South Dakota Coyotes (0-0) vs. Kansas Jayhawks (0-0)
September 3, 2021 8:00 pm EDT
The Line: Kansas Jayhawks -15.5
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The Kansas Jayhawks take on the South Dakota Coyotes Friday in Week 1 college football action from KU Memorial Stadium. This will be the first game of the season for both teams. South Dakota managed to play a handful of spring games, finishing at a disappointing 1-3. As for Kansas, they played nine games last fall, going winless in that campaign. Check back all season long for free college football picks at Sports Chat Place.
South Dakota was unable to improve on their 5-7 record in 2019 (4-4 in MVFC play) this spring, posting a 1-3 record overall. That finish left the Coyotes in a tie for seventh place in the conference. South Dakota was amid a logjam of four other MFVC teams with just one win.
The Coyotes started out the spring season well enough with a 27-20 win over Illinois State. After that came losses to North Dakota, Missouri State and Youngstown State, however. South Dakota had four more games originally scheduled, but those were cancelled.
Over on the Kansas side, they’re surely eager to put the 2020 season behind them as well. The Jayhawks couldn’t get anything going last year, stumbling to an 0-9 finish which left them in the basement of the Big 12 Conference standings.
Kansas started out the year on September 12 with a loss to Coastal Carolina, then tumbled through a series of mostly blowout losses to the likes of Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Iowa State and Oklahoma. The Jayhawks haven’t qualified for a bowl game since way back in 2008, and will be looking for a boost under new head coach Lance Leipold.
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The Coyotes are 6-0 ATS in their last six on turf and 5-2 ATS in their last seven in September. The over is 9-3 in South Dakota’s last 12 overall and 9-3 in their last 12 on the road.
Meanwhile, the Jayhawks are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 overall and 0-4 ATS in their last four versus the MVC. Kansas is 0-6 ATS in their last six home games and 1-9 ATS in their last 10 on turf.
PICK: I’m going to take a stab on the Coyotes here, but probably staying away. The good news for South Dakota is that they’ve got a few solid pieces on offense like QB Carson Camp and WR Caleb Vander Esch. They’ll also get their leading tackler back in Brock Mogensen. As for Kansas, they lost a couple of notable receivers but still have Kwamie Lassiter and Luke Grimm. Thing is, the Jayhawks’ blocking was ugly last season with an average of 5.22 sacks per game. I’d like to think Kansas will take a couple of steps forward this year and finally bag a few wins, but we’ll have to see what they look like on the field first. For now I’m sticking with SD.