College Football Betting:  Kansas at Baylor&h=253&w=372&zc=1

This game has every indication of being a complete mismatch and the bloated pointspread clearly suggests that. A mistake that neophyte sports bettors make is to assume that there’s never any value with the favorite at this price point and a huge line necessitates that you play the dog or pass. That’s completely untrue. Value can be found up and down the pointspread continuum and realizing that is an important part of becoming an expert handicapper. Another mistake made by beginning handicappers is to consider only the game itself and not the myriad contextual factors like motivation, scheduling, public perception and countless other variables.

This matchup between 1-4 Kansas and 5-0 Baylor may look like an insignificant mismatch to the uninitiated but in might be a ‘perfect storm’ of situational factors favoring the Bears. The ‘public’ has a tendency to overreact to recency and that’s easy to do here. Kansas is off their first cover of the year against FBS opposition losing by 1 at TCU as a +30.5 point underdog. That result has more to do with a lack of focus by the Horned Frogs which combined with their mediocre defense created the conditions for a stinker against a doormat. Baylor, meanwhile, is off a stinker of their own winning by 3 as -17.5 favorites at Iowa State. The Bears haven’t shown much of a ‘killer instinct’ this year with a 1-4 ATS record.

There’s a confluence of these two outcomes and the circumstances surrounding them that sets this game up as a Baylor ‘kill spot’. Jim Grobe wasn’t the least bit happy with the Bears’ performance at Iowa State and has been giving them ‘the business’ ever since. With Baylor off a bye, that means they’ve been reminded of their unfocused and underachieving effort for two weeks now. And due to a strange scheduling situation they’ll have two weeks off *after* this game before a road game at Texas. This means that Baylor will not only give their full focus to Kansas but will be looking to atone for their shabby showing against Iowa State. The public may be misconstruing the Kansas/TCU result as a ‘buy’ sign on the Jayhawks. As we noted above, that had more to do with TCU than Kansas. The Jayhawks are 9-19 ATS over the last three years, 7-17 ATS as a dog, 2-10 ATS on the road, 8-16 ATS on turf, 7-13 ATS in Big 12 play and 0-8 SU/2-6 ATS as a road dog of +21.5 points. Teams that have been this awful against the spread can be very profitable once they finally start to turn things around but don’t make the mistake of thinking that the Jayhawks are in this category.

Baylor has been a mediocre pointspread team in recent years with breakeven records in most situations. Their games against Kansas have been the exception. The Bears are on a 9-3 SU/7-5 ATS run overall against Kansas and on a 6-0 SU/4-2 ATS run at home. They won in Lawrence last year 66-7, won at home in 2014 60-14, won in Lawrence in 2013 59-14 and won at home 41-14 in 2012. They’ve demolished the Jayhawks as a matter of course winning 4 straight ATS in the series and 3 straight ATS at home. This year, they’ve got a big target on Kansas’ back and a perfect scheduling situation for a massacre.