When the sportsbook posts regular-season win totals for college football teams, you know the season is just around the corner. Before heading to your favorite sportsbook and placing your bets, be sure and check out our regular season win previews by conference.
We dive into the numbers and analyze each team’s chances to excel or disappoint. This time around, it’s the top tier of the Big 12 Conference.
Expected Wins: 11 [Over -120, Under -110]
Oklahoma has won six straight Big 12 Championships and the Sooners are betting favorites to win a seventh. The regular-season win total is currently set at 11, which leaves the Sooners no margin for error.
That number does appear to be a bit high at first glance because it’s hard to predict a perfect regular season. Lincoln Riley’s team has been prone to regular-season upsets, and that would put a ton of pressure on the Sooners to win out.
Quarterback Spencer Rattler is going to put up huge numbers, and he will be a legitimate MVP candidate. The problem for Oklahoma continues to be on defense, and there are some great offenses in this league.
The Sooners will play host to Nebraska in a non-conference game, and they also benefit from playing Iowa State at home. A national title run could be possible, but running the table might be a tougher feat.
Iowa State Cyclones
Expected wins: 9½ [Over +110, Under -140]
Iowa State is going to be one team that is popular with those that like to make scores and odds predictions because this roster will be extremely familiar. The Cyclones return 19 starters, and that team advanced all the way to the Big 12 Championship Game.
Head coach Matt Campbell appears to be building something special, and he will have his two best playmakers back as well. Quarterback Brock Purdy and running back Breece Hall will give opposing coaches in the Big 12 nightmares.
The toughest games on the schedule appear to be a road game at Oklahoma and a home game against rival Iowa, but the Cyclones could easily be favored in the remaining games. Iowa State has never won 10 games in a season but it would take that many wins to go over the regular-season win total.
That seems like a perfect projection for Iowa State, but a strong season could have them playing in the College Football Playoff.
Expected wins: 8 [Over -115, Under -115]
Texas is always a team that is featured on a number of college football picks, but the Longhorns have their work cut out for them. A regular-season win total of eight wins is a solid number, but that won’t be close enough to have Texas contending for a Big 12 Championship.
Texas has only won more than eight games one time in the last four seasons, but that was under former head coach Tom Herman. Steve Sarkisian is the new man in charge at Texas, and there is optimism that he can turn this program around.
There is plenty of talent left over on this roster, but there will be a new starting quarterback. Sam Ehlinger was the face of the program for the last few seasons, and his absence could hurt the overall offensive attack.
Texas will face off against Arkansas in what will be the toughest non-conference matchup for the Longhorns. There might only be two or three conference games in which Texas isn’t favored, but this team hasn’t always beaten the teams that they should.
Texas will be a team to watch in 2021, and eight regular-season wins feels like a solid preseason total.
TCU Horned Frogs
Expected wins: 7½ [Over -140, Under +110]
When looking at the TCU schedule, seven winnable games stand out. The Horned Frogs do not have a tough non-conference slate, and they play host to four of the worst teams in the league.
TCU is a team that finished the 2020 season with some momentum, and more than half of the starters are back. It would be a shock to see the Horned Frogs win the Big 12 Conference, but this team could contend.
The college football odds for TCU haven’t changed in terms of regular-season win total, and 7.5 feels like a good number. The Horned Frogs win games on the defensive side of the ball, something that can’t be said for many Big 12 teams.
If TCU is able to pick up an upset win along the way, then they should fly past the 7.5 wins. The Big 12 Conference is always unpredictable, but head coach Gary Patterson usually has his team ready to play.
Oklahoma State Cowboys
Expected wins: 8 [Over -120, Under -110]
Oklahoma State Mike Gundy has a history of having explosive offenses, but this Cowboys team should be led by the defense. The Cowboys return eight starters, and that could affect some college football lines, especially when looking at the over/under.
Quarterback Spencer Sanders has plenty of experience but will be without some familiar faces. Running back Chuba Hubbard is no longer with the team, and that could force the Cowboys to throw the ball a ton.
Oklahoma State has a challenging non-conference matchup with Boise State on the schedule, but the Cowboys should be favored in that game. A tough conference road schedule also awaits Oklahoma State, and things could fall apart in a hurry.
The regular-season win total has moved from 7.5 up to 8, and that just seems like too high of a number, especially for a team projected to finish fourth or fifth in the conference.