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Bookmaker Gambling Preview: Jayhawks vs. Longhorns (Wk 12)

Kansas at Texas

The Texas Longhorns are all but guaranteed a spot in the BCS Championship – that is, if they take care of business in their remaining schedule. Standing in the way of Texas and a shot at the national title are just two regular season contests and the Big 12 title game, starting with the Kansas Jayhawks in Week 12.

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Oddsmakers have set the Longhorns as 27.5-point home favorites for Saturday’s conference collision. Texas has won the last seven meetings going back to 1996, covering in all but one of those games. Last season, the Longhorns thumped the Jayhawks 35-7 as 14-point road chalk.

Texas continued its undefeated stretch, beating the Baylor Bears to improve to 10-0 in Week 11. The Longhorns defense has turned it up in recent games, allowing just 38 points in the last four games while limiting opponents to under an average of 212 yards during that span.

Last week, Texas gave up two late touchdowns to the Bears to snap the shutout but did have its reserve players in after going up 47-0. The defense allowed only six yards on the ground, improving their national-best rush defense to just over 50 yards against per game.

While stuffing the ground game week after week is the heart of Texas’ success, the Horns have also thrived on turnovers. They lead the Big 12 in interceptions with 19, which is second in the country. Four of those picks have been returned for six points. Texas is also among the top teams in forcing fumbles, recovering 10 of those loose balls. Against Baylor, the Longhorns intercepted three balls while forcing one fumble.

Despite losing five straight games heading into Week 12, Kansas has done a good job taking care of the football. Quarterback Todd Reesing has had eight passes picked off this year and the team has coughed up the ball just 10 times by way of fumble. The Jayhawks are second in the Big 12 in passing yards, averaging 297 yards per game.

Reesing is a native of Austin, Texas and played well in his one performance against the Longhorns. Last year, Reesing passed for 258 yards with one touchdown in a bit of a revenge game for the quarterback. He was not recruited by Mack Brown out of high school and will be aiming for a career day in front of his family and friends this weekend.

There are more distractions for KU off the field this week. The school is investigating head coach Mark Mangino for what they are calling a “personal matter”. Mangino told reporters his team is still behind him and says the situation has had no impact on his team’s recent performance. Whether these issues are team related or not, the distraction of athletic department meetings and a media circus doesn’t bode well for the Jayhawks.

Texas is also striving to stay focused on the task at hand. Quarterback Colt McCoy is especially feeling a bit of pressure, not just with the program’s pursuit of a national title but with the ongoing Heisman Trophy race. Last week against Baylor, the senior tied the record for career victories by a starting quarterback with his 42nd win in NCAA play.

McCoy is putting up another solid season, passing for 2,628 yards and 19 touchdowns with just nine interceptions. He’s connecting on more than 72 percent of his passes with the majority of those throws going to senior receiver Jordan Shipley. He’s totaled 1,096 yards and eight touchdowns including two scores versus the Bears last week. The Horns rank second in the country in points per game with an average of just under 42 points.

The biggest boost for Texas heading into the home stretch of the schedule and the postseason is the emergence of the rushing attack. The ground game has been the Longhorns’ weakness the past two years, but improved efforts from sophomore running back Cody Johnson have opposing defenses respecting the run. Johnson marched for 109 yards and two touchdowns against Baylor and has scored six touchdowns in his last three games.

Oddsmakers have set Saturday’s total at 55.5 points. These two Big 12 rivals have played under the total in two of their last three meetings. The Horns have a 4-6 over/under mark while the Jayhawks own an o/u record of 5-4.

Keep it locked on Bookmaker.com for all of the great college football betting lines this week!

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