If a person did not know any better it would seem that this particular weekend Las Vegas hates the Kansas City area or maybe more accurately it's collection of football teams. All four major football squads that are followed, KU, K-State, Missouri and the Chiefs, are huge underdogs against their opponents according to the oddsmakers in the desert. So if you are the type of person who does not have a specific team loyalty but likes to cheer for the underdog, feel free to root for any local squad this weekend.
In the college ranks the biggest local underdog is ironically enough the highest ranked KC-area team in Kansas State. The Wildcats are ranked #15 in the AP poll but they face their biggest test so far this season as they travel to Norman, OK to take on the #6 ranked Sooners on national tv. The line on this game opened with OU being a 17 point favorite but it has now dropped to 14 points as it would seem quite a bit of early money was placed on Bill Snyder's team.
Last season when these two teams hooked up in Manhattan the Sooners were a 13.5 point favorite and ended up winning 58-17 as they dominated the second half. It will be interesting to see which K-State team shows up, the one who destroyed Miami two weeks ago or the team that looked disinterested last weekend against North Texas.
Following up as the second largest underdog on Saturday, are the Missouri Tigers who travel to Columbia, SC to take on South Carolina in a game that will also be broadcast nationwide. The Tigers are a 10 point dog to the #7 Gamecocks as this line has stayed steady unlike the line for the Kansas State game.
This contest figures to be an intriguing one to watch for a few different reasons. The most obvious one is that it represents the Tigers first road trip in the SEC but there is more to it than just that. There has been a minor controversy this past week regarding the comments made by Gary Pinkel and T.J. Moe about starting quarterback James Franklin regarding his toughness. All indications are that Franklin should be back this week so how he performs will be a story within the story.
Next on the list for road underdogs are the Kansas Jayhawks who travel to DeKalb, IL to take on Northern Illinois out of the MAC Conference. The Jayhawks currently sit at 1-2 and are coming off two straight losses at home to Rice and TCU so there is a train of thought they might not be all that hyped up right now to play a team from a lesser conference on the road. The Huskies are 2-1 this season with their lone loss coming in the opening weekend of the season on the road at Iowa by a score of 18-17.
The opening line on this game was Northern Illinois favored by 10 points but it has since moved down a point to nine. These two teams met last season in Lawrence in a game where the Huskies were favored by five but KU scored on a fourth and goal in the final seconds to pull out a 45-42 victory. It was the Jayhawks last win of the season as they proceeded to lose their final ten games of the season. Following the road trip to Northern Illinois the Jayhawks have a bye week before they continue their Big 12 season with their first road trip to Manhattan in three years.
Unfortunately for many local fans things do not improve as the calendar rolls to Sunday as the 0-2 Chiefs travel to New Orleans to take on the Saints. Despite the fact that New Orleans has the NFL's worst defense thus far in 2012 and are also winless, this game represents the largest spread in the NFL this weekend as the Saints are favored by nine points.
The Chiefs were throttled last weekend in Buffalo by a final score of 35-17 but even that is somewhat deceiving as the Bills led 35-3 after three quarters. The Saints are coming off a road loss at Carolina by a final score of 35-27. The good news for Kansas City is that the Saints have given up 75 points combined in their first two games but the bad news is they still have Drew Brees at quarterback.
The Chiefs will now have been underdogs in all three games this season as both the Falcons and Bills were favored by three points in their respective games.