College Basketball Odds, Picks, Futures: 2022-23 Big 12 Conference Betting Preview
With BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF joining the Big 12 next year, this will be the last season for this conference as we know it.
So, who will be crowned champion in a special college basketball campaign, and how will each team perform?
I have you covered below with a full preview ahead of the 2022-23 season.
2022-23 Big 12 Regular Season Futures Odds
The Dominant Forces
2004 and 2019. Those are the only two years in the past two decades that neither Kansas nor Baylor shared at least a piece of the Big 12 regular season title.
While Kansas has certainly done most of the heavy lifting during that span, Baylor has earned at least a share of the title the past two seasons, and has been a top-five team in KenPom in each of the past three years.
The Bears have one of the best one-two guard punches in the country in Adam Flagler and LJ Cryer.
The Jayhawks return two starters from their championship squad, welcomed three top-50 prospects in Gradey Dick, MJ Rice and Ernest Udeh Jr., and stole one of the best transfers in the country in Kevin McCullar Jr. from league-rival Texas Tech.
Oddsmakers are split on the favorites this year, with both Baylor and Kansas going for anywhere between +200 and +260.
If you like one or the other significantly more, it’s worth a wager. It’s highly unlikely another Big 12 squad usurps the throne from the two most dominant teams in the nation’s best conference.
The Texas … 3-Step?
Baylor isn’t the only team making noise in the Lone Star State.
KenPom is higher on Texas than anybody in the country. His preseason algorithm has the mighty Longhorns at No. 2 in the nation, good for the highest ranking in the Big 12 and highest ranking for Texas in the site’s 25-year history.
Looking at the roster, it’s not hard to see why the Master of Data is so bullish on the ‘Horns.
Few teams, if any, can match the talent level of Tyrese Hunter, Marcus Carr, Timmy Allen, Dylan Disu and Christian Bishop. Throw in two stud freshmen in Dillon Mitchell and Arterio Morris and a grizzled veteran in transfer Sir’Jabari Rice, and you have the makings of title contender.
But it’s worth remembering, Chris Beard had a glut of talent last season as well, which culminated in a 15th-place finish in KenPom and a so-so 10-8 Big 12 mark.
Can we really expect a massive leap from the Longhorns in 2023? Texas was just 1-3 against Kansas and Baylor in 2022.
Texas Tech Red Raiders
Head coach Mark Adams quickly quieted the doubters in his first season as TTU’s head honcho, outperforming his former boss on his way to leading the Red Raiders to a top-10 KenPom finish and the nation’s best defense.
While considerable pieces walk out the door — including all-league big man Bryson Williams — Texas Tech is a sure bet to be — at the very least — a dominant defensive team once again. The defensive system, of which Adams has been the master of for the past several seasons, is just too good.
And though just one starter returns, Tech has plenty of talent coming in from the portal.
De’Vion Harmon (Oregon), Jaylon Tyson (Texas), Kerwin Walton (UNC), Fardaws Aimaq (Utah Valley) and D'Maurian Williams (Gardner-Webb) all bring something to the table and promise to keep the Raiders within striking distance of the big dogs.
TCU Horned Frogs
If TCU fans feel a bit slighted at all the hype surrounding Creighton this preseason, well, nobody should blame them. The Horned Frogs, like Creighton, return essentially everyone from a squad that earned a nine-seed, won a game and competed with a top team in last year’s Big Dance.
That TCU squad ranked 26th at the end of the season in KenPom, one of the highest marks in school history. Creighton ranked 50th. Yet it’s the Jays — and not the Frogs — garnering top-10 love from the media masses.
TCU won’t sneak up on anyone in Big 12 play, and no real college basketball fan would be shocked if these Frogs ended up in the top 10 by the season’s end.
Head coach Jamie Dixon led a fierce defensive squad last year and rosters an All-American talent in point guard Mike Miles.
The Frogs should once again be one the nation’s premier rebounding teams and should improve on the offensive end with added experience and continuity.
The Motivation Angle
Oklahoma State Cowboys
Oklahoma State was one of the few unlucky teams to be actually punished by the NCAA last season.
The Cowboys were deemed ineligible for the postseason, a ridiculous penalty after an assistant pled guilty in an FBI investigation before-COVID times.
The Pokes are eligible again to hear their names called on Selection Sunday, and they have a roster capable of getting there and making noise in the Big 12.
Four key pieces are back from a squad that ranked fourth nationally in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency (KenPom).
Also, head coach Mike Boynton added scoring from the portal with High Point’s John-Michael Wright and Texas State’s Caleb Asberry.
There may not be a hungrier team in the country than Oklahoma State this season.
Down But Not Out
Each of these squads are either “down” from last season or in the midst of a bit of a rebuilding stage.
Even so, this is the Big 12, and “rebuilding” teams are often better than majority of the country.
Iowa State Cyclones
The Clones built their unexpected NCAA tournament run on the back of a great defense, which ranked fifth nationally, per KenPom.
It also helped that former St. Bonaventure and Penn State transfer Izaiah Brockington had a career renaissance and freshman point guard Hunter (now with Texas) was as good as advertised.
Brockington and Hunter are gone, and ISU’s chances at another tourney bid have suffered as a result.
Head coach T.J. Otzelberger should have another feisty defensive squad at his disposal — especially with the additions of Jaren Holmes and Osun Osunniyi — but scoring is a major concern.
West Virginia Mountaineers
Doubt Bob Huggins at your own risk. When his teams are perceived as down, that is when they are the most dangerous.
Something clearly wasn’t gelling on last year’s Mountaineers squad, which finished a paltry 4-14 in Big 12 play a year after going 11-6 and earning a six-seed in the NCAA tournament.
Smart money is on Huggins rediscovering his fastball and getting the most out of a ragtag group of misfits.
If Texas transfer Tre Mitchell — once a dominant force in the A-10 with UMass — can buy into the defensive mindset of the program, WVU could be dangerous.
While not the most intriguing team on paper, Oklahoma has a shot to make waves this season, much like its WVU and ISU brethren.
Head coach Porter Moser has proven he can win with any group by taking Loyola Chicago to the Final Four in 2018.
This year, a team mostly known for its defense could morph into an offensive-leading squad.
Transfers Grant Sherfield (Nevada) and Joe Bamisile (George Washington) will have to prove they can co-exist after having high-usage roles at their previous stops, but if they can, OU will have two potent weapons it can pair with all-league forward Jacob Groves.
Kansas State Wildcats
No offense to the great Kansas State fanbase, but this simply isn’t your year.
The Wildcats made a great hire prying long-time Baylor assistant Jerome Tang away from Scott Drew, but they simply lack the top-end talent to finish in even the top half of a ridiculously good Big 12.
The transfers Tang brought in are either unproven, come from a mid-to-low major (where they did not dominate), or in Keyontae Johnson’s case, haven’t played a game in years.
Johnson will have a microscope on him all season. He was the Preseason SEC Player of the Year in 2021 prior to collapsing on the court in December of 2020.
It’s unclear if he’ll be able to regain his superstar ways, let alone even play an entire season.