For the first time since the 2016 season, the Big 12 was not represented in the College Football Playoff this season. They relied on the strength of Oklahoma in recent years, but that did not work in 2020. The Sooners failed to live up to the hype, and no other team picked up the slack.
2021 will be different for the Big 12. Spencer Rattler is ready to carry the Sooners back to the CFP, and Iowa State seems to be near that level as well.
Texas is on the rise after hiring Steve Sarkisian as their new head coach. OSU will always be relevant with Mike Gundy, and there is always room for a surprising team.
Baylor: Over 5.5 wins (+105)
The Bears are a long way away from competing in the Big 12, but they should at least squeak out a bowl game this year. They should be a lock to go 2-1 at least outside of the conference, and they may go 3-0. They have winnable road games against Kansas and Kansas State. After that, they just need to win one or two home games. They’ll play Texas, Texas Tech and West Virginia at home. They won’t win all of those games, but there are enough winnable games to expect a .500 record this season.
Iowa State: Over 9.5 (+110)
This is a value play. There is no value betting the under for a team this experienced. The Cyclones have one of the best coaches in college football, and Breece Hall looks to be a top-tier back. Brock Purdy has experience, and the defense will be solid.
Iowa State feels like a 10-2 team. They have what it takes to upset Oklahoma, and they should be able to avoid multiple upset losses. We’ll see what happens against teams like Texas and TCU, but the Cyclones are good enough to make it to the College Football Playoff.
Kansas: Under 1 (+160)
Don’t make this bet part of your college football picks. There is no value on either side of the betting line. Kansas will be massive underdogs in 11 of their 12 games. If they lose to South Dakota, they should have to burn down the program.
There seems to be one lock on the schedule, but it is nearly impossible to find a second win. Due to the simple value, I’m taking the under. Again, this is a tough bet with little upside.
Kansas State: Under 5.5 (+110)
The Wildcats have little upside this season. They have a solid floor, but their ceiling is low. They’ll be in the middle of the pack of the conference, and that means hoping to make it to a bowl game. I have them failing to reach it due to their non-conference schedule. Unless they can pull off a massive upset, they’ll struggle to make it to six wins.
Oklahoma: Over 11 (-115)
The Sooners always seem to flirt with an 11-1 season. Will this be the year they go undefeated until conference play? Probably not, but it has better odds at betting sites than seeing them go 10-2 again.
OU has Spencer Rattler, one of the best young quarterbacks in college football, for his second season. This will be the first time Riley retains his starting quarterback, so it will be interesting to see how developed the offense is by the end of the year. That could easily be enough for the Sooners to go 12-0.
Oklahoma State: Under 7.5 (-115)
The Cowboys are without Chuba Hubbard, one of the best running backs in college football. They also lost Tylan Wallace to the NFL. That means this offense will have some new faces, and I don’t think that will be enough to get OSU to 8 wins. 7-5 may be a disappointment, but it is realistic for Mike Gundy and the Pokes.
TCU: Under 7.5 (-125)
The Horned Frogs have consistency at the head coaching role, but that’s about all that is going for TCU this year. They’ll need to find a way to rely on synergy unless one player shines above the rest. To put it simply, the Horned Frogs don’t have what it takes to compete with the other top teams in the conference.
Texas: Over 8 (-155)
I hate the value here, but Sarkisian is too good of an offensive mind to fail with the weapons at Texas. Bijan Robinson alone should lift the offense to new heights once he’s properly used.
The only issue with the Longhorns is who will be the quarterback. Without Sam Ehlinger, what will the Longhorns look like offensively?
With their recruiting strength, Texas should have an answer on the roster and will be able to climb up the NCAA Football Standings.
Texas Tech: Under 4.5 (+120)
The Red Raiders have a lot of hope, but that hope won’t turn into results. Maybe they can raise the standard, but don’t expect Texas Tech to get through a Big 12 schedule with too many wins.