Big 12 Tournament Odds & Picks: Texas Tech’s & Oklahoma’s Paths to Victory
John E. Moore III/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyler Edwards (left) and Mac McClung (right).
There’s still a long list of conferences yet to crown champions, with 15 championship games on Saturday followed by five more before the NCAA Tournament bracket is released on Sunday.
In order to help you navigate the jam-packed week of college basketball, our analysts have come together to deliver their top picks to win each of the remaining Power 6 and high-major conference tournaments.
You’ll find their favorite outright bets for the Big 12 Tournament below. Be sure to also check out their picks for the Big East and more conference tournaments here.
Big 12 Tournament Odds
BJ Cunningham: Texas Tech +1500
Listen, Baylor is probably going to cruise through the Big 12 Tournament.
KenPom has the Bears’ chances of cutting down the nets in Kansas City at over 57%. So, if you are looking for a longshot, I think the Red Raiders are your best option given the odds.
They rank inside the top 30 nationally in both offensive and defensive efficiency, per KenPom. They also have the second-best efficiency differential in the Big 12, so the fact they have the sixth best odds is quite shocking in my opinion.
They get to face Texas in the first round, which is good news because they swept Texas in the regular-season series. Texas Tech then will have to get past Kansas, which it lost two very close games to this year.
The Red Raiders do a few things extremely well that are really key in an elimination tournament setting:
They take care of the ball (35th in turnover rate)
They crash the offensive boards at a high rate (32nd in offensive rebounding rate)
They get to the free-throw line at a high rate (21st in free throw rate).
So, if the Red Raiders aren’t shooting the ball well, they still will have plenty of second-chance and free-throw opportunities.
KenPom has Texas Tech’s probability of winning the Big 12 Tournament at 8.5%, so given the implied odds of +1500 is 6.25%, you’re getting 2.25% value on the Red Raiders.
Pick: Texas Tech +1500
Pat McMahon: Oklahoma +3000
I know the Sooners have been reeling, but this is simply too talented of a team to be getting odds this high.
Oklahoma enters the Big 12 Tournament on a four-game losing streak, and as a result, slid to the No. 7 seed and have to play in the opening round on Wednesday. It shouldn’t have an issue in the opener against an Iowa State team that doesn’t have enough offense to hang with the Sooners.
Kansas awaits in the quarterfinals in a game that I think is essentially a coin flip. The two teams split a pair of close games in the regular season. Kansas has an edge on the defensive end, but the Sooners have more consistent scoring options, and if they can get it going from the outside, should be able to take down the Jayhawks.
Texas and Texas Tech are the potential semifinal opponents for the Sooners. Oklahoma split the regular-season meetings with Texas and lost to Texas Tech twice by a combined seven points. It wouldn’t be a stretch for the Sooners to take down both Kansas and the winner of the Longhorns/Red Raiders game.
In order to profit from a ticket with this high of a price, you just need the Sooners to reach the title game, where you would then be able to hedge.
The Sooners rank in the top 50 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, per KenPom, and will be in every game they play. Austin Reaves is one of the most dynamic players in the conference, and when he gets hot from the outside, this group is really tough to stop.
The Sooners have a number of streaky shooters — Reaves, De’Vion Harmon, Brady Manek, and Elijah Harkless, in addition to the reliable Umoja Gibson (43% from deep). This makes them worth a flyer in a single-elimination tournament because if they collectively get hot for a couple of days, the Sooners will make a run.
Pricing is key in this play, so it’s important you find the best number out there.
The Sooners are as low as +1000 at some books, so I think it’s crazy that DraftKings is giving us such a great number. I’d play the Sooners at +2500 or better.
Pick: Oklahoma +3000