Big 12 Tournament: No. 1 Kansas & Everyone Else

Jay Pryce

Monday, March 6, 2017 3:38 PM UTC

Monday, Mar. 6, 2017 3:38 PM UTC

The 2017 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tournament tips off at the Sprint Center in Kansas City on Wednesday. Read on for updated odds, betting tips and pick for one of the nation’s most coveted conference crowns.

Kansas is the favorite at +120 to win the Big 12 Tournament at 5Dimes online sports book. The Jayhawks, ranked No. 1 in the AP Top 25, won their 13th regular season title in a row with a 16-2 record (26-3 overall). Second on the board is West Virginia at +185 odds. The Mountaineers boasted a 12-6 conference record, tied with Baylor and Oklahoma State. The Bears are the third choice at +550, but the Cowboys, at +1800, find themselves trailing Iowa State in the top five betting choices. The Cyclones, listed at +625 odds, storm into the tourney red-hot after winning six of their final seven contests. The rest of the futures prices are as follows: Texas Tech +3300, Kansas State +3300, TCU +5000, Oklahoma +8000 and Texas +10000.

Betting Tips & Prediction

Don't bet on any long shot winning. Since the tournament's inception in 1997, only one seed lower than No. 3 has trimmed the net in victory: No. 4 seed Iowa State in 2014. Otherwise, the champion has come from the 3 seed or higher every year, including nine 1 seeds, five 2 seeds and five 3 seeds.

Here are some key factors to consider if placing a futures bet on the Big 12 Tounrnament.

In the last 11 years:

  1. All but one winner (Iowa State 2012-13) owned a 4.5-point margin of victory or higher in conference play entering the tourney.
  2. Each champion shot 45 percent or better from the field in Big 12 play entering the tourney.
  3. Each champion owned a 2.5 percent or better shooting percentage margin over Big 12 opponents entering the tourney.
  4. All but one champion (Missouri 2010-11) held Big 12 foes to 43.6 percent shooting or less on the season.

Using the above-mentioned trends as a benchmark, only one team hits them all: Kansas.

The Mountaineers own the highest average margin of victory at 6.7 points, in large part to a lopsided home-court advantage where they beat conference foes by 10.4 per game. Kansas is the only other program above the 4.5-point threshold with a 5.5-point differential. Baylor (4.0), Iowa State (2.5), and Oklahoma State (1.7) were the final three to register a positive margin.

Five teams enter the 2017 tourney shooting better than 45 percent from the floor: Kansas (46.7), Oklahoma State (46.9), Iowa State (46.0), TCU (45.0) and Texas (45.0). Baylor and West Virginia come up a tad short at 44.8 percent each. Out of the aforementioned five schools, only the Jayhawks outshot their opponents by more than 2.5 percent (3.5) on average. Baylor, in fact, is the only other Big 12 school to meet this requirement, thanks to allowing a conference-low 40.7 percent shooting. Kansas tied Oklahoma with the second best defensive rate at 43.2.

Kansas is the team to beat, and is where our NCAA betting money is going for the second straight year. Baylor, which comes up a tad short on some of our key metrics, may be the best bang for your buck if looking for a team to knock the Jayhawks off their perch.

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