Best Big 12 Bets This Weekend

The Big 12 gets back into the swing of conference play this weekend, and it’ll be nice to see how some of these teams stack up against each other. The conference as a whole has not had great coverage over the first two weeks, as they collapsed versus the Sun Belt, and Oklahoma State didn’t look good in barely putting away Tulsa last week. The narrative is that it’s Oklahoma’s conference, Texas is pretty good, and it’s a lot of nothing after that, so we will see if anyone can shake that perception. That being said, let’s take a look at some of the best Big 12 bets to make this week. As with our SEC and ACC bets, nothing here includes odds better than -200.

Texas @ Texas Tech, OVER 70.5

This over/under probably would have had to have touched 80 before I would have considered betting the under. Texas dropped 59 points on UTEP in their opener, while Texas Tech gave up a horrific 33 points to Houston Baptist. Texas’s defense was not strong last year, and while I anticipate an improvement, I still think Texas Tech has the offense to put up around 30 points. But I’d also be betting on the Longhorns dropping another 50-piece on the Red Raiders, whose abysmal defense will be picked apart by Sam Ehlinger and Co. I’d consider betting Texas -17.5 here as well, but I think the over is a pretty secure shot.

Baylor (-18) vs. Kansas

Baylor has beaten Kansas ten straight times, and in nine of those ten games, they won by at least 19 points, including the past eight. Baylor has had several games postponed or cancelled and have been gearing up for gameday multiple times, so I don’t doubt that they’ll be ready to go out of the gate on Saturday. Meanwhile, Kanas lost to Coastal Carolina. By 15 points. At home. Roll Baylor here.

Kansas State (+28.0) @ Oklahoma, OVER 60.5

I’m hitting this game with the double bet. This seems like a pretty low over/under for two pretty solid Big 12 offenses. Kansas State put up 31 points in their first game, while the Sooners dropped 48. Meanwhile, Kansas State gave up 35 to Arkansas State, so I anticipate Spencer Rattler and the Oklahoma offense to easily eclipse 40+ points. If they hit 42, that leaves Kansas State needing just 19 to hit the over, bringing me to my second point.

This spread is just ridiculous to me. Over in the SEC, Georgia is a 28-point favorite against Arkansas, who hasn’t won a SEC game in two years. Kansas State went 8-5 last year…and they beat Oklahoma! How are they 28 point ‘dogs? Maybe I’m missing something drastic, but with Rattler making his first start against Power-5 competition, I just don’t see Oklahoma rolling over this 28 point spread.

Daily Headlines: McClung Transfers, Arizona Lands Twin International Recruits

The biggest name on the NCAA basketball transfer market made his decision on Wednesday, as former Georgetown star Mac McClung announced his intent to transfer to Texas Tech, the 2019 NCAA runner-ups. It’s a huge pick-up for the Red Raiders, who have lost a few of their top options, including Davide Moretti, who left collegiate ball for pro ball in Italy. McClung became a viral star in high school, and he tore it up with the Hoyas for two seasons before declaring for the draft, while maintaining eligibility. However, McClung recently withdrew his name from draft consideration, and Texas Tech immediately became a favorite to land his services. The Red Raiders are known for their fierce defensive system, but McClung’s fireworks offensively will be a welcome sight in Lubbock, where Chris Beard hopes to compete with Kansas and Baylor for Big 12 supremacy.

Arizona lands twin brother recruits
Arizona basketball received some big-time upgrades via their international recruiting, as they landed twin brothers Azuolas and Tautvilas Tubelis out of Lithuania. Azuolas led Lithuania in scoring in the U16 and U18 European championships, and he is the top-rated international prospect. Tautvilas spent four seasons playing for the elite Vilnius Basketball School, while also competing at the FIBA U16 and U18 European championships. They both cited Arizona’s campus and fans as reason for their commitment. The Wildcats were strong contenders in a wide-open Pac-12 last season, but they lost seven of eight players who got major playing time. They’ll hope these victories on the recruiting front keep them in conference contention.

Johnny Juzang gets immediate eligibility

UCLA got some welcome news as well for their basketball team, as transfer Johnny Juzang got approved to play immediately for the Bruins, after transferring from Kentucky. Juzang was originally a Class of 2020 recruit, but he re-classified and played 28 games for Kentucky, starting two. His numbers (2.9 points per game) didn’t dazzle, but he also didn’t see much playing time until the back-end of the year, and he put up a few impressive performances, including 10 points in a comeback effort versus Florida, as well as thirteen points against Tennessee. The 6’6 shooting guard hails from Los Angeles, and he’s headed back to his home state to play for the Bruins, where he will be an intriguing option for a team that finished second place in the Pac-12 last season, finishing the year as one of the hottest teams in the country.

Houston’s Fabian White out for the season

Houston lost a key contributor for the upcoming season, as senior Fabian White suffered a torn ACL while working out on his own, forcing him to take a red-shirt for 2020-2021 season to preserve his eligibility. It’s really bad luck for White, who started all 31 games in his junior campaign, and for Houston, ranked nineteenth in the country in ESPN’s way-too-early Top 25, they’ll need to replace one of their best players if they want to be contenders for the NCAA Tournament.

