Every week the Blue Zone gives you our can't-lose prop bets for the upcoming football game:
Duke (-8.5) vs. Kansas (1H)
Duke, now sitting at 2-1 overall and 2-1 against the spread, enters this week’s matchup against Kansas riding the momentum from a surprising win against Northwestern last Saturday. Kansas is hoping to rebound after a tough loss at the paws of the Baylor Bears, leaving the Jayhawks at 1-2 on the season and 0-3 against the spread. As Kansas head coach Lance Leipold tries to revitalize his program, basic intuition might suggest that Duke walks away comfortably with a 3-1 record. However, a moneyline price of -850 presents far more risk than reward for a Blue Devil team that has proven unreliable in the past.
Accordingly, one might be enticed by the Duke -16.5 full game spread, especially as the Blue Devils easily covered as 2.5-point underdogs last week against Northwestern. Even so, Duke’s proclivity to sit back and watch their leads disappear late in the game has become particularly apparent from their contests against Northwestern and Charlotte. At the same price, a two-score lead at half seems far more appealing than a three-score win.
Pick: 1H Duke -8.5 (-115)
Longest touchdown over/under 54.5 yards
For those searching for value this week, running back Mateo Durant is the only Blue Devil with a touchdown over 54.5 yards, scoring on a blazing 59-yard run in the opener. Under normal circumstances, the payout for this prop would likely be much lower. However, the Blue Devils find themselves matched up against a truly unaccomplished defense in the Jayhawks, who allowed a 69-yard score last week. Therefore, this matchup presents considerable intrigue to the longest touchdown prop.
Nevertheless, one play for 55 yards seems in itself improbable for Cutcliffe’s offense. Graduate quarterback Gunnar Holmberg, despite showing glimpses of playmaking, still struggles to throw the ball downfield even when receivers find themselves on an island. Long, methodical drives will likely be the approach for both teams Saturday, rather than gunning for big plays.
Although Duke's defensive unit has also struggled to contain opposing offenses, it should be strong enough to limit Kansas' poor offense. The Jayhawks do not pose a real threat to hit the over on this prop.
Pick: Under 54.5 yards (+108)
Jake Bobo over/under 88.5 receiving yards
Senior wide receiver Jake Bobo has eclipsed 90 yards in two of the team's first three games, most recently posting totals of 90 and 109 yards and all but cementing himself as the team's top pass-catcher. With the offense clicking just in time for this week’s matchup against a porous Kansas secondary, the senior is poised for another strong showing. His ability to stretch the field and pick up yards after the catch should lend confidence to bettors on what would otherwise seem a high yardage total.
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The Jayhawks, who have arguably been among the Power Five's worst squads in recent years, will surely find themselves overpowered by the Holmberg-Bobo tandem. With his reliable hands and steady production, Bobo is a solid bet for a weekend payday.
Pick: Over 88.5 yards (+105)