Kansas vs. UNLV odds, props, predictions: Can high-flying offenses hit lofty total in Guaranteed Rate Bowl?

The Guaranteed Rate Bowl in Phoenix would have been a fine stage for the high-flying offenses of Kansas and UNLV to show off one last time for their fans, and a national ESPN television audience.

The Rebels (9-4) average 33.5 points against FBS foes, which is 22nd in the land. At 32.3, the Jayhawks (8-4) rate 26th.

UNLV also went 10-3 against the spread this season, the third-best cover team in the country. And they covered the number at better than a touchdown (7.3 points) per game. KU was 7-5 ATS.

Entertainment should have been the order of the day in the bowl that kicks off Tuesday at 9 p.m. inside the Chase Field dome.

However, spreading across the desert from Southern Nevada to Central Arizona is a scarlet-and-gray mirage.

UNLV coach Barry Odom has rightfully earned national coach-of-the-year consideration, and it has stars at quarterback, receiver and kicker. Offensive coordinator Brennan Marion’s Go-Go Offense, from D.C., sparkled.

In the end, though, it fizzled, and the Rebels lost a golden shot at a Mountain West Conference crown in their own shiny new dome when Boise State pummeled them.

Kansas remains steady, with a 26th-ranked points-per-play margin of 0.136 over the season that improves, to 0.182, over its past three games.

While the Jayhawks have gradually improved, the Rebels have stalled. They had a top-50 0.066 PPP margin that spirals to -0.108 over the last three times they’ve suited up.

Worse, for UNLV, the status of super freshman quarterback Jayden Maiava, up for national rookie QB of the season in some quarters, is murky.

Rumors had him zipping into the transfer portal, but it hadn’t happened as these words were being typed. Thing is, our action on this game is set whether Maiava plays or not.

Kansas vs. UNLV odds: Point spread, moneyline, total

Here are the latest college football betting odds for the Jayhawks vs. Rebels:

Kansas betting news: Expect Neal to pace powerful ground game

The Jayhawks lost standout QB Jalen Daniels early to a back injury, which gave 6-foot-3, 200-pound junior Jason Bean enough time to navigate his way in the cockpit.

Bean began his career at North Texas, and in Lawrence, Kan., he found himself mostly in a reserve role when the Jayhawks discovered the dynamic Daniels.

It’s poetic, then, that he gets this prestigious Tuesday night spotlight.

Bean threw for 410 yards in a loss at Oklahoma State, and KU won the final three games in which he both started and finished. In that trio, he threw three TD passes and ran for three scores.

What we especially like about the Hawks is the 753 yards, and nine TDs, they racked up on the ground in their final three games. They turned a 61% run frequency, ninth in the land, up to 66% in those three.

The sparkplug is Devin Neal, a 5-11, 210-pound junior who carried the pigskin 47 times in that trio for 381 yards and six touchdowns.

Moreover, this is a flimsy part of UNLV’s defense. It yielded 4.3 yards per run during the season, but over its past three games that blew up to 5.7 yards, among the 20 worst rush defenses in the country.

Bean ran four times for 90 yards, and two TDs, in KU’s 49-16 romp at Cincinnati in the regular-season finale.

Related: Latest college football bowl odds | Best college football betting bonuses

UNLV betting news: An entertaining offense skidded off the rails late

The Rebels showed remarkable resilience at Air Force on Nov. 18, beating the Falcons as 3-point underdogs. But the more-than-mile-high elevation of Colorado Springs seems to have zapped UNLV.

It was favored by a point when San Jose State visited in a tilt with title-game ramifications. The Spartans outgained the Rebels in yardage, 482-411, and won, 37-31.

Somehow, San Jose was left out of the league championship game, as determined by four funky computers.

Boise State flew to Vegas and left no doubt, slapping the 2-point-underdog Rebels, 44-20. The Broncos rang up 527 total yards of offense to UNLV’s 298, its lowest output since accumulating 229 in a 35-7 second-week defeat at Michigan.

Junior receiver Ricky White finished fourth in the nation with 1,384 reception yards against FBS foes. He had seven triple-figure yardage games, and had recorded five in a row until that Boise debacle.

He caught six Maiava passes for 86 yards, none for TDs, against the Broncos. He failed to score in three of his final four games.

So after two weeks off, the Rebels will all of a sudden click with a week of drills in preparation for Phoenix? We don’t think so, with or without Maiava.

More bowl previews: Quick Lane Bowl odds | First Responder Bowl

Players opting out of the Guaranteed Rate Bowl

The following Kansas players won’t be available for the Guaranteed Rate Bowl because of transfer or opt out:

  • OL Bryce Cabeldue
  • OL Michale Ford Jr.

UNLV will be without the following players because of transfer or opt out:

  • S Cameren Jenkins

Kansas vs. UNLV props

Player props for the Guaranteed Rate Bowl are hard to find, but BetMGM is offering some game props, including first quarter and first half lines.

  • First quarter: Kansas -3.5 (-115); UNLV +3.5 (-115)
  • First Half: Kansas -7 (-115); UNLV +7 (-115)

Kansas vs. UNLV prediction ATS

We envision an effective and electric Jayhawks running game to set the tone early and throughout the Guaranteed Rate Bowl against a porous UNLV run defense.

A fantastic Rebels offensive scheme completely unraveled toward the end of the season, as if the clock struck midnight to turn the Go-Go into the No-No.

We opt for the Under to guard against, say, a Jacob De Jesus punt return or long pass to Ricky White for a late backdoor spread cover by -point underdog UNLV. 



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *