1. #1
    [Too Long]
    Hman's Avatar Moderator
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    Best Big 12 College Football Bets 🏈

    Best Big 12 college football bets: The numbers our experts like


    Although the sports world is on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, it doesn't mean we can't look ahead to a time when there is college football again.

    Caesars Sportsbook just released season-win totals and conference-title odds for every FBS team, and our experts -- Bill Connelly, David Hale, Doug Kezirian, Preston Johnson and Phil Steele -- are here to give their best bets for teams from the Big 12 Conference.
    Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.

    Big 12 championship best bets

    Iowa State Cyclones (10-1)

    Hale: There's not much money to be made with obvious favorites Oklahoma (+150) and Texas (+175), so let's turn our attention to Iowa State (10-1). The Cyclones were one of those teams advanced metrics loved last season (24th in SP+, 28th in Sagarin and much higher through most of the year) but then underperformed on the field. Iowa State finished just 7-6, but took Oklahoma to the brink, lost to Iowa by one and Baylor by two, and now it looks like it has a star in the making at QB in Brock Purdy.

    A 2-4 record on the road and a defense that allowed 77.2% of drives inside the 40 to score (120th in FBS) hurt, but the margin between Matt Campbell's team and the blue bloods of the Big 12 isn't as much as people think.

    TCU Horned Frogs (25-1)

    Connelly: Even more than Iowa State, TCU was the anti-Baylor last year. While Baylor won five one-score games on its way to the Big 12 title game and a Sugar Bowl berth, TCU lost six one-score games to finish the year 5-7. The offense was a hindrance, but it was piloted by a freshman QB (Max Duggan) with mostly sophomore receivers. Most of the starters from a still-solid defense are back, and if the offense simply matures a bit, that could make the Horned Frogs a serious conference title-game contender.

    SP+ gives the Frogs a 68% chance of going over 7 wins, and they're given an average conference win total of five. The 25-1 odds are equivalent to a 4% conference-title shot; SP+ thinks more highly of them than that. I'm also on TCU over 6.5 wins (+120).

    Steele: I believe the Big 12 title game comes down to Bedlam this year when Oklahoma hosts Oklahoma State, as those appear to be the best two teams. But the odds are very short on both, so I will give you a long shot in TCU. Gary Patterson has had just four losing seasons at TCU. He has bounced back from those losing seasons by going 11-1, 12-1 and 11-3 and been in the mix for not just the conference title, but the College Football Playoff in each of those years. TCU suffered close losses at Oklahoma and at Oklahoma State last year and now has a more veteran team (and gets both of those at home this year).

    Season win totals

    Iowa State over 8 wins (-125)

    Hale: The Cyclones lost three games by a grand total of five points last season and still got to seven wins. They return a terrific QB and have six games against teams that missed a bowl last year. The road schedule -- at Iowa, Oklahoma State and Texas -- offers some caution, but the underlying numbers suggest eight wins is a safe starting point. This opened at even on the over, but it has been pushed up to -125.

    Oklahoma Sooners over 10 (+175)

    Steele: It seems like every year the Sooners are the most talented Big 12 team and the favorites to win the title. Somewhere along the line, they suffer an upset loss, but they have now won the Big 12 five straight years. Lincoln Riley has also guided the team to three 11-win regular seasons in three years. Each time he had to replace a stellar starting QB, so it is status quo this year, and I have Oklahoma favored in all 12 games.

    Kansas Jayhawks under 3.5 (-140)

    Connelly: It's easy to assume a second-year leap -- or at least a couple of steps forward -- for a Les Miles team, but that could be dampened by rebuilds at quarterback, on both lines and at safety. He's not going to be able to rely on an influx of four-star recruits, and even if there's going to be a breakthrough, it's likely not happening this year, especially with a lack of sure wins. Even the trip to Coastal Carolina isn't a slam dunk. SP+ gives the Jayhawks only a 19% chance of hitting four wins or more. That's a pretty ambitious win total.

    Baylor Bears under 8 (-120)

    Kezirian: This is my favorite college football bet this offseason. I see too many opportunities for Baylor to lose at least five games and not enough for them to win nine. It starts with having to replace Matt Rhule, who departed for the NFL. Few coaches have received such praise, and it was justified, given how he turned around programs. Nothing against former LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, but this is his first head coaching gig. Plus, he will have a challenging offseason with limited practice opportunity.

    Baylor also closes the season with eight conference opponents that fail to present a likely win. While they won't lose all of them, the Bears are certainly capable of losing each of those games. Nine wins is just too much to ask.

    Steele: Last year was a dream season for the Bears, who had a veteran squad, benefited from a plus-11 turnover margin and had four Big 12 wins that came in thrilling fashion, including a pair of overtime victories. Baylor was only plus-23 yards per game in conference play but went 8-1. This year the Bears lose nine starters off their top-notch defense, including all three starting defensive linemen, the strength of the unit. Baylor has five Big 12 road games, and I feel this is a rebuilding year.

    Oklahoma State Cowboys over 8.5 (+115)

    Steele: This number surprises me, as Oklahoma State opens at only 3-1 odds to win the Big 12 but is marked for just 8.5 wins. Last year the Cowboys had to replace a 1,000-yard rusher and a starting QB and had a young defense with only four starters back. Mike Gundy still managed to get the Cowboys to eight wins. This year they have 10 starters back on defense and got the good news that both RB Chuba Hubbard and WR Tylan Wallace turned down the NFL. The Cowboys are among the favorites to win the Big 12, and I only have them as an underdog in one game this year.

  2. #2
    BigdaddyQH's Avatar SBR PRO
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    Notable is the lack of comment on Texas, one way or the other.

  3. #3
    gojetsgomoxies's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    surprised on oklahoma OVER......... murray and hurts were awesome......... wonder if ok has an extra game this year..