In England, the day after Christmas Day is known as “Boxing Day” and we’ve got a heavyweight college football bout in the 2023 Guaranteed Rate Bowl, as the 8-4 Kansas Jayhawks and 9-4 UNLV Rebels go toe-to-toe in the main event of the day.
Who will land the knockout blow in this clash of exciting emerging programs? Ahead of the game, we’ve got the latest college football betting odds, DFS picks, and a Guaranteed Rate Bowl prediction.
Guaranteed Rate Bowl Betting and DFS Preview
All odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook and correct as of Thursday, Dec. 21, 2023. Want to take advantage of the Guaranteed Rate Bowl odds? Visit the College Football Network live college football odds page to place bets in your state.
Kansas -485, UNLV +370
- Game time
9:00 p.m. ET
Chase Field, Phoenix, AZ
- Predicted Weather at Kick
45 degrees, 5 mph winds, partly sunny
- How to Watch
Looking to cash in on Kansas? Are the Rebels high risk but with high reward? If you’re going to take advantage of the Guaranteed Rate Bowl odds, consider some of the following factors before you part with your hard-earned cash.
It’s been 20 years since the teams last met, with the Jayhawks having out a 46-24 beatdown to the Rebels in Lawrence. Although they’re not on home turf this time around, the oddsmakers fancy Kansas to dish out a similarly resounding win as a comfortable favorite. While our Guaranteed Rate Bowl also backs the Jayhawks, the Rebels can keep it closer than expected.
We say this fully in the knowledge that Barry Odom’s team is coming off a 24-point defeat in the Mountain West Championship Game and already got turned over by a Power Five program this season. However, UNLV is 10-3 covering the spread this season, including covering in that early-season defeat to the College Football Playoff-bound Michigan Wolverines.
Wrapping up the Guaranteed Rate Bowl odds, it’s a loft 64.5-point line that showcases the offensive firepower of the two teams. Kansas is 6-6 for the over/under on the year, but the Rebels have had eight games go over the line this season, and this one should sail into the late 60’s, regardless of how close the game ends up being. Get ready for some offense on Tuesday!
Top DFS Picks and Fantasy Plays
- QB Jason Bean, Kansas
- QB Jayden Maiava, UNLV
- RB Devin Neal, Kansas
- RB Daniel Hishaw Jr, Kansas
- RB Dylan McDuffie, Kansas
- RB Vincent Davis, UNLV
- RB Jai’Den Thomas, UNLV
- RB Donavyn Lester, UNLV
- WR Lawrence Arnold, Kansas
- WR Luke Grimm, Kansas
- WR Quentin Skinner, Kansas
- WR Ricky White, UNLV
- WR Jacob De Jesus, UNLV
- WR Senika McKie, UNLV
- TE Mason Fairchild, Kansas
- TE Kaleo Ballungay, UNLV
There are three college football games on Tuesday to compile your DFS team from. If you’re new to DFS, Fanduel Superflex contests require you to select a quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, and a “Superflex” that can be any of the above or a tight end.
With so much offensive firepower in this game, your Guaranteed Rate Bowl picks might make up a good chunk of your DFS lineup. Devin Neal has been an unstoppable force throughout his Kansas career, and the Jayhawks running back’s 238.3 fantasy points leads all players on show in Arizona on Tuesday night.
UNLV also has a ton of talent at the running back position, with Jai’Den Thomas’ nose for the end zone making him the most valuable fantasy asset. However, the rotational nature of their usage keeps any of them from being a guarantee to put up big numbers on any given week.
There’s absolutely nothing rotational about UNLV wide receiver Ricky White who has been the focal point of the Rebels passing game this season. While he’s only snagged seven touchdowns, his 1,384 yards have contributed to 180.5 fantasy points — comfortably the most of any pass catcher in this matchup.
Prediction for the Guaranteed Rate Bowl
Okay, so we’ve furnished you with the Guaranteed Rate Bowl odds and some DFS picks. Now, it’s time to close this thing out with our prediction. Can Kansas secure a first bowl game win since 2008 on Tuesday night? You have to go back to 2000 to find the last Rebels post-season win, but will UNLV put the icing on the cake of an incredible season in Arizona?
UNLV has been written off by the oddsmakers, but that’s a position the program is used to finding itself in. They’ve been something of a whipping boy in the Mountain West for years, but the arrival of Odom and offensive coordinator Brenan Marion has transformed the fortunes of this team.
Marion’s influence has been particularly pivotal to the success they’ve had this season. Under his stewardship, Jayden Maiava has established himself as one of the best young QBs in the nation, while wide receiver White bolsters his OC’s incredible pass-catching résumé.
Averaging 34.3 points per game, UNLV is more than a match for any defense, especially against Kansas’ 97th-ranked run defense that has given up 24 touchdowns on the ground this year. Despite their struggles to stop the run game, the Jayhawks have allowed fewer points this fall than the Rebels, and a secondary containing Mello Dotson and Cobee Bryant is difficult to throw on.
Although UNLV has some studs in their own secondary, with Jaxen Turner and Cameron Oliver leading the turnover charge. Linebacker Jackson Woodard continues a strong tradition of highly productive Rebels linebackers, and his matchup against Kansas running back Neal will be phenomenal to watch.
The Rebels are also riddled with special teams’ standouts, from kick returner Jacob De Jesus to automatic field goal kicker Jose Pizano. If it comes down to a field goal at the end of the game to win it for UNLV, you’d bet the bank on it. However, Kansas possibly has the slightly stronger side all in, and shade a close one.
Prediction: Kansas 36, UNLV 33