CBB Betting: Big 12 Tournament Odds, Picks & Predictions
March is here and the madness is heating up! Some tournaments, such as the ACC, have already started (you can still bet on ACC Tournament futures odds at legal US sportsbooks). Others, like the Big 12 Conference Tournament, begin tonight, Wednesday, March 11th.
When it comes to bubble teams, there might not be a more intriguing conference tournament than the Big 12. The Texas Longhorns, Texas Tech Red Raiders and Oklahoma Sooners all hope to join the Kansas Jayhawks and Baylor Bears in the 2020 NCAA Tournament, but they still have work to do. So are any of these teams worthy of a Big 12 Tournament bet?
2020 Big 12 Tournament Betting Odds
All odds are courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook, accurate as of Wednesday afternoon unless otherwise stated.
2020 Big 12 Tournament Format
All ten Big 12 teams (weird, I know) will meet at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri for the 2012 Big 12 Conference Tournament. It will be a traditional single-elimination bracket with the two first-round games tipping off Wednesday, March 11th, followed by the quarterfinals on March 12th, semifinals on March 13th, and the Big 12 Championship on Saturday, March 14th.
First Round Spreads
Game 1: No. 9 Iowa State at No. 8 Oklahoma State -6.5, O/U 140.5
Game 2: No. 10 Kansas State at No. 7 TCU -1.5, O/U 126
Second Round Matchups
Game 3: No. 5 Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. No. 4 Texas Longhorns
Game 4: Winner of Game 1 vs. No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks
Game 5: Winner of Game 2 vs. No. 2 Baylor Bears
Game 6: No. 3 Oklahoma vs. No. 6 West Virginia
Even if you don’t get your Big 12 tournament futures bets in before games start Wednesday night, you’ll still be able to place them before the second round tips off on Thursday. Be sure to get them in early, though. Game 3 between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and Texas Longhorns starts at 12:30 p.m. ET Thursday.
Big 12 Tournament Betting Favorites
- Kansas Jayhawks +105
- Baylor Bears +250
A year after failing to win the Big 12 for the first time in over a decade, Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks took back their Big 12 crown with a 17-1 conference record in 2020. Their lone loss came to none other than the Baylor Bears, who finished with a dominant conference season of their own, two games shy of sharing the Big 12 title.
The Bears went 15-3, losing to Kansas at home and on the road to TCU and West Virginia. The Bears were the longest-reigning No. 1 team in the college basketball polls this year before the Jayhawks derailed their 23-game win streak two weeks ago.
The Jayhawks are substantial favorites to win the Big 12 Tournament, and history serves them well. Either Kansas or Iowa State have won the annual tournament every year since 2012. The Cyclones likely won’t be a threat to Kansas this time. However, the Jayhawks are likely to face two tough tests if they want to add a Big 12 Tournament championship to their already impressive season. If Texas Tech beats Texas on Thursday, the Jayhawks will meet up with the Red Raiders in the semifinals (presuming Kansas beats the winner of Oklahoma State/Iowa State).
Texas Tech gave the Jayhawks two close games during conference play, where the Jayhawks won by a combined seven points. The first of which was a three-point win that came down to the final possession inside Allen Fieldhouse. The Red Raiders had the Jayhawks against the ropes again last week in Lubbock before Kansas pulled away in the final minutes.
Though Baylor is the No. 2 seed, the Bears actually have an easier road to the Big 12 championship than the Jayhawks. They could have a chance to avenge a late-season loss to the Horned Frogs in the Big 12 quarterfinals before playing the winner of Oklahoma and West Virginia.
Either way, given the short odds on both of these Big 12 front-runners, it’s likely more profitable to roll over their moneylines throughout the tournament rather than betting on their futures odds to win Saturday. For more details explaining rollover strategy click here.
Big 12 Tournament Contenders, Betting Picks
- West Virginia Mountaineers +750
- Texas Tech Red Raiders +850
- Oklahoma Sooners +1800 (DraftKings)
- Texas Longhorns +4000 (DraftKings)
If I’m betting on the Big 12 Tournament, this is where I’m looking. Sure, the Big 12 lacks the depth it has had in previous years, but West Virginia and Texas Tech have already proved they can compete with the upper echelon of the Big 12, i.e., Baylor and Kansas.
The Texas Tech Red Raiders have the Big 12 Freshman of the Year, Jah’mius Ramsey and, in Chris Beard, a head coach who thrives during the month of March. Despite ending their season with four losses, Texas Tech’s young team of freshmen are beginning to mesh, as they showed in closeslosses against No. 4 Baylor and No. 1 Kansas to end their regular season schedule.
As a Texas Tech alumn myself, you might be skeptical of my rose-colored glasses. I’m certainly not an unbiased observer, so let’s see what KenPom has to say.
According to Ken Pom’s Luck factor metric, only seven teams have been unluckier than Texas Tech this season. Texas Tech has lost a handful of close games to NCAA Tournament teams, including three one-possession losses to Kansas, Baylor and Kentucky.
Despite sitting on the NCAA Tournament bubble, Texas Tech ranks 21st in the 2012 Pomeroy College Basketball Ratings, 22nd in the NCAA’s NET rating, and even higher (20th) in ESPN’s BPI. This is all I need to know before betting on my alma mater. If Ramsey can get hot, Beard is more than capable of running the table in the Big 12 Tournament with this Texas Tech team.
Oklahoma and Texas are both playing for their NCAA Tournament lives as well. I’m staying away from both teams, but you’ll find more value by signing up and betting at DraftKings Sportsbook if their long odds fancy you. For what it’s worth, Texas does seem to match up well with a smaller Texas Tech team. The played Texas Tech close in their first matchup, and then beat the Red Raiders by 10 points in one of the toughest arenas in the country.
For West Virginia, you want to sign up at FanDuel Sportsbook where the Mountaineers are +750 as opposed to +400 at DraftKings.
Image Credit: USA Today Sports Images