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Big 12 Conference Basketball

Tournament Preview

Picks and Odds

3/7/12

The Big 12 Conference Basketball tournament tips off on Wednesday with the four conference basement dwellers in action, followed by the rest of the conference on Thursday. The two top dogs are Kansas and Missouri. Kansas is just about even money to win the tournament at +105 while Missouri is +185, almost 2 to 1.

As with any tournament, we  like to look for potential live dogs. Teams that may have long odds yet could potential pull a shocker and upset the field. 4 Teams that have no chance of that and that you can toss, are the 4 basement dwellers that play on Wednesday, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.

That leaves Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas State and Texas. We're going to toss Texas as well. They are playing a full 6 points below their regular season rating over the last 5 games, worst in the entire conference. Again, we're looking for teams that are hot, now. That leaves Baylor, Iowa State and Kansas State. Baylor, at 6/1 odds, doesn't present us with much value. Iowa State and Kansas State, both around 11 to 1, would be our two picks of teams at decent odds that could upset the field.

Kansas State is playing 4 points above their regular season form, and recalculating their power rating based on that, they'd be the #2 rated team in the tournament. Iowa State would be a few points behind, however, they were hot down the stretch going 7-3 both straight up and against the spread.

Here's how the ratings would look if we recalculated regular season power ratings to reflect the level the team is playing at over the last 5 games. We'll start with the top team, Kansas, and rate them 100.

Kansas 100
Kansas State 99
Iowa State 96
Missouri 96
Baylor 95
Oklahoma 89

Remember, we're not necessarily trying to pick the conference winner here. We're trying to find a team at decent odds that may present some value and may be worth a shot at their price. If we had to pick a winner regardless of the odds, we'd pick Kansas and Missouri. But at their current prices, betting either would be a bad bet.

Kansas State beat Missouri twice, once recently, on the road. They also beat Baylor on the road. Iowa State beat Baylor last time out, gave Missouri all they could handle on the road, beat Kansas at home and gave them all they could handle on the road AND beat Kansas State twice. Both Kansas State and Iowa State have proven that not only can they beat good teams but they can beat them on the road. At 11 to 1 odds, we'll take our chances.

Here are the current odds to win the Big 12 Tourney from 5 Dimes:

Kansas  +105
Missouri  +185
Baylor  +650
Kansas State  +1100
Iowa State  +1150

Texas  +1500
Oklahoma State  +12500
Oklahoma  +22500
Texas A&M  +50000
Texas Tech  +100000

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