Over/under win totals released, KU projected to finish last in Big 12

Kansas head coach Les Miles talks with quarterbacks and running backs during football practice on Wednesday, March 6, 2019 within the new indoor practice facility.

Why is FanDuel giving away money?

That was my first thought when FanDuel Sportsbook released 2019 win totals for a majority of the FBS teams on Tuesday. I immediately scrolled to the team I cover to see what the number was. And, I must admit, I was shocked.

Kansas opened with a 3.5 over/under win total for the 2019 season, which marks the first year under Les Miles. It has since been dropped to 3.0, as the under is +102 and the over is -120.

I’m less confident that FanDuel is giving away money with the updated odds, because a push with three wins is a likely outcome. If a bettor got the original odds, however, then the under seemed far too easy.

With Miles at the helm, there is undoubtedly more buzz around the program than in recent memory.

But buzz doesn’t always mean success, especially not at first. Based on the current roster, and historical data, it is hard to imagine the Jayhawks winning four or more games. At the very least, it would be tough to put a significant amount of money on them doing so.

For starters, KU hasn’t accomplished that feat since 2009 when the team went 5-7. That is nine consecutive seasons of the Jayhawks winning three or fewer games, so it would be tough to bet on any coach breaking that trend in his first year.

Miles won four games in his first year at Oklahoma State in 2001, but the team had just three consecutive losing seasons before he took over. The Cowboys only lost more than six games once in those three years as well.

To top it off, Kansas will have more roster turnover than last season. The Jayhawks return just 10 starters, five on each side of the ball. As a result, a pair of prominent college football insiders predicted that KU would match its win total from 2018.

In his preseason magazine, Phil Steele projected Kansas to finish 10th in the Big 12 with a 3-9 record. Steele ranked the Kansas running backs as the team’s best unit, which was listed sixth out of 10 teams. No other positional group is ranked higher than eighth by Steele.

Bill Connelly recently moved to ESPN from SB Nation. His final story for SB Nation was a preview for KU, in which he projected a 3-9 clip with an 107th overall S&P+ ranking.

According to S&P+, the Jayhawks have a 72% win probability against Indiana State and a 64% win probability against Coastal Carolina. KU’s next-highest win probability is against Kansas State, and that is just 23%.

Both Connelly and Steele tend to know they are talking about, so I’d trust them when it comes to putting down any sort of money on win totals. With the updated odds, I’d prefer to stay away completely since three wins seems reasonable.

If I had to bet, though, I’d take the under.

Big 12 win totals

Oklahoma: 10.5 (Over -130, Under +112)

Texas: 9.5 (Over +102, Under -120)

Iowa State: 8 (Over +106, Under -124)

TCU: 7.5 (Over -120, Under +102)

Baylor: 7 (Over -156, Under +132)

Oklahoma State: 6.5 (Over -130, Under +110)

Texas Tech: 6.5 (Over +116, Under -136)

Kansas State: 5.5 (Over -108, Under -108)

West Virginia: 5 (Over -146, Under +124)

Kansas: 3 (Over -120, Under +102)

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