College Football Betting Primer: Big 12

By Ryan Fowler @FreeAgentFowler

Former Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops shocked college football when he unexpectedly retired in early-June. The leader of the Sooners the past 18 seasons led the program to 10 Big 12 Championships and one National Championship in 2000. Stoops won 79.8 percent of his games and finished 9-9 in bowl games. Although the Sooners remain the Vegas favorite to win the Big 12 (-110), odds have improved for gamblers looking to invest in the experienced squad. Oklahoma hovered around (-150) before Stoops decided to step down. At the end of the day, coaches coach and players play and promoted offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley has plenty to work with heading into the 2017 season.

Prediction Machine Big 12 Favorite - Oklahoma
Joe Mixon - 1,812 rush/rec yards with 15 TDs - is now with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Samaje Perine – 1,166 rush/rec yards with 13 TDs – is now with the Washington Redskins.
Dede Westbrook – 1,524 rec yards with 17 TDs – is now with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

So, how did Oklahoma (-110 Future Odds to Win Big 12) convince Prediction Machine's college football engine to pick them to win the Big 12 Championship 61.9 percent of the time? Well, Baker Mayfield returns as one of the most efficient passers in the game. He completed nearly 71 percent of his passes for 3,965 yards and 40 touchdowns with only eight interceptions. Plus, Mayfield is protected by an offensive line which returns all five starters. If the new skill position players run the right routes and the rest of the Big 12's defensive units continue to be swiss cheese city, the Sooners will send you to the cashier's cage fat and happy.

Prediction Machine Big 12 Vegas Value Pick – Oklahoma State
Our computer model projects 8.5 wins and 3.5 losses for the Cowboys in 2017. It comes down to a belief that OSU's offense (38.6 PPG in 2016) can create enough of a cushion for their annually inept defense (82nd-ranked rush defense, 98th-ranked pass defense). Senior quarterback Mason Rudolph ranked seventh in passing yards per game at better than 314 per pop with 28 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He'll enjoy the luxury of having his top two targets back, too. James Washington and Jalen McCleskey accounted for nearly 49 percent of team receptions and 52 percent of team receiving yards. Right-off-the-bus, on the field chemistry is huge come gamedays .

No other team in our predictive model projects out better than a nine percent (9%) chance to win the Big 12. So, Oklahoma State (+300) is the best value pick should Oklahoma lose their true North without Stoops at the helm.

Prediction Machine Big 12 Team to Fade – Every team outside Oklahoma & Oklahoma State
Before Bob Stoops retired, Oklahoma State's odds to win the Big 12 were around (+500), while Texas – 8.9 percent odds to win Big 12 – was at (+600). Over the past two months, the Cowboys have moved to (+300), while the Longhorns (3-6 in the Big 12 last season) are at (+500) as of mid-August. The Big 12 conference is a two-horse race and will come down to coach Riley keeping Oklahoma's puzzle together and if Oklahoma State finally decides 60 minutes of defense is a good habit to pick up.

Other College Football Betting Primers:
Big Ten
Pac 12