Daily Headlines: College Coaching Legend Eddie Sutton Passes Away

Legendary NCAA Basketball coach Eddie Sutton passed away on Saturday at the age of 84 – he leaves a legacy as one one of the greatest ever to coach at the collegiate level. He coached for 16 seasons with Oklahoma State, eleven with Arkansas, four with Kentucky, five with Creighton, and a final part of a season with San Francisco. In those 16 seasons with the Cowboys, Sutton never suffered a losing season. He reached three Final Fours – one with Arkansas and two with Oklahoma State – and racked up 806 wins, good for ninth all-time.

Texas Tech loses key player to overseas

Texas Tech lost a key contributor from their 2019 national runners-up team, as Davide Moretti opted to leave the Red Raiders in favor of Olimpia Milano in his native Italy. Moretti started 68 games in the previous two seasons, averaging over 11 points per games in both campaigns. He’s nearly a 90% free throw shooter, and 42% from beyond the arc. Head coach Chris Beard and the Texas Tech staff will be looking for immediate replacements for blow to their starting lineup. They are considered players for former Georgetown star Mac McClung on the transfer market, as well as Jonathan Kuminga, the top 2021 recruit who is considering reclassifying to enter the NCAA next season.

Big 12 cleared to return June 15

On Friday, the SEC announced they would allow teams to report to their athletic facilities on June 8, while the Big 10 said they would leave it up to the schools. Saturday, the Big 12 handed down their decision, clearing their football players to return on June 15. Although a week later, this keeps college football on pace for a on-time start. We can only hope.

Caylin Newton heads to Auburn

In a somewhat surprising decision, Cam Newton’s younger brother, Caylin, has elected to transfer to Auburn, where Cam won a national championship, to complete his collegiate career. He’s been one of the best players in the MEAC, with Howard, but he chooses Auburn as his grad transfer destination, despite sophomore Bo Nix have a firm grip on the starting job. It’ll be curious if head coach Gus Malzahn attempts to utilize him in other ways than a traditional back-up quarterback.

Ole Miss snags Mississippi State transfer

A former ESPN 300 recruit, Mississippi State’s Jarrian Jones announced on Saturday he would be leaving the Bulldogs and flipping sides in the Egg Bowl rivalry, as he will don the red and navy blue uniforms of the Ole Miss Rebels in 2020. The defensive back was all over the board during his recruitment, committing and de-committing from two teams before deciding on Mississippi State. He lasted one season with the Bulldogs, recording twelve tackles and two pass-breakups as a true freshman. He’ll have three seasons of eligibility left with the Rebels

Big 12 Status Report: Baylor or Kansas On Top?

Baylor is the #1 team in the nation, and they’re on a 15-game winning streak. Yet I still don’t think they’re winning their conference. Their style of play, to me, is not a sustainable formula for winning in March. They play a lot of close, defensive games, and that will be a tough approach to winning games when the lights shine the brightest. I still believe Kansas is the odds-on favorite to win the Big 12, while Baylor and West Virginia are right outside the picture and looking up at the Jayhawks. Here are this week’s biggest risers and fallers.

Biggest Risers: Oklahoma

  • This may be a slightly odd pick for the biggest riser, but I picked the Sooners for a very specific reason; I believe the Big 12 has a clear top four in the conference between the Jayhawks, Baylor, West Virginia, and Texas Tech. I think Oklahoma is the next best team, and I believe the Sooners did a good job of separating themselves from some of the other wannabes in the Big 12. They dominated TCU and then went on the road and nearly knocked off #1 Baylor. While they fell short in the latter game, Oklahoma, I think, showed themselves to be very clearly the next best team in the Big 12.

Biggest Fallers: Texas, Oklahoma State

  • Texas lost a winnable game at home to Kansas, and they followed up that disappointment by being obliterated by West Virginia. They showed both an inability to close out big games, and their continued proclivity for being run out of the building – their 38-point loss to the Mountaineers was their fourth by 15+ points. The Longhorns have really played themselves out of the Big 12 picture. They’ll need a small miracle to even be considered on Selection Sunday.
  • Oklahoma State is in a similar position to Texas. Entering conference play at 9-3, the Cowboys are now 9-9 with an ugly 0-6 conference mark. They’ve lost four of those games by double digits, and they have shown very little ability to win on the road or at home against conference opponents. I believe their 12-point loss to Texas at home was a true statement about where this team stands in the national and conference picture – they are not close to contention, and they won’t be this year.

Quick Hits

  • While the Big 12 has some top tier talent, I believe they have very little depth in the conference. I’m only confident in four teams making it to the Dance – Kansas, Baylor, West Virginia, and Texas Tech.
  • Picking bubble teams is tough in this conference, but I’ll go with Oklahoma, Iowa State, and TCU, although I would not lay money down on those teams making it right now.
  • I’m declaring 3 Big 12 teams done, as I simply don’t see a path to the tournament – beyond an unlikely conference championship – for Texas, Oklahoma State, or Kansas State.

Biggest Upcoming Games (BIG 12/SEC CHALLENGE)

  • #1 Baylor @ Florida
  • TCU @ Arkansas
  • Tennessee @ #3 Kansas