The BYU Cougars play their first Big 12 conference football game when they head to Lawrence for a matchup with the Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday afternoon.
College football odds have the Cougars as 8.5-point underdogs with a total of 55 points when the two sides meet at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.
Read more as I break down my best college football picks for BYU vs. Kansas on Saturday, September 23.
BYU vs Kansas best odds
BYU vs Kansas and predictions
This will be a difficult game for BYU to win, but they have a good football team with a solid defense and an offense that’s just starting to gel under USC transfer quarterback Kedon Slovis.
Slovis has thrown for over 10,000 yards with 74 TDs for USC, Pittsburgh, and BYU. He’s slung it for 660 yards with six scoring strikes, with eight different receivers hauling in passes in last week’s come-from-behind victory at Arkansas. Slovis has three receivers with over 100 receiving yards and is taking snaps behind an offensive line allowing one sack per contest.
Frosh running back LJ Martin scampered for 77 yards with a pair of TDs in last week's win over Arkansas and has 195 rushing yards on the season. He’ll handle most of the rushing duties Saturday against a Kansas defense that's allowing 119 rushing yards per game.
Kansas allows the 59th-most points amongst their FBS peers. The defense has yielded 273 yards per game with 152 passing yards, but they've yet to meet an offense with the firepower Slovis and the Cougars bring.
The Jayhawks are averaging 500 yards of offense and 37.7 points per game (21st in the nation). Junior quarterback Jalon Daniels has completed 75% of his passes for 575 yards and a pair of TDs while adding another 20 yards on the ground.
He has five teammates with 100+ receiving yards, but the big weapon for Kansas is the tandem of running backs Devin Neal and Daniel Hishaw Jr. Neal has 303 rushing yards with five TDs with Hishaw contributing 175 yards and three scores.
BYU allowed 177 rushing yards last week to Arkansas, and I expect the Jayhawks to attack the Cougars on the ground Saturday. That may result in some yardage, but BYU has been able to get stops when needed and is allowing just one rushing score per game.
The Cougars’ passing defense has allowed just two scoring strikes this season, and Daniels won’t find it easy throwing into the end zone against BYU.
Finally, the BYU offense is starting to take shape and Slovis is as good a passer as there is in the college game. The Kansas defense hasn’t faced someone like Slovis yet this season and I believe they can keep up enough to cover the spread.
My best bet: BYU +8.5 (-110 at PointsBet)
Picks made at time of writing may not reflect live odds.
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BYU vs Kansas same-game parlay
I believe the Cougars will cover the +8.5, but beating Kansas at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium is a different story.
Kansas is 4-1 over their past five and 2-0 this season at home thus far. The Jayhawks have outscored their opponents at home 82-40 and while I expect a tight contest, I’m backing the home team to win outright.
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BYU vs Kansas spread and Over/Under analysis
I’m happy to take the 8.5 points and roll with BYU to cover, but here are some additional notes for Saturday’s Big 12 contest.
Slovis has accounted for nine of the Cougars 13 TDs this season — three with his feet and six through the air. He’s only been sacked three times, but all three were against Arkansas. Kansas averages three sacks per game this season.
BYU is 10-10 inside the red zone and has scored nine TDs with one field goal — one of just 18 teams to score on every visit inside the 20-yard line this season. The Jayhawks allow three red zone scores per game (TDs and FGs) thus far.
Cougars punter Ryan Rehkow has landed seven of his 21 punts inside the 20-yard line, with 11 punts traveling over 50 yards.
The Kansas defense boasts the nation's sixth-best 28 tackles for a loss this season and is tops in the Big 12. The defense has also accounted for nine sacks this season and meets an O-line allowing one sack per game.
BYU vs Kansas betting trend to know
The Cougars are 6-1 against the spread in their last seven conference games. Find more college football betting trends for BYU vs. Kansas.
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BYU vs Kansas game info
|Location:||David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, Lawrence, KS|
|Date:||Saturday, September 23, 2023|
|Kickoff:||3:30 p.m. ET|
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