Big 12 Conference 2023 Analysis & Betting Preview: Sooners and Longhorns Bid Farewell

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NCAAF Pick: Texas Over 9½ Wins (-140) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Texas Over 9½ Wins (-140)
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Is there a proverbial fly in the ointment for Oklahoma and Texas as they begin their final Big 12 seasons? The college football odds don’t seem to think so, but the dozen teams that will be left behind are each looking to get in their final licks on the Sooners and Longhorns. 

Key Facts

  • Oklahoma and Texas move to the SEC for the 2024 season. 
  • Big 12 newcomers are BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and Central Florida. 
  • A pair of Kansas Jayhawks, QB Jalon Daniels and RB Devin Neal, made the early watch list for the Maxwell Award. 

Farewell Tour

Oklahoma and Texas begin their Big 12 retirement tour in about a month, but we shouldn’t be expecting any schools they visit to lavish them with gifts as when an athlete retires.

Since the Sooners and Longhorns are expected to have their way in the conference this year, their parting gift from stops in places like Lawrence and Waco will have to be the wins they return to Norman and Austin with. 

Week 2 Date at ‘Bama a Huge Test for ‘Horns

A look at college football futures reveals Texas in the role of prohibitive favorite to win the Big 12 on a +105 price. The Longhorns are in the second tier of national title contenders, those odds as low as +1500, and most shops are listing 9½ for a win total. 

Texas has been the pick before only to fizzle out, like last season when the Longhorns stumbled to a 6-3 conference record after being a favorite to win the Big 12. This will be Steve Sarkisian’s third season at the helm, and he has a very potent offense on the ready with Quinn Ewers working behind a very good and very experienced offensive line. 

A Week 2 trip to Alabama will serve as the first big test, and foreboding for next season in the SEC. And the big game with Oklahoma comes in Week 6. The Longhorns get both Kansas State (Week 10) and Texas Tech (Week 13) at home and should clip the ‘over’ by reaching 10 wins.

NCAAF Pick: Texas Over 9½ Wins (-140) at BetOnline

Sooners Have Easy Non-Con Slate

Oklahoma also checks in with a 9½-win total, and runs second to Texas on the Big 12 Championship front at +380. Bookmaker (visit our Bookmaker Review) has them back in the pack to win the big enchilada as a +5000 choice on the CFP odds. 

Brent Venables hit the transfer portal hard this spring looking for some immediate help to improve a defense that was 90th in scoring (30 PPG) and 104th in yards allowed (187.5 YPG). The Sooners are coming off their first losing season in about a quarter century, Venables’ first year in charge, and they have Dillon Gabriel back under center for his senior season. 

It is a very manageable schedule for Oklahoma with a non-conference schedule consisting of Arkansas State (week 1), SMU (Week 2) and Tulsa (Week 3). That part of the slate was made easier when the Sooners had a date against Georgia canceled due to the move to the SEC a year from now. Oklahoma also won’t have to play nemesis Kansas State, unless that matchup is in the Big 12 title tilt. 

NCAAF Pick: Oklahoma Over 9½ wins (-120) at BetOnline

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Howard & O-Line Key to K-State’s Chances 

Speaking of Kansas State and relatively easy schedules, the Wildcats represent the best hopes of the rest of league as far as upsetting Texas’s and Oklahoma’s plans to dominate the Big 12 in their final seasons. The Wildcats are +500 to win the conference and sport an 8-win total. 

Chris Klieman and his staff have work to do to build the defense back up after losing several key players, but the offense should be just fine with Will Howard directing the K-State attack. 

The toughest non-con game is Week 3 at Missouri. It’s a shame the Wildcats don’t play Oklahoma after beating the Sooners 3 of the last 4 meetings. Kansas State does have some difficult Big 12 roadies with games in Stillwater, Lubbock, Austin and Lawrence. 

Newcomers No Threat to Big 12 Vets

The best of the rest begins with Texas Tech where offense should rule the day. The Red Raiders are +1100 to win the Big 12, and should become popular college football picks for ‘over’ bettors. 

It could be just the opposite at TCU where the defense could prevail for ‘under’ bettors. The Horned Frogs made it all the way to the College Football Championship last year, but on’t be anywhere near that level in 2023. 

None of the newcomers – BYU, Cincinnati, Houston & UCF – pose a threat to win the Big 12 in their first year. They do, however, pose a threat to West Virginia as far as the conference basement goes. Most Big 12 teams are giving up double-digits on the NCAAF Odds in week 1, but the Mountaineers are not among them as 3-TD underdogs at Penn State. 

NCAAF Pick: West Virginia Under 5 Wins (-125) at BetOnline

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West Virginia Under 5 Wins (-120)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product