NCAA Football: Kansas Jayhawks vs Duke Blue Devils Broncos Prediction, Odds and Preview - 09/25/2021

by James Q

NCAA Football: Kansas Jayhawks vs Duke Blue Devils Broncos Prediction, Odds and Preview - 09/25/2021

Game Time: 4:00 pm ET, Saturday, September 25th, 2021 
Venue: Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, North Carolina
Where to Watch: ACC Network

Opening NCAAF Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings:  Spread: Duke -16:  O/U: 57.5
BetMGM:  Spread:  Duke -16:  O/U: 57.5
Caesars:  Spread: Duke -16.5:  O/U: 57.5

Season Record

Kansas: 1-2 (Big 12)
Duke:  2-1 (ACC)

I wait all year long for this matchup… Kansas vs Duke!  I get drinks and snacks, I call old friends and place side bets, I visit an overweight, short tempered, gentleman with a deeply Italian name and place my real bet.  Then I just wait for tip-off… wait this is football?  Kansas vs Duke FOOTBALL?... Can I make money off that too?

The Kansas Jayhawks opened their football season with a tightly contested slugfest against South Dakota.  Kansas came away with the win 17-14.  The good feelings didn’t last long; they got beat handily by Coastal Carolina 49-22 in Game 2.  Game 3 offered no relief, Baylor hit them hard and didn’t let up, final score 45-7. Kansas comes into game 4 against Duke with 2 losses on their record and 16 point underdogs.

The Duke Blue Devils lost a close one in their opener against Charlotte 31-28.  Game 2 brought the North Carolina A&T Aggies, giving Duke a big, easy win, 45-17.  In Game 3 Duke hosted Northwestern and had all they could handle, but came away with the win 30-23.  

This matchup won’t be mistaken for Alabama vs Georgia anytime soon, but it is very intriguing.  These schools are wonderfully matched.  Duke seems to have the momentum from winning their last two games and being the home team.  Kansas comes into the match up listing from 2 losses in a row, knowing they haven’t won a road game since 2019… yet they have played tougher competition so far. 

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Jayhawks vs Blue Devils Preview and Analysis. 

Offensive Analysis 

Kansas is last in the Big 12 in offense.  They are scoring a paltry 15.3 points per game, getting a low, low 274.3 yards per game.  QB Jason Beane does it all… or does it most.  Jason leads the team in passing yards 409 and rushing yards 218 and he has thrown zero interceptions.  RB Devin Neal doesn’t get the rock very often with only 22 carries over 3 games.  WR Kwamie Lester and WR Luke Grimm have combined for 211 yards on the season… They both must run routes hoping Jason Bean actually throws the ball instead of tucking. Until Jason starts finding receivers, they will need a near perfect ground game.

Duke is 3rd in the ACC in yards per game 523.7, 4th in the ACC in passing 287 yards per game, 2nd in the ACC in rushing yards per game 236.7. … They score 34.3 points per game.  Offense is definitely the strength.  Behind QB Gunnar Holmberg, RB Mataeo Durant, WR Jake Bobo and WR Jalon Calhoun… the offense is potent.  And they need to be.

Defensive Analysis

Kansas is also last in the Big 12 in defense.  They give up 36 points per game, they give up 229 yards rushing per game, they give up 204 passing yards per game.  They give it up.  But are they awful or are they a team that has been on the receiving end of two blow-outs in the first three games?

Duke is not as good on defense as they are on offense.  On defense they aren’t top five in the ACC in anything.  They are actually tenth.  Duke gives up 386.3 yards per game and 23.7 points per game.  They have a poor pass rush that gives opposing quarterbacks extra time in the pocket, coverage breaks down and they end up giving away 213.3 passing yards per game.


Kansas vs Duke Prediction 

Our prediction for Saturday, September 12th is… Duke 27 - Kansas 20


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NCAAF Betting Trends

The Blue Devils have turned the ball over five times.
Duke has two wins ATS in three games this year.
Kansas is 0-3 ATS this season.
The O/U mark of 58 is 8 points higher than the two teams' average score added together.
Duke ranks 11th in FBS in yards per game.

Key Injuries


Players to Watch

Duke: Mataeo Durant.  Is he a running back or receiver?  This Blue Devil gets yards and touchdowns anyway they come.  You’ll ant to watch mataeo he’ll be the one all over the field.

Kansas:  WR Quentin Skinner.  This offense has been shut down for the most part, maybe it is time to send this 6’4 speedster down one side and send the ball his way.


Notable Quotes

“The day that I’m in the car and I’m headed in here,....and I think I’m actually going to work and I don’t want to go,I probably will pull the car over, call them and say `Here’s where the car is, y’all can come and get it. I’m done.’ I’ve not ever felt that way. Nor has my family. I don’t have anybody pulling me, hey, this, this or this. So that’s the honest answer to that.” Duke coach David Cutcliffe.

Starting Lineups

Expected starters on the roster:  

Kansas:  QB Jason Bean, RB Devin Neal, TE Mason Fairchild, WR Trevor Wilson, WR Steven McBride, Kwamie Lassiter, LT Earl Bostick, LG Malik Clark, C Mike Novitsky, RG Michael Ford Jr, RT Bruce Cabeldue

Duke:  Gunnar Holmberg, RB Mataeo Durant, TE Jake Marwede, WR Jake Bobo, WR Eli Pancol, WR Jalon Calhoun, LT Graham Barton, LG Maurice McIntyre, C Jack Wohlbaugh, RG Jacob Monk, RT John Gelotte


Statistical Leaders 

Passing:  Gunnar Holmberg  812 yards
Rushing:  Mataeo Durant  398 yards
Receiving: Jake Bobo  280 yards

Passing:  Jason Bean  409
Rushing:  Jason Bean  218
Receiving: Kwamie Lassiter  111
Tackles:  Kenny Logan JR
Receptions :  Kwamie Lassiter 11


Kansas:  Head Coach Lance Leopold, new coach having a rough time so far, beaten up by a football schedule that was made before he was the coach.
Duke:  David Cutcliffe, there is always retirement talk with Coach… but he’ll hang in there until someone has the guts to fire him. Unless he has a good college football season

Weather Forecast

Mostly Sunny.  High of 77* Humidity 60%.


James Q

About the Author:

James Q. has been involved with sports and gambling his entire life. A former division 1 scholarship basketball player, James understands sports (and especially basketball) inside-and-out. Following his basketball playing days, James parlayed his gambling skills into a semi-pro poker career. James resides in Los Angeles, and especially loves the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Rams, and Los Angeles Dodgers. And when he isn't betting on sports (and writing about it), James can be found performing stand-up comedy on the Sunset Strip.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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