Big 12 2017 Season Betting Preview

The college football season is quickly approaching and fall camps are in full swing. However, keeping track of 10 conferences and 129 teams in just D1 football is near impossible for bettors. With that in mind, we have decided to break down each of the Power 5 conferences for bettors in hopes of making you a few more dollars this season.

Oklahoma Sooners

Though Dede Westbrook, Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon are all gone, Oklahoma still has the chance to be one of the best offenses in the nation. Lincoln Riley is now the head man on the sidelines but this is Baker Mayfield’s team. The Heisman hopeful is coming off one of the most efficient seasons in college football history and has expectations high in Norman.

Mayfield will need to figure out which weapons he likes best with so many skill players leaving from 2016 but an offensive line that returns all five starters will surely give him all the time he needs. The player to watch is “tight end” Mark Andrews, whose six-foot-five, 254-pound frame is a nightmare for opposing defenses to cover. On defense, the front seven will be serviceable and is highlighted by Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, who has the potential of being a special pass rusher. The secondary is easily the strength of the defense, as Jordan Thomas and Jordan Parker may be the best corner duo in the conference.

There are no two ways about this: it’s win-now mode for the Sooners. 2017 is, or at least could be, the last go-around for several key players in Norman, including Mayfield. The offense needs players to step up but the system always makes whoever is catching the ball look better than they could on their own. Plus, the defense should be good enough to hold leads. However, playing at Ohio State and at Oklahoma State is intimidating.

Oklahoma 2017 Betting Odds
National Championship Big 12 Championship Win Total
+1600 -110 9.5 (-140/+110)

Oklahoma State Cowboys

Expectations are high in Stillwater this season. Oklahoma State is coming off back-to-back 10-3 seasons and has one of the best quarterback-receiver tandems in the game. The offense should be fun to watch but can the defense make enough stops to lift the Cowboys to their first Big 12 title since 2011?

Oklahoma State returns seven starters on offense and none is more important than QB Mason Rudolph. The senior is in the Heisman conversation after completing 63.4 percent of his passes with 28 TDs to 4 INTs. His premier receiver, James Washington, hauled in 71 passes and averaged 19.4 yards per reception. Underrated running back Justice Hill is one of the best in the Big 12. The defense was not good last season but did just enough to get by. The D is not expected to be the savior of this team but it needs to do a better job at stopping opponents on third down.

Overall, the schedule for Oklahoma State isn’t too daunting. Games at Pitt and WVU could be tricky but the Cowboys get the luxury of their biggest game being at Boone Pickens Stadium when they face off against Oklahoma. This is a double-digit win team with legitimate hopes of a Big 12 title (and maybe more).

Oklahoma State 2017 Betting Odds
National Championship Big 12 Championship Win Total
+4000 +300 9.0 (-125/-105)

West Virginia Mountaineers

Head coach Dana Holgorsen got a contract extension off the back of last season’s successful 10-win campaign but it won’t be completely smooth sailing in 2017. West Virginia has holes to fill on both sides of the ball, especially on defense, but got a big boost when quarterback Will Grier was deemed eligible for the entire 2017 season.

Grier looked fantastic in his brief six games with Florida before being suspended for a banned supplement. However, Grier will be working with a line filled with question marks and a team that lost its top two receivers from last season. Luckily, stud RB Justin Crawford is back in Morgantown. The 3-3-5 defense is set at linebacker and safety but will need a few corners to step up and fill the holes left by outgoing talent. If they don’t, Big 12 passers will be bombing on WVU all season.

If everything falls into place for the Mountaineers, another season like 2016 is entirely possible. But, cornerback depth is a concern in a conference where you need to beat Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in order to win. WVU should compete in the Big 12 but is a step behind the state of Oklahoma.

West Virginia 2017 Betting Odds
National Championship Big 12 Championship Win Total
+30000 +1600 7.0 (-130/EVEN)

Kansas State Wildcats

You can always expect consistency from Kansas State when Bill Snyder is calling the shots but this Wildcats teams might be the most dangerous he has coached. Dual-threat quarterback Jesse Ertz is as dangerous as they come and the offensive line should only get better. Replenishing the defense is the key to Kansas State’s season with several key players no longer in Manhattan.

The depth at running back is Charles Jones, Justin Silmon and Alex Barnes all getting reps, not to mention Ertz. The receiving unit has plenty of potential and experience but needs to be more efficient for Kansas State to make the leap. How the Wildcats replace a pass-rusher like Jordan Willis and an entire starting LB unit in one offseason does not have a simple answer. The secondary should be able to bail out the front seven during the early portion of the season but the linebackers need to quickly get good at dropping into coverage.

Kansas State has legitimate sleeper potential for bettors. The offense should be able to keep up with the likes of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State but the defense will need to learn on the job. If the D can do that, double-digit wins isn’t a crazy expectation.

Kansas State 2017 Betting Odds
National Championship Big 12 Championship Win Total
+10000 +600 8.0 (-165/+135)

TCU Horned Frogs

You hate to put an entire program’s hopes on one player but TCU needs Kenny Hill to smarten up on the field. Hill is phenomenal when he is on his game but makes a lot of mistakes, leading to turnovers. Gary Patterson and company need Hill to be more consistent if they want to be more than OK.

That being said, the receiving corps for TCU just didn’t seem to care last season. Drops and sloppy route running plagued the team and someone needs to light a fire under the receivers. Patterson has said that the Horned Frogs need to get bigger on defense after being worn down throughout 2016. TCU brought in several big bodies to help fill out the defensive line in front of a very experienced back seven.

