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Big 12 Football: Oklahoma Eyes Fifth Consecutive Title

Odds to win the 2019 Big 12 Title

Since the beginning of the College Football Playoff format in the 2014-15 season, there has been a Big 12 squad that has been in the mix to compete for the national championship in three of the five seasons. It just so happens that it was the same team over those three appearances, the Oklahoma Sooners, who are favored to win a fifth Big 12 championship in a row.

Online sportsbook Bovada has the Oklahoma Sooners as the -125 favorites to win the Big 12 championship, followed by the Texas Longhorns at +285, the Iowa State Cyclones at +1050, the West Virginia Mountaineers at +1100, the Baylor Bears, Oklahoma State Cowboys and TCU Horned Frogs at +2000, the Texas Tech Red Raiders at +2200, the Kansas State Wildcats at +4000 and the Kansas Jayhawks at +10000 to round out the conference.

Red River Showdown for the Title Again?

Heading into the 2019 season, from a betting perspective it is Oklahoma, Texas and the rest. A similar story could have been written last year as the Sooners and Longhorns were the only two teams in the conference to finish with double-digit wins. Oklahoma finished 12-2, including 8-1 in the conference, and Texas was a step behind at 10-4 (7-2 in the Big 12). The two met in the Red River Showdown with the Longhorns collecting a narrow 48-45 road victory. However, OU earned revenge with a 39-27 win in the Big 12 championship game.

A big issue for Oklahoma last year was its defense, which ranked 107th in yards allowed per game and 96th in points allowed per game. This issue may have cost the Sooners a shot at a championship as they were able to score 34 points against Alabama in the Orange Bowl but surrendered 45 points.

They are hoping they have rectified this issue with the hiring of defensive coordinator Alex Grinch, who spent time with Washington State and Ohio State. Offensively, the Sooners lost 2018 Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray but have brought in former Alabama starting quarterback Jalen Hurts, so they should be just fine.

Youth is the key word to Texas’ upcoming season. Quarterback Sam Ehlinger took a major step forward in his second season last year, improving in nearly every aspect of the game, while the team hopes a similar story can be written for running back Keaontay Ingram as he heads into his second season.

Defensively, the Longhorns return just three starters from the 2018 campaign and the squad doesn’t have a ton of time to jell before hosting LSU in Week 2. Although the team is very young, Texas has had back-to-back years of ranking in the top three in recruiting so the talent is there. It’s just a matter of whether they perform at the next level.

Value Outside of the Favorites

Oklahoma State (+2000) was a very frustrating team in 2018, earning victories over ranked squads Boise State, Texas and West Virginia while falling 48-47 at Oklahoma. However, the Cowboys then lost at home to Texas Tech and Iowa State and lost at Kansas State as well.

Heading into 2019, there could be a quarterback battle between redshirt freshman Spencer Sanders and Hawaii transfer Dru Brown. The pieces around them are solid and much of the defense is returning, outside of the d-line, so if one of the QBs can take the bull by the horns, the Cowboys could potentially shake up the Big 12.

The Baylor Bears (+2000) took a big jump forward, from 1-11 in 2017 to a victory over Vanderbilt in the Academy Sports and Outdoors Texas Bowl to finish with a 7-6 record in 2018. The Bears were gobbled up by Oklahoma and West Virginia but did play tough in Texas, falling 23-17.

There are a lot of returning players, especially on the defensive side of the ball, and Charlie Brewer also returns at the helm. Baylor had a decent offense, ranking 63rd, but the defense needs to take a step forward from its No. 87 ranking last year. I do think the Bears are a step behind talent-wise but they have the potential to create an upset or two that could make significant waves in the conference.

2019 Big 12 College Football Conference Betting Odds
Oklahoma Sooners-125
Texas Longhorns+285
Iowa State Cyclones+1050
West Virginia Mountaineers+1100
Baylor Bears+2000
Oklahoma State Cowboys+2000
TCU Horned Frogs+2000
Texas Tech Red Raiders+2200
Kansas State Wildcats+4000
Kansas Jayhawks+10000

Odds as of July 18 at Bovada

How to Read Big 12 Championship Odds

When you visit an NCAAF sportsbook, you’ll see futures odds displayed like this:

Oklahoma Sooners -120

Texas Longhorns +400

Iowa State Cyclones +1200

The team with the minus sign (-) is the favorite. The rest are underdogs. You can tell this because of the plus signs (+). In cases where there is no clear fave (no minus sign), the team with the lowest odds would be it. If you think it’s Oklahoma’s championship, a $100 bet would give you a payout of $183.33 – your original $100 is returned along with your winnings of $83.33. On the other hand, if you believe Iowa State is going to put on a show, that same $100 gets you $1300 – you get your $100 back coupled with your loot of $1200.

If you are going to bet on dogs, do your research. When oddsmaker’s set the odds, they look at past-performance and roster moves. In college football, players graduate and can leave huge voids in the lineup. This isn’t to say that you should never bet on underdogs, but be weary. They come with a bigger payout but there’s more risk associated. Our Odds Calculator will show you how much you’d win based on the odds and amount wagered.

What is a College Football Conference Futures Bet?

A futures bet is a wager on events that will happen in time, often weeks or months in advance. Here, you would be betting on a school’s odds to win the Big 12 championship. Oddsmakers’ set the lines before the season starts and adjust them the closer we get to Bowl time. As teams rise and fall in the standings, so will their odds. If you see action you like, it’s best to take it early before the line moves so much you’re not getting any value on the odds.