2024 Big 12 Conference Tournament Preview, Picks and Best Bets

2024 Big 12 Conference Tournament Preview, Picks and Best Bets

Arguably, the best conference in America is set to tip off on March 12th. The tournament will be played in St Louis, Missouri, in a traditional format. The top four seeds get double-byes, while the bottom four need to win five games in five days to go dancing. Six teams finished with double-digit conference wins, while even some of the bottom-tier teams competed and pulled off upsets throughout conference play. Let’s dive into my 2024 Big 12 conference tournament preview, picks, and best bets!

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2024 Big 12 Conference Tournament Preview, Picks and Best Bets

I don’t see any long shots, such as West Virginia or Oklahoma State, making a run, but can a middling team, such as Texas or Oklahoma? Maybe, but like a lot of tournaments, it is all matchup-dependent. The bottom half of the bracket is a lot more intriguing from a matchup perspective.

Teams like Iowa State, Baylor, Texas, and Kansas will all be in wars on a nightly basis. Does that create value for the top half, or is this just the Houston Cougar invitational like the regular season was? Let’s discuss my Big 12 tournament picks and best bets!

2024 Big 12 Conference Tournament Preview, Picks and Best Bets

Favorite: Houston Cougars -135

Some people thought the Cougars would be overwhelmed in the Big 12. Those same people are pretty quiet after a 15-3 Cougar team won the Big 12 outright in their first season.

They ended the season a bit banged up, but with some extra days of rest, they could be back and stronger than ever for a March run. Should they be this big of a favorite? I don’t think so. Their path is not the toughest, but BYU and even Texas Tech have the offense to make things interesting.

Can their elite defense carry them to the championship despite the four—to five-minute scoring droughts we often see? Usually, I would say yes, but at this big of a price, I can’t wager on it. Let us not forget that they are a missed Missi free throw and a Jamal Shead game-winner away from having lost two of their last four games.

They also had close calls with several others, a lot of them being on the road. This is a neutral floor, but they are not the same dominant team that is away from home. Can they win this tournament 57% (implied win percentage) of the time despite their close game success? I wouldn’t bet on it.

Best Bet: Baylor +800

The Bears ended the season, winning three of their last four games. The emergence of Freshman duo Ja’Kobe Walter and Yves Missi puts them at an even higher level.

Their path will not be easy, but I love how well they match up with Kansas, whom they split with in the regular season. Their potential opponent in the semis, I think, will not be Iowa St (more on that in a second), which makes our +800 ticket even more valuable.

The Bears won their lone meeting against the Cyclones, and although it was a two-point win, I felt they controlled most of the game. RayJ Dennis has gotten more comfortable in his role and will be their x-factor.

Langston Love returned from injury in the season finale and will bolster that bench unit, giving them even more versatility on both ends. Guard play wins in March, and Baylor has a trio of good ones on top of a few favorable matchups. I think they can win it all behind that freshman duo and some hot shooting.

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Darkhorse: BYU +1500

In true darkhorse fashion, BYU can win or lose the entire thing in the first round. They are a heavy three-point shooting team, which means the variance is off the charts. Their path likely consists of Texas Tech and Houston, barring any upsets.

Although they lost to the Red Raiders, they were dominating that game and ran out of gas late. I don’t foresee that happening again, especially with the lack of defense the Red Raiders have been playing with all year.

As for Houston, if you look at their losses or close games, they all have something in common. The opposing team shot the ball well from deep and limited the Cougars on the offensive glass. In their only matchup of the season, BYU shot 29% from deep and turned the ball over 13 times.

Despite that, they had their chances to win it late but could not get a shot to fall. They were only outrebounded by five and were a +6 in paint points.

At +1500, BYU has the upside. All it takes is a two-game stretch of hot shooting (which they are capable of), and boom, we are in the semis with a chance to lock in a profit.

They’ll be a slight dog to Texas Tech, but that matchup favors them. A team like BYU could also benefit from having a game under their belt to gain some rhythm. BYU has outperformed expectations in this conference all year, so why stop now?

 

Even More College Basketball Content

SGPN has you covered with all the best college basketball content. Our team of degens, experts, and handicappers have been diving deep to know all the teams in advance of March Madness.

So, who are you going to roll with as we get into the Conference and NCAA Tournaments? Some Johnny-Come-Lately Corporate Gambling Shill, or the Degens.

We are LIVE every night at midnight Eastern, breaking down EVERY SINGLE GAME. Ride with Degen Nation, and SGPN will not let you down. 

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