College Basketball Betting: Big 12 Tournament Preview
For the 11th straight year, the Big 12 Tournament will take place at the Sprint Center in Kansas City starting Wednesday. There are two play-in games featuring the bottom four seeds.
Favorite – Kansas not only rolled to a 17-1 conference record and the top seed but the Jayhawks are a lock to earn a no. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Jayhawks are not a deep team so the question deserves to be asked, is it worth the trouble and effort to attempt to win three games in three days when you can’t improve your stock? Baylor is also sitting pretty, though the Bears likely need to reach the Big 12 Tournament finals to ensure they grab the South Region’s no. 1 seed and have the luxury of playing in Houston in the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight. The tiebreaker system really did a number on West Virginia who currently ranks 10th in KenPom but seeded sixth in the Big 12 Tournament. The Mountaineers, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and Texas all finished 9-9. Meanwhile, the Longhorns, who were at one point 4-8 in league play, took advantage of a gem of a schedule down the stretch — no Kansas, no Baylor, and West Virginia at home — and somehow grabbed the fourth seed. Heck, they could have very easily been the third seed had they not been blown out by Oklahoma State in Austin to close out the regular season. Instead, they draw Texas Tech who appears to be one win away from locking up a tourney berth.
Darkhorse – Oklahoma State was at one point 0-8 in Big XII play but managed to finish the year 7-3. Those three losses came on the road against Baylor, West Virginia, and Kansas. The Cowboys got a favorable first round draw against Iowa State who obviously isn’t the same team without Tyrese Haliburton. And with Kansas sitting fat and happy AND having beat OSU comfortably both regular season meetings, perhaps the Cowboys can play spoiler.
What to Bet – There wasn’t a lot of pretty basketball played in the Big 12 this season, particularly when it came to the weaker teams in the league. TCU and Kansas State finished eight and ninth, respectively, in offensive efficiency. Neither team hit 60 points in the first meeting and in the second, TCU nailed 15 3-pointers but failed to crack 70 points in a 68-57 victory. The Horned Frogs were also the slowest team in the Big 12. Kansas State actually ranked fifth in pace but much of that was skewed because with only three league wins, the Wildcats spent nearly every game playing from behind which tends to result in extra possessions. Wednesday’s total should be reasonable; somewhere in the 126-127 range. I’ll be looking to play UNDER.
Odds to Win Tournament
Texas Tech +850
West Virginia +1000
Oklahoma State +8000
Kansas State +15000
Iowa State +20000
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