2017 Big 12 Predictions

By Loot, College Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

2017 Big 12 Conference College Football Predictions and Picks

Still considered among the top five conferences in college football, the Big 12 still looks to make a splash at the national level after a long spell. The Texas Longhorns won it all in 2005 with Vince Young and that was the last time the Big 12 shined the brightest. Still, with teams like Oklahoma, Baylor, TCU, and others, a Big 12 team usually figures into the picture more often than not. It’s a tough conference with some depth and a handful of viable candidates.

Appraising the schedule is very important when projecting a team to win the conference. Sure, we want to pick a really good team, but beyond that, we need a team that has a reasonable path to a conference title. That might make us hesitant to pick a team that faces one heavy-hitter after the next, with a handful of difficult road games in their path. So however strong you feel about the team you might like, it’s important to take the schedule into heavy consideration.

After a 6-year spell without a championship game, the Big 12 will re-institute the title game in 2017. The two slots will be filled with the top two seeds, as the conference remains a one-entity unit without divisions. It’s just an extra hurdle a team needs to clear; making it a little harder than it has been in recent years where having the best record was the only standard. The absence of a championship game has probably hurt the conference on a national level and its return could give the right team a leg up when the committee decides on which four teams will go to the College Football Playoff.

Despite an offseason parting of the ways between the Sooners and longtime head coach Bob Stoops, Oklahoma sits atop the odds to win the Big 12. They are at nearly even-money, making them a huge favorite. But underneath the Sooners are some threatening teams, any of whom could pounce in the event that the Sooners stumble. Here are the odds to win the 2017 Big 12.

Betting Odds to Win the Big 12 Conference in 2017
Oklahoma -103
Oklahoma State +350
Texas +635
Kansas State +1000
TCU +1200
West Virginia +2150
Baylor +3500
Texas Tech +11500
Iowa State +14000
Kansas +50000

A Word about the Odds: The odds are pretty wide-ranging to win the Big 12. Oklahoma is nearly even-money at -103, as the final choice Kansas Jayhawks are +50000, which is 500-to-1. The odds rotate on the money line. When you see a minus-sign as you do with the Sooners at -103 that means you must bet $103 for every $100 you want to win. With the plus-sign, as you see with all teams other than the Sooners, that’s how much you win if you bet $100. So, a $103 bet on the Sooners would yield $100 in winnings. A $100 bet on Texas would win you $635.

A Look at the Contenders:

Oklahoma Sooners (-103): Last season, a 9-0 Big 12 record saw the Sooners again champions of the conference and more of the same is expected this season. Baker Mayfield returns at QB and is considered a top Heisman candidate. Bob Stoops stepped down, with young offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley stepping in. Look for more high scoring, even as they need to replace star backs Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine. They have a tough schedule with road games at Baylor, Texas, and Oklahoma State, but are clearly the class of the conference.

Oklahoma State Cowboys (+350): Second last season in the Big 12, the Cowboys finished the 2016 season with 7 straight regular season wins. This season could shake out well with a reasonable schedule, as their toughest conference games come at home. The offense should be a typical high-flying Cowboys unit, with Mason Rudolph leading the way and expected to have a huge season. His receiving unit, led by exceptional James Washington, could be the best in the conference. With even a defense that manages to be average, the Cowboys could have one of the better teams they’ve fielded in recent campaigns.

Texas Longhorns (+635): Last season, a 5-7 record brought an end to the Charlie Strong era, with Tom Herman now in the fold and a rising star in the college head coaching ranks. They managed only three conference wins in nine tries last season, but Strong left some good pieces with which to work for Herman and his staff. QB Shane Buechele is a rising commodity in the conference and will work with a top-line back in Chris Warren. A tremendous line could help bring it all together. The defense returns almost everyone and look for the staff to whip these guys into shape and make the Longhorns an interesting X-factor in the conference in 2017.


Kansas State Wildcats (+1000): Another interesting X-factor is the Wildcats, going off at +1000 odds. A 9-4 team last season with a 6-3 Big 12 mark, they will be facing Oklahoma State and Texas on the road, with a matchup against the Sooners at home. Jesse Ertz will again quarterback this team and with added maturity, could see a spike in his production. He has a good back in Alex Barnes and the “D” looks to be solid. Kansas State could be right in the thick of things and perhaps compete for a spot in the Big 12 title game.

Lootmeister’s Pick to Win the Big 12 Conference: Oklahoma Sooners at -103. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet on who will win the Big 12 Conference by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you’ll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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College Football Conferences – List of all NCAA football conferences including the teams that make up each conference.

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