TCU has the ability and talent to finish third in the Big 12 but the Horned Frogs need to stop shooting themselves in the foot. They will need to play their best football on the road to surpass their win total of 7.5 with dates at Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Kansas State and Oklahoma.

TCU 2017 Betting Odds
National Championship Big 12 Championship Win Total
+10000 +1000 7.5 (-150/+120)

Texas Longhorns

Texas faithful hope for more than mediocrity after three years of unexceptional football under Charlie Strong. Enter Tom Herman. Herman was a stud for Houston over the past two years and does benefit from inheriting some solid players. However, the Longhorns are far from a finished product entering 2017.

Herman and new offensive coordinator Tim Beck will look to give Texas some consistency, as they have gone through six OC’s in as many years. The offense returns seven starters, including quarterback Shane Buechele. During his freshman campaign, Buechele proved he can be the future for this program and now is the time to live up to the expectations. Herman also brought with him Todd Rolando to watch over the defensive side. Texas has been terrible defensively the past few seasons but has plenty of experience.

The Longhorns should be better now than they ever were under Strong but growing pains are to be expected. However, those need to be sorted out by Week 3 when they travel to USC before conference play begins. Winning seven games again won’t cut it with a roster with this much experience.

Texas 2017 Betting Odds
National Championship Big 12 Championship Win Total
+4000 +500 7.5 (-200/+160)

Texas Tech Red Raiders

This squad is looking like your typical Texas Tech team. The offense will be a passing juggernaut despite its obvious flaws while the defense will be an utter disaster.  Without improvement, this might be Kliff Kingsbury’s last year in Lubbock.

Replacing Patrick Mahomes is not an easy task, but luckily for likely new starter Nic Shimonek, Texas Tech returns its top four receivers from 2016. The running game was a complete afterthought last season and will need to see a renewed emphasis without Mahomes slinging the ball. The Red Raiders had the worst defense in the country last season, so it can’t get any worse. The linebackers might be passable but the secondary and defensive line did little in terms of growth since last year.

Texas Tech will be able to gun with the best of them but the offence can’t win games single-handedly. The defense won’t be able to stop anyone and that’s a big issue in the Big 12. Winning six games, which the Red Raiders would need to top their season win total, seems a little ambitious.

Texas Tech 2017 Betting Odds
National Championship Big 12 Championship Win Total
Not Listed +5000 5.5 (EVEN/-130)

Baylor Bears

Matt Rhule has one hell of a mess to clean up for Baylor. We all know what happened in Waco the past few seasons, which makes it hard to know exactly what to expect from the Bears.

Rhule is changing up the offensive system into a Frankenstein’s monster of sorts that is all about dictating the tempo. Temple controlled the clock while under Rhule’s guidance and Baylor will do its best to try to incorporate that style. The biggest question is at quarterback. Zach Smith looked good as a freshman but will be pushed by Arizona transfer Anu Solomon. The defense has pieces in KJ Smith and Taylor Young but needs to become better against the run. The secondary has been injury-plagued during the spring, which is not a good sign.

Baylor isn’t going to be competing for the Big 12 title, let alone the national championship, and I’m at a loss about their win total. The team feels like a combination of good pieces but it’s impossible to predict if the sum will be better than its parts.

Baylor 2017 Betting Odds
National Championship Big 12 Championship Win Total
+50000 +3300 7.5 (EVEN/-130)

Iowa State Cyclones

Matt Campbell’s first season in Ames may not look great on paper but he made Iowa State competitive, which is a big plus for a program that has had a winning record just once since 2006. The Cyclones have some intriguing pieces and could shock a few teams in 2017.

The offense looks to be in capable hands with Jacob Park under center. Once the then-sophomore took the reins of the offense, the team went 2-3 with close losses to Kansas State and Oklahoma. The skill players have potential with the running back tandem of David Montgomery and Mike Warren looking legit and Allen Lazard ready to rewrite the school’s record book for receivers. The secondary is strong but the D will likely go as far as three juco transfers on the line will take them.

I think Campbell is doing a fantastic job but the schedule-makers weren’t kind to Iowa State. They play at Oklahoma, at West Virginia and at Kansas State in 2017. The win total of 5.5 seems bang on, as I’m predicting the Cyclones win five or six games with big potential for 2018.

Iowa State 2017 Betting Odds
National Championship Big 12 Championship Win Total
Not Listed +10000 5.5 (+120/-150)

Kansas Jayhawks

Kansas has two wins over the past two seasons. Coach David Beaty has certainly added more talent to the roster but the Jayhawks are still likely the worst team in the Big 12.

Beaty brought over offensive coordinator Doug Meacham from TCU after the former Oklahoma State O-lineman helmed one of the most explosive offenses in the nation. Meacham has some solid talent to work with, especially at receiver, but the quarterback position remains a mystery. The defense has some good pieces in the front seven, including stud lineman Dorance Armstrong, but the secondary lost all four starters.

This team has pieces to inspire optimism but not a whole lot more. Beating anyone in the Big 12 still seems difficult and the only guaranteed win on the schedule I see is against Southeast Missouri State. The Jayhawks might be able to steal a surprising win but I still wouldn’t bank on OVER 3.0 wins.

Kansas 2017 Betting Odds
National Championship Big 12 Championship Win Total
Not Listed +50000 3.0 (-115/-115)