Big 12 Football Media Poll Disagrees with the Betting Market

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(AP Photo/LM Otero)
Chase Kiddy @chaseakiddy Jul 18, 2022, 1:33 PM

Media days and camp rumors are beginning to sprout, which means the online sports betting world is slowly turning its attention to college football. 

And when we start talking about college football, obviously that includes college football betting odds

Regular readers will know that I’m a Big 12 guy, thanks in part to my West Virginia connections. 

But my Big 12 credentials go well beyond just partisan homerism. I feel for the Big 12, which has been battered by conference realignment and unfairly maligned as a two-program conference or a conference that never plays any defense. On the bright side, I think last year’s Big 12 title game might have finally retired that latter criticism.


Until Oklahoma and Texas leave for the SEC, though, the Big 12 is likely to be framed as a two-horse conference by national media regardless of the reality on the ground. 

Some of that is well-earned. Under Lincoln Riley, in particular, Oklahoma has been an elite program. The Sooners have won four conference titles and appeared in three College Football Playoffs since Riley took over the program in 2017.

Oklahoma football’s streaking nature is what caught my eye for this article. 

Big 12 Football Predictions: 2022 Still Belongs to the Sooners in College Football Odds Market

Oklahoma has been tabbed as the conference favorite at Big 12 media day for six consecutive years.

This year, though, that streak has finally ended. Earlier this month, voters tabbed Dave Aranda’s reigning champs, the Baylor Bears, as the preseason favorite. 

There is some sense to this – each of the six year’s Riley and the Sooners were the favorites, it was in part because Oklahoma had won the conference  the previous season. 

But this conversation gets a bit more interesting when you start to loop in some college football odds. At BetMGM online sportsbook, for example, the Big 12 odds still list Oklahoma as the favorite.

Baylor, the conference favorite at media day, is… well, see for yourself.

College Football TeamBig 12 Championship Odds
Oklahoma +175
Texas +230
Oklahoma State +700
Baylor+750
TCU +1000
Kansas State+1500
Iowa State+1800
West Virginia+2500
Texas Tech+4000
Kansas+10000

Yeah. Fourth. 

Let’s remind everyone who these teams are in 2022:

Oklahoma, the odds-on favorite, will break in a first-time head coach (Brent Venables) who they unexpectedly hired after Riley left to go (at the time) to the Pac-12. 

Texas, second in the odds table, fired its coach last year because it underperformed so badly.

Oklahoma State, third in the odds table, lost to Baylor in last year’s Big 12 championship game.

I am a huge defender of college football lines and the marketplace. My podcast, The Lion’s Edge, tries to explain the gaps between the reality of sports and the betting odds on virtually every episode.

This Big 12 market is one of the bigger gaps I have seen in a while. 


Economically, an online sportsbook has to protect itself against liability by pricing Texas and Oklahoma with shorter odds than other teams, even if those numbers don’t necessarily correlate with what’s on the field. 

That’s definitely what I see happening here – there’s no other explanation for why a traditionally successful program with a new coaching staff, average returning production and a complete turnover in the quarterback room would still be the favorite to win a conference.

And to turn a critical eye on the media poll… why, exactly, is Baylor the favorite? They rank among the 10 worst FBS programs for returning production and will need to break in a new quarterback, who most of us assume is sophomore Blake Shapen.

Iowa State has a great coaching staff coming back to Ames this season, but the Cyclones are 18-to-1 in part because they lost a ton of talent to graduation and the draft. Baylor isn’t immune to the exact same problems simply because it won an extra game eight months ago.


Personally, if I’m betting this market, I’m looking at TCU +1000. A new coaching staff is going to energize that program, and an older, experienced roster should stand out against a conference that’s going to be doing a lot of rebuilding this year. 

But a thorough handicap of the Big 12 championship odds are best left for another day. 

Today, my main point is this: the betting markets and the media noticeably disagree about who will win, and at least one (maybe both) is going to be very wrong at the top.  

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About the Author

Chase Kiddy

Read More @chaseakiddy

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.