Big 12 College Basketball Futures Betting: Is There Value On Any Team Chasing Baylor?
Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Derek Culver (left) and Bob Huggins (right).
Baylor’s lead atop the Big 12 doesn’t appear to be fading any time soon.
The undefeated second-ranked Bears are three games clear of the rest of the conference, thanks to a 9-0 start in conference play.
Catching Baylor in the standings got even more difficult, with three games being removed from Baylor’s schedule due to COVID-19 concerns.
That leaves just three previously-scheduled games left on the Bears’ dance card for the rest of this season. Baylor is scheduled to have home dates with surging Oklahoma State and last-place, winless-in-conference Iowa State, plus a trip to Allen Fieldhouse to play Kansas.
That crop of already-scheduled games ends on Feb. 27, leaving the Big 12 time to re-schedule Baylor’s postponed games.
If the conference does not postpone all three missed games, the path for anyone to catch Baylor becomes even more difficult. The more games Baylor plays, the more chances for the Bears to slip up and add losses.
The way the standings and the odds to win the Big 12 stand, there is value to be had in the futures market if handled correctly.
We’ll start with Baylor, which sits comfortably ahead of the pack in one of college basketball’s best conferences. Even though there’s very little value in wagering on the Bears to finish off the regular season as conference champions, they are likely still being undervalued at this moment.
Even if all of Baylor’s postponed games make their way back onto the calendar, the Bears would need an outright disaster to not finish the job.
Baylor is 17-0 and playing like one of the best college basketball teams of the last decade. It’s a bit absurd to imagine it losing three or more games down the stretch, even with injuries and illnesses factored in.
If betting on Baylor at -250 doesn’t seem appealing on its own, it could make for a nice addition to any parlays with other conference champions or Final Four futures. For example, a $100 parlay on Baylor to win the Big 12 and Michigan to win the Big Ten would pay out $504.
Photo Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images.
West Virginia (+1450)
While Baylor is the likely winner, there is still one team further down the standings potentially worth a flyer: West Virginia. Bob Huggins and the Mountaineers sit in solo second place in the Big 12, with a 6-3 conference record so far this season.
For some reason, DraftKings has the Mountaineers with the sixth-best odds to win the Big 12.
While there might be scheduling or matchup reasons to favor some of the other Big 12 contenders down the stretch, West Virginia has a clear head start and the best legitimate chance to steal the top spot from Baylor.
Two of the three games postponed on Baylor’s schedule were supposed to be against the Mountaineers. If those are rescheduled and you believe in Huggins’ ability to slow down the Baylor offense, West Virginia could, in theory, cut the Baylor lead in the standings to just one game.
If that’s enough to tempt you, this +1450 number is the best of the trailing bunch, even if it’s unlikely to come to fruition.
Photo Credit: Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images.
The Rest of the Big 12
The four teams priced between Baylor and West Virginia all have their own flaws and reasons for not being worth your dollar.
Texas has the second-lowest odds at just +550 despite sitting four losses behind Baylor in the standings. With four road games and home tilts with West Virginia and Kansas still on the conference slate, it’s nearly fantasy to think the Longhorns could run the table and catch Baylor.
The same could be said of a struggling Kansas team that ends its schedule with games against Texas Tech, Texas, and Baylor.
On top of a difficult slate, Kansas has five Big 12 losses this season. Similarly, Texas Tech and Oklahoma are strong teams but have four conference losses and a load road ahead.
The conceivable path to a conference title just isn’t in the cards for this group.
If one of these teams interests you, the correct future play is looking to the Final Four. Oklahoma currently priced at +400 is the most eye-catching of the non-Baylor Big 12 crowd in that regard.