2021 Big 12 Football Picks & Predictions: Oklahoma's Conference To Lose

Can anyone in the Big 12 stop Oklahoma this year? More importantly, can Kansas win a single game?
Alex Kirshner
Wed, July 28, 9:02 AM EDT

2021 Big 12 Football Picks & Predictions: Oklahoma's Conference To Lose

The Big 12 has been in the news for reasons no college football conference wants to be in the news: The league’s two biggest brands, Oklahoma and Texas, are leaving for the SEC some time in the next few years. The dissolution of transformation of the league will be one of the sport’s biggest stories over the next half-decade.

But in the meantime, the Big 12 is going to play a 2021 football season that’s packed with little subplots. Will Oklahoma win it for an incredible seventh time in a row? Will Texas show some signs under first-year coach Steve Sarkisian? Will Iowa State build on its best season ever, which culminated in a Fiesta Bowl win under Matt Campbell? Will Texas Tech’s transfer-laden roster be good enough to save Matt Wells’ job? Will Kansas win a Big 12 game?

Here are five futures bets I like for the 2021 season. These odds are via DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook and might vary by where you place your bets. You should also check your book’s policy on canceled games, which might again be a factor this year.

Big 12 Futures Picks

Oklahoma To Win The Big 12 @ -170

There’s no particular reason to think the Sooners won’t make it seven in a row. Outside of Alabama, Lincoln Riley’s offense remains the best bet in college football to put up fireworks every single season. QB Spencer Rattler has the inside track on the first overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, and I expect him to make downfield magic with the highly productive Marvin Mims. I don’t like futures bets with such negative juice, but Oklahoma is usually a stable investment. However, it’s good practice to hedge a pick like this with something with more upside, such as ...

Texas To Win The Big 12 @ +1200

With futures betting, not every pick has to be something I think is likely to happen. At the right odds, something that seems plausible can be a good value idea. The Longhorns have more talent than anyone in the conference save Oklahoma, and all it would take is an injury to either OU’s Rattler or Iowa State QB Brock Purdy to make the Horns a pretty decent bet in this conference. I hope neither happens. Regardless of other teams’ medical situations, UT is worth buying a lottery ticket at a number like this, because there’s a chance Sarkisian gets a lot more out of his offense than Tom Herman ever did.

Note: I like a long shot bet like this more than Texas’ team win total of 8, because I don’t know what to make of their season opener against talented Sun Belt foe Louisiana. They might lose that game, but it wouldn’t technically hurt them in the Big 12 race.

Oklahoma State Over 7.5 Wins @ +105

The Cowboys have a cogent offensive game plan under second-year coordinator Kasey Dunn, who comes from the air raid coaching tradition but mixes in more running than many of his predecessors. I think it’ll work pretty well against Big 12 defenses that are better than a lot of observers give them credit for being. This schedule features four extremely likely wins (FCS Missouri State, basically-FCS Kansas, Kansas State, Tulsa) and at least three more games in which OSU would be a fairly significant favorite if the games were played today (Baylor, Texas Tech, TCU, and maybe Boise State). The Pokes won’t win all of those games, but they should win the vast majority, and they can make up the difference by stealing one from Texas or Iowa State. This bet is not banking on a rare upset of Bedlam rival Oklahoma.

TCU Under 7.5 Wins @ -105

The Horned Frogs have a pretty nice-looking roster at just about every position group. They should be an above-average team. But they’re not great at any one thing, so I don’t expect them to blow many teams out of the water. Instead, they’ll find themselves in a lot of tossup games. The schedule has two sure wins against Duquesne and Kansas, but after that, getting to eight wins involves lots of things going right against lots of teams that have the talent to beat TCU. Assuming wins over Duquesne and KU and losses to Oklahoma and Iowa State, can you find six wins in the other eight games against SMU, Cal, Baylor, Texas Tech, Kansas State, West Virginia, Texas, and Oklahoma State? To me, it requires too favorable a view.

Kansas Over 1 Win @ -160

This is the bet on this list that will make the people in your life want to stage an intervention. It’s the “you really have a problem” bet for every college football gambler in 2021. But I think it’s a sound play. The Jayhawks are horrible, but one win is not a lot, and new coach Lance Leipold showed at Buffalo over the last few years that he’s one of the country’s better schemers on offense. Kansas is probably going to beat FCS South Dakota to get this bet at least to a push. Sure, KU may not win another game after that, but contests against Duke, Texas Tech, and Kansas State are not total impossibilities. I will at least have fun watching Kansas try to get win No. 2. I deserve to be placed on a watchlist.

Big 12 Futures Predictions & Picks

Oklahoma To Win The Big 12 @ -170

Texas To Win The Big 12 @ +1200

Oklahoma State Over 7.5 Wins @ +105

TCU Under 7.5 Wins @ -105

Kansas Over 1 Win @ -160

Oklahoma To Win Big 12Big 12 Conference - Winner
Alex Kirshner
alex_kirshner
Alex Kirshner covers college football for the Moon Crew newsletter. He is a co-author of The Sinful Seven: Sci-Fi Western Legends of the NCAA, and he lives in Washington, D.C.
Jan 2021
Record
Wins
15
Losses
30
Push
0
ROI
-8.29%
0Betslip

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