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Kansas vs Arkansas Prediction, Odds and College Football Betting Picks for Liberty Bowl

The longest active postseason drought in college football is set to come to an end on Wednesday. For the first time since 2008, the Kansas Jayhawks are set to play in the college football postseason when they clash with the Arkansas Razorbacks in the Liberty Bowl. From a college football betting picks power rating standpoint, most would consider the Razorbacks to be a superior team. However, a number of opt-outs have resulted in the Kansas vs Arkansas odds only favoring the SEC representative by a slim margin.

The following game preview provides the college football betting odds, trends and FEI Index ratings before sharing our official Kansas vs Arkansas prediction for the Liberty Bowl matchup.

Kansas vs Arkansas Prediction | College Football Betting Picks

Liberty Bowl
Kansas Jayhawks (6-6, 3-6 Big 12) vs. Arkansas Razorbacks (6-6, 3-5 SEC)
Date: Wednesday, December 28, 2022
Time: 5:30 p.m. EST
Venue: Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium — Memphis, TN
Coverage: ESPN

Much of Kansas’ success this season came in the first two months. The Jayhawks got off to a 5-0 start and even hosted ESPN College Gameday for the very first time. Unfortunately, their momentum stalled out once getting into the heart of Big 12 Conference play. Kansas lost six of seven to end the regular season but was able to knock off Oklahoma State for its sixth win to become bowl-eligible. Relative to recent seasons, there’s no denying that coach Lance Leipold has the program trending up.

Arkansas also limped its way to the finish line after a strong start. The Razorbacks only went 3-5 in SEC play but picked up a couple of quality non-conference wins over Cincinnati and BYU. The Hogs routed Ole Miss in the penultimate game of the regular season to clinch bowl eligibility before losing to Missouri in the finale. Although several players have either opted out or gone into the transfer portal, Sam Pittman’s team still projects to have advantages in physicality and overall talent in the bowl game.

KJ Jefferson Kansas vs Arkansas prediction odds college football betting picks Liberty Bowl game predictions
Credit: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Kansas vs Arkansas College Football Betting Picks and Odds

All college football betting odds for Kansas vs Arkansas can be found at BetOnline Sportsbook.

Moneyline: KU: (+111) | ARK: (-131)
Point Spread: KU: +2.5 (-110) | ARK: -2.5 (-110)
Total: 69 — Over: (-105) | Under: (-115)

College Football FEI Ratings

The following table shares the Fremeau Efficiency Index rankings for both teams involved in this Liberty Bowl matchup. The purpose of the FEI ratings is to represent the per-possession scoring advantage that a team would be expected to have on a neutral field against an average opponent. The rankings for offense and defense are out of 131 total FBS-level teams.

Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI) ratings are froFootball Outsiders

TeamOverall FEI (Rk)OFEI (Rk)DFEI (Rk)
Kansas.21 (47)1.15 (14)-.55 (107)
Arkansas.46 (25).83 (23).05 (60)
  • Jayhawks are 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall.
  • Five of the Jayhawks’ last six games have gone OVER the total.
  • The OVER is 6-1 in the Jayhawks’ last seven games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.
  • Razorbacks are 4-1 ATS in their last five bowl games.
  • The OVER is 4-1 in the Razorbacks’ last five games following a straight up loss.
  • Nine of the Razorbacks’ last ten bowl games have stayed UNDER the total.
  • Razorbacks are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 matchups against Big 12 Conference opponents.

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Kansas vs Arkansas Prediction | College Football Betting Picks

There’s no denying the fact that the offenses for both teams were superior to their respective defenses all season long. Combine this with the fact that the key player opt-outs are largely on the defensive side of the ball and it’s no wonder that the Kansas vs Arkansas odds currently list one of the highest game totals of the entire bowl season.

The Jayhawks finished the year ranked 14th in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency. The savvy play-calling of Lance Leipold showed up on countless occasions this season. After returning from injury late in the regular season, quarterback Jalon Daniels figures to be much closer to 100% on Wednesday after a few extra weeks to recover.

Meanwhile, the Razorbacks ranked 23rd nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency. The only games in which Arkansas struggled to score points were when QB KJ Jefferson was absent due to injury. Given that he has already announced his intention to return for next season, it would be a major surprise if Jefferson were to miss the bowl game.

Meanwhile, both teams also struggled mightily to keep their opponents from scoring. Kansas was particularly bad defensively, ranking 107th in adjusted efficiency. The Jayhawks also allowed a whopping 202.9 rushing yards per game. Working behind a veteran offensive line, Jefferson and running back Raheim Sanders figure to exploit this weakness if a big way.

Most of Arkansas’ defensive woes came in the secondary and showed up statistically in the form of 265.3 passing yards allowed per game. In addition to coordinator Barry Odom, who was hired to be the next head coach at UNLV, the Hogs will be without star linebacker Drew Sanders and a number of other contributors due to opt-outs and the transfer portal.

OVER THE TOTAL will be our official college football betting Kansas vs Arkansas prediction for the Liberty Bowl.

For what it’s worth, the ESPN Matchup Predictor gives Arkansas a 58.2% chance to win this game outright.

Bet: OVER 69 (-105 at BetOnline Sportsbook)

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