With the 2016 college football season officially less than two months away, fans want to know what Vegas thinks of their teams’ odds. Surprisingly, some fans might be surprised or disappointed to see where Bovada ranks Big 12 teams when it comes to odds at winning the Big 12 Championship.
Oklahoma Sooners: 2/3
Oklahoma State: 5/1
West Virginia: 12/1
Kansas State: 33/1
Texas Tech: 33/1
Iowa State: 100/1
So, there’s plenty of interesting takeaways from these Big 12 odds.
First off, the Sooners are getting too much love. I know they are the hot team because they made last year’s CFB Playoff and return QB Baker Mayfield and RB Samaje Perine. But, this is exactly the kind of season where Stoops and the boys have one or two letdown games that shock the nation and the insane OU fans start calling for Stoops’ head to roll. I’m not saying that’s a certainly to happen, but with 2/3 odds, meaning you have to put down $3 to win $2, there’s no value in making a bet on Big Game Bob and the Sooners.
The team with the best odds in the conference is a no brainer: Texas Tech at 33/1. This could be the year where Tech’s offense is so explosive behind QB Pat Mahomes, while the defense is ‘just good enough’ to help Tech finally pull out some of those high-scoring games they’ve come up short in in recent seasons.
Once again, so certain fans don’t lose their shit, I am not predicting the Red Raiders to win the Big 12 Championship. But, when it comes to value and placing bets (something I’ve been known to do once or twice), then the best value in the conference lies in Lubbock, Texas.
Two teams that have odds better than I expected are the TCU Horned Frogs, West Virginia Mountaineers, and Kansas Jayhawks. TCU has to replace their star QB receiver duo of Trevone Boykin and Josh Doctson. Will the transition be seamless with Kenny Hill or Foster Sawyer? Are the real geniuses behind the offense co-offensive coordinators Doug Mecham and Sonny Cumbie, so it’s more of a plug-and-play system with the right athletes? That’s possible. We know that the defense should be much improved under Gary Patterson after suffering through youth and injuries last season. Still, I was surprised at how good their odds were.
As for the Mountaineers, when a team loses eight starters on defense along with the Big 12’s leading rusher in Wendell Smallwood, it won’t be easy. Also, they return a QB who hasn’t proven he can be ‘the guy’ (5 TDs, 5 INTs in last 5 regular season games), so there’s little reason to believe WVU is going to shock the conference. In order to do that, at least one side of the ball needs to far exceed expectations. I’m not convinced that can happen on either side. Think back to Kansas State in 2012, it was an offense that exceeded expectations led by QB Collin Klein and WR Tyler Lockett, along with an expectedly solid defense, that propelled them to #1 in the country by mid-November. Which side of the ball is going to be shockingly good in Morgantown? I can’t figure that one out.
The Jayhawks odds are too good because I don’t think you could find someone to bet them if it was 1000/1. 250/1 might be the biggest rip off in college football history. It’s not even one of those bets that you throw a few shekels on “just incase”. That’s literally a bet you make if you feel like throwing your money down the toilet… or it’s 3AM, you’re in Vegas, and your buddy convinces you that this is a deal you can’t pass up. Then again, the only person drunk enough to think betting Kansas football preseason odds is a good idea should already be blacked out and passed out on the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Road.
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