tyquan Thornton -- 149 yards, 2 TD
Defense: Terrel Bernard -- 16 tackles, 1 sack
Passing: Jason Bean -- 352 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: Jason Bean -- 156 yards, 2 TD
Receiving: Kwamie Lassiter II -- 97 yards
Defense: Kyron Johnson -- 14 tackles, 1.5 sacks
Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert football picks today. And if you enjoyed this Baylor Bears - Kansas Jayhawks prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily NCAA projections and previews.