Kansas Jayhawks vs. UNLV Rebels 12/26/23 – In the eagerly anticipated Guaranteed Rate Bowl, the Kansas Jayhawks face off against the UNLV Rebels on December 26, 2023. Both teams have had impressive seasons, with the Jayhawks securing an 8-4 record and the Rebels not far behind at 9-4. This matchup, set to unfold at Chase Field, is a crucial moment for NCAAF bowl picks and odds, with both teams looking to cap their seasons with a significant bowl victory.
Kansas Jayhawks vs. UNLV Rebels 12/26/23
|Tuesday, December 26, 2023, at 9:00 PM ET
Headed to the desert 🌵
We’re Guaranteed Rate Bowl bound!
— Kansas Football (@KU_Football) December 3, 2023
Jason Bean QB vs. Jayden Maiava QB
Kansas quarterback Jason Bean has put together an impressive 2022 campaign, completing 105 of 171 passes for 1681 yards, 12 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. He boasts a solid 61.4 completion percentage and 9.8 yards per pass attempt. Bean’s dual-threat ability also shows in his mobility outside the pocket. The senior excels at keeping drives alive with his legs when the play breaks down. However, Bean has also shown a penchant for forcing throws into coverage at times this season. He will need to avoid such mistakes against this opportunistic UNLV defense.
Meanwhile, UNLV’s Jayden Maiava has taken a big step forward as a sophomore this season. He has completed 62.9 percent of his 318 pass attempts for 2794 yards, 14 touchdowns and 8 picks. Maiava has shown poise and touch on his throws downfield, averaging a healthy 8.8 yards per attempt. While he can endure growing pains typical of a young quarterback, the upside is clearly there. Maiava’s efficiency will be key if the Rebels hope to keep pace on the scoreboard.
Kansas Backfield Carries the Load
The Jayhawks’ success offensively runs directly through lead running back Devin Neal. The sophomore makes up for his lack of elite speed with tackle-breaking power through contact. Neal has rumbled for 1209 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns while averaging 6.6 yards per carry. His physical running style allows Kansas to control the time of possession battle. Neal will be leaned upon heavily to soften up the Rebels’ defensive front. Out wide, senior receiver Lawrence Arnold has been Bean’s top target with 38 catches for 650 yards. Arnold excels at finding windows over the middle, presenting a security blanket on third downs. Kansas will look to establish Neal on the ground early before attacking downfield.
UNLV’s Offensive Weapons Can Challenge Any Defense
While a run-first approach has its merits, the Rebels prefer to air it out with an explosive passing game. Sophomore receiver Ricky White has already emerged as one of the top wideouts in the Mountain West, hauling in 81 receptions for 1386 yards and 7 scores. His size, catch radius, and run after catch ability constantly puts pressure on opposing secondaries. Running back Vincent Davis Jr. provides balance out of the backfield, taking handoffs for a respectable 5.5 yards per carry. If UNLV’s offensive line can hold up, White and Davis should find room to operate against Kansas. Protecting Maiava will be crucial for the Rebels’ upset bid on the road.
NCAAF Betting Odds: Kansas Jayhawks -460, Over/Under: 67
The current betting odds heavily favor the Kansas Jayhawks, with a significant -460 moneyline and an over/under of 67 points. This reflects the strong confidence in Kansas’ ability to dominate the game, considering their offensive strengths and overall season performance.
Kansas Jayhawks Betting Trends
Kansas are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games.
Jayhawks are 8-4 SU in their last 12 games.
Kansas are 4-1 SU in their last 5 games against an opponent in the Mountain West conference.
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Kansas’ last 7 games played in December.
Kansas are 9-2 SU in their last 11 games when playing as the favourite.
UNLV Rebels Betting Trends
Nevada-Las Vegas are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games.
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Nevada-Las Vegas’ last 5 games.
Nevada-Las Vegas are 8-3 SU in their last 11 games.
Nevada-Las Vegas are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games against an opponent in the Big 12 conference.
UNLV are 1-4 SU in their last 5 games played in December.
Nevada-Las Vegas are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games when playing as the underdog.
Kansas Jayhawks vs. UNLV Rebels Betting Picks
Considering both teams’ performances and betting trends, the Kansas Jayhawks seem to have a clear advantage, particularly in offensive prowess. However, UNLV’s resilience, especially as underdogs, suggests that they could cover the spread, making them an attractive pick for those betting at top online sportsbooks. The high over/under suggests an expectation of a high-scoring game, which seems plausible given both teams’ offensive capabilities.
For bettors looking for a more secure option, the Jayhawks seem like a solid pick for the win, but the Rebels should not be underestimated, especially given their ATS performance when playing as underdogs.
Score Prediction: Kansas 38, UNLV 30