The Kansas Jayhawks are 3-0 for the first time since 2009 and are now 7-point favorites at home to Duke in Week 4. This is a Kansas team that has only been favored twice in the past two seasons, with 0 -2 ATS in those games. However, in none of those games was quarterback Jalon Daniels the starter.
Public perception: It’s the Jayhawks. This hot streak must surely come to an end. At least that’s how I interpret the line move, with the opening spread dropping from 9 to 7 – ending 1-1 – but I only like a single favorite this week.
Why you should support the Jayhawks -7 in week 4
It’s duke. The Blue Devils also have a 3-0 streak for the first time since Week 2 of last season and that included a 52-33 win over Kansas in late September. Daniels did not play in that matchup and Duke lost eight in a row to finish the season 3-9.
Last year Duke went 0-5 SU and ATS on the road, losing by an average of 30 points while beating 210-59. But with a 3-0 ‘record’ this must be an improved team, right? You could, yes, but as always you can’t just look at the scores or the win-loss record and forget it. The details are important.
The Blue Devils have so far beaten an FCS team, Northwestern and Temple — two offenses that were 113th and 126th last year with two defenses that were 113th and 86th respectively in the FBS. In those five road losses last season, Duke’s hasty defense allowed 297 yards (7.2 yards per rush) in a 48-17 loss to Virginia Tech and 266 rushing yards (6.3 yards per rush) in a 45-7 loss to Wake forest.
Statistics can certainly be misleading this early in the season. Currently, Duke has a top-10 run defense through two FBS games. But those adversaries, Temple and Northwestern, were 112th and 84th in the haste last year; this year it is 124th and 77th respectively.
The power of schemas is incomparable. Daniels and this attack in Kansas have faced tougher opponents in West Virginia and Houston. As it stands, the Jayhawks have a top-10 rushing unit with Daniels, Devin Neal and Daniel Hishaw Jr. which is seventh in yards per rush with a total of 11 rushing scores.
One issue we haven’t seen yet, but could be: Duke was the lowest 10 in giveaways last year, and maybe that doesn’t seem to be an issue so far because of the competition. Unfortunately for the Blue Devils, the Jayhawks are in the top 30 in takeaways, forcing them to convert two each into wins over the Cougars and Mountaineers. Duke is in a “prove it to me” situation.