The Big 12 still only has 10 teams to remain the only major conference that is not broken down into two divisions. It is also a conference of have’s and have not’s with only a few teams with a legitimate chance to win the Big 12 title. This also creates an easier path to securing a spot in the four-team playoff as long as there are no bad losses along the way.
Once again, the Oklahoma Sooners are the team to beat as -125 favorites to win another conference title. MyBookie online sportsbook has the Texas Longhorns as +250 second-favorites before the odds really start to fall off to +1000 that the West Virginia Mountaineers win the Big 12 this season.
While the road to this year’s Big 12 title sill goes through Norman, the big question coming into this season is can the Sooners legitimately compete for a national title? Oklahoma’s projected wins for its 12-game regular season schedule is 10.5 with the betting odds favoring the OVER at -130. The money line for betting the UNDER is set at +110.
The Sooners will open the new season against Houston with UCLA also on their nonconference schedule. They face Texas and West Virginia at home in back-to-back games in October and the season-ending clash against rival Oklahoma State is on the road. Jalen Hurts taking over for Kyler Murray at quarterback is something to keep an eye on, but I still would go with the OVER on 10.5 wins for one of the top four or five teams in the nation.
Texas is still trying to reestablish itself as an elite national power as opposed to being one of the better teams in the Big 12. Going 10-4 last season with a win in the Sugar Bowl over Georgia is a step in the right direction for head coach Tom Herman, heading into his third season at the helm. However, until Texas can get past Oklahoma in the title game things will remain status quo. The Longhorns’ projected wins are set at 9.5 games with -125 odds for the UNDER. The odds they win at least 10 games are set at +105.
Last season’s step in the right direction can be built on this season with one of the most talented Texas teams in a number of years. The Longhorns went 7-2 in conference play last season with a huge victory over the Sooners marred by losses to Oklahoma State and West Virginia. They lost the rematch against Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game. Texas faces LSU in one of its nonconference matchups which could be just enough to keep it UNDER that 10-win threshold.
West Virginia Mountaineers
West Virginia appears to be playing for third this year in the Big 12. It went 6-3 in conference play last season as part of an overall record of 8-4. This includes a postseason loss to Syracuse as part of a three-game losing streak to close things out. This season, the Mountaineers have a projected win total of 7.5 games with -115 betting odds for the OVER and the UNDER.
With a manageable nonconference schedule against James Madison, Missouri, and North Carolina State, the Mountaineers should once again get off to a fast start. They play Texas and Oklahoma State at home which is another big plus. This team has a knack for losing one or two games a season it was expected to win, but I still like West Virginia to get to the eight-win mark to cash a winner on the OVER.