If you, like me, saw the Vegas open yesterday of Baylor -16 for this weekend’s game at Kansas (set for 2:30 PM on ESPN+) and thought it seemed a little low, fear not! We were not alone. In less than 24 hours the line has moved up to -18 on a few books, back down slightly, and settled in the -17 to -18 range according to VegasInsider.com, which tracks these things.
If I understand Bill C’s SP+ ratings correctly, this is about what I would expect at this time even if I think the number is still a little low. Bill’s ratings have Baylor around a 21 to 22-point favorite notwithstanding home field, which is typically worth about 3 points. So 18, if that’s where it goes, is probably about right. Whether Kansas has a true home-field advantage in football is open for debate, though, and I’d still take Baylor -18 unless something crazy happens with injuries.
Thinking out loud, the issue I see with both Bill C’s rankings (which are still heavily weighted by preseason rankings and have Baylor 51st overall) and the perception from Vegas is a lack of confidence in the new-look offense. Bill’s SP+ has Baylor’s offense in the low 90s and the defense in the low teens, which is probably what you would have expected coming off last season. That being said the offense appears to be significantly better than 90th in the country even taking into consideration the low level of competition faced thus far. Already you’ve seen some movement up in Bill’s rankings, and I would expect that to continue going forward. Then the respect from Vegas and others should follow.
NOTE: This post is provided for informational purposes only. Obviously I’m not suggesting that you should actually bet on this or any other game unless it is: 1) legal where you are, and 2) you decide it is a good idea to do so. Just making observations here, people.