Big 12 Odds Preview
The Big 12 Conference has a whole new look this season with West Virginia and TCU coming aboard to take the place of Missouri and Texas A&M, defections to the SEC.
Editors Note: For 2013 conference preview, click here
The result is still a 10-team conference with no divisions, so it remains a winner-take-all affair for the title.
The following is a betting preview for a few of the top contenders in the Big 12 along with every team’s current odds to win the Big 12 as provided by Bovada.
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The Oklahoma Sooners are in prime position to not only win the Big 12 this season as even-money 1/1 favorites, they are poised to make a run at a BCS title at 10/1 with only four other teams having better odds. Head coach Bob Stoops will have 15 starters back from last year’s 10-3 squad.
Senior quarterback Landry Jones is back to lead the offense after throwing for 4,302 yards and 28 touchdowns last season. The defensive secondary will have all four starters back including All-Conference cornerback Demontre Hurst.
The second-favorite to win the Big 12 is the Texas Longhorns at 4/1 at Bovada. The Longhorns went 8-5 overall last season but actually had a losing record (3-5) in conference play. They are another team that returns of good portion of its roster with nine starters back on offense and seven on defense.
Sophomore David Ash will most likely get the call as the starting quarterback on opening day against Wyoming, but the key to success this season will be a running game that is anchored by another sophomore Malcolm Brown.
He led Texas in rushing last season with 742 yards on 172 carries.
One of the newcomers to the bunch also happens to be a 5/1 third-favorite to win a Big 12 title its first time out of the gate. The West Virginia Mountaineers left the Big East with 15 starters from last season’s 10-3 squad including quarterback Gino Smith, who helped the team finish the 2011 season ranked sixth in the nation in passing yards per game.
He will be joined by wide receivers Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin in an effort to pick-up where they left off. The problem for West Virginia could be a defense that struggled to keep opposing teams out of the end zone last year and was ranked 61th in the country in points allowed.
Last year’s Big 12 Champion, the Oklahoma State Cowboys lost a wealth of talent from that 12-1 squad, so they will have to quickly reload at a number of positions with just five starters back on offense and eight on defense.
They have been opened as 8/1 fourth-favorites at Bovada to successfully defend their title and will turn to junior quarterback Clint Chelf to take over the reins for the departed Brandon Weeden.
Look for Kye Staley and Joseph Randle to balance out the attack with a ramped-up running game. Also look for Brodrick Brown and Justin Gilbert to provide stability to the Cowboys’ defensive secondary.
The odds to win the Big 12 for the rest of the teams in the conference are TCU at 9/1, Kansas State at 16/1, Texas Tech at 30/1, Baylor at 40/1, Iowa State at 75/1, and Kansas at 150/1.