Oklahoma has been the dominant football program in the Big 12, especially recently. The Sooners have won 11 conference titles since 2000, including each of the last three. They're favored to win the conference for a fourth straight time this year and are a team many believe has a great shot at another College Football Playoff bid.
But are they the actually the smartest bet to win the Big 12 this year? BetOnline.ag has released its conference title odds for the 2018 season, so let's develop a strategy for how to bet the Big 12 this year.
Odds to win the 2018 Big 12 Championship
Best bet -- Oklahoma: Most of the time, I stay away from the favorite when I'm looking for value in placing a bet. This is because the favorite usually is overvalued, bringing the odds down and giving me less room for error. Well, while I may not like only getting +150 with Oklahoma, it's the best bet available here. The Sooners would need to win the league 40 percent of the time at those odds for you to break even, and as I went over in the intro, they win it a lot more often than that. Yes, the Sooners have a lot of questions heading into 2018 as they must replace Baker Mayfield and plenty of other contributors, but they still have more talent than anybody else in the Big 12. It doesn't hurt that they have an offensive wunderkind coaching them.
Longshot value -- TCU: The Horned Frogs have to replace nearly their entire offensive line, and they'll be breaking in a new QB, but at +800 it's hard to pass them up. They would only have to win the league 11.11 percent of the time to break even on your bet, and seeing as how one could make the argument that TCU has been the second-best program in the conference over the last four seasons (it's them or Oklahoma State), you have to like those odds. I'm sure plenty of other people will tell you West Virginia's the best longshot at +600, but everybody feeling that way is one of the reasons I'm avoiding it. Besides, while the Mountaineers have Will Grier, they have a lot to replace elsewhere and a more difficult Big 12 schedule.
Hold your horses -- Texas: As I wrote when discussing Michigan in our , sometimes books set odds with a team's fanbase in mind more than the team you're betting on. Teams like Texas getting proper value is a rarity due to so many fans betting on their beloved burnt orange to finally put things back together this year. That's why we see a Texas team that's only won 5+ conference games once since 2010 (7-2 in 2013) receiving the second-best odds at +350. Now, none of this is to say that this team can't win the Big 12 this year. It has plenty of talent, and if ever there was a season when the conference's top contenders were vulnerable, it's the 2018 season. Still, in order to justify taking Texas at +350 you have to believe a team that hasn't won the Big 12 in nearly a decade would win it 22.22 percent of the time this season. It's hard to convince yourself that's going to happen if you aren't wearing a Texas shirt as you read this.