ACC • SEC • BIG 10
Odds to win the Big 12 per 5Dimes
Championship - None (Tiebreaker is the first team selected by the BCS)
West Virginia +425
Kansas State +825
Oklahoma State +1700
Texas Tech +2700
Iowa State +5800
How to read the odds
Bet $100 to win $100 on Oklahoma
Bet $100 to win $425 on TCU
Bet $100 to win $1,700 on Oklahoma St.
Oklahoma is heavily favored to win the Big 12 but at even money, the Sooners aren’t in play for me. I just don’t make a season-long wager that doesn’t at least offer some sort of ‘plus’ payout.
OU’s national-title hopes in 2011 went up in flames when it suffered a stunning home loss to Texas Tech as an enormous 29-point favorite. Then the Sooners’ defense fell apart in giving up 89 combined points in losses at Baylor and at Oklahoma St.
The good news is that quarterback Landry Jones returns, but he’ll no longer have WR Ryan Broyles at his disposal. In addition, three WRs were suspended indefinitely by Bob Stoops on May 10.
The defense should be much improved, though. Former Arizona head coach Mike Stoops takes over as the coordinator and he’ll have eight starters back for this unit.
Florida St. falls off the non-conference slate, replaced by Notre Dame, which comes to Norman on Oct. 27. OU’s toughest challenges will come down the stretch with road games against the league’s new arrivals, West Virginia (11/17) and TCU (12/1).
With plus-425 odds (risk $100 to win $425), West Virginia looks like the most attractive option. The Mountaineers have one of the nation’s elite signal callers in Geno Smith, who has a stellar 56/15 career touchdown-to-interception ratio.
WVU would’ve been a legit national-title contender if it were still in the Big East this year. Nevertheless, Dana Holgorsen’s squad is ready to compete for the Big 12 championship in its debut campaign.
Can Kansas St. find a way to win a slew of close games again in 2012? Probably not, but the Wildcats will have a chance as long as dynamic QB Collin Klein stays healthy. Klein was incredible in 2011, rushing for 1,141 yards and 27 TDs while also throwing for 1,918 yards with a 13/6 TD-INT ratio.
Even with first-round picks Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon no longer in the mix, Mike Gundy’s offense in Stillwater is a proven commodity that’ll continue to be a force. Don’t be surprised if Oklahoma St. is still in the hunt when it travels to Norman to face OU in a huge revenge game for the Sooners on Nov. 24.
Sleeper: Oklahoma St.
Brian Edwards can be reached at email@example.com.
For daily sports gambling analysis, follow Brian Edwards on twitter at Vegasbedwards.