Home » College Basketball Betting: Iowa State Emerges as Houston’s Top Competition in the Big 12

College Basketball Betting: Iowa State Emerges as Houston’s Top Competition in the Big 12

College basketball’s postseason is only about one month away, which means the favorites to win their respective conferences are becoming as clear as day. This even applies to the loaded Big 12 that has Houston leading the pack with a 7-3 conference record while Baylor and Iowa State are following closely behind at 6-3.

Let’s check out FanDuel Sportsbook’s college basketball conference odds for the nation’s best conference, which features 10 teams among KenPom‘s top 36 squads. Since our last check in about two weeks ago, the favorite to win the conference remains the same, but we have some new competitors who have climbed the rankings.

Big 12 Basketball Odds

2023-2024 Big 12 Conference – Regular Season Winner
Houston -155
Iowa State +350
Kansas +750
Baylor +900
TCU +2500
Texas Tech +2500
Cincinnati +5000

Houston Cougars (-155)

As mentioned, Houston remains the favorite to win the Big 12, and it’s with good reason as the Cougars are KenPom’s top-ranked team while carrying the best adjusted defensive rating in the nation.

Houston still carries elite defensive stats across the board like ranking first in points per game (PPG) allowed, giving up the fewest field goal attempts each contest, and leading the nation in opponent field goal percentage (FG%).

As has been the case for most of the season, the Cougars’ concerns lay on the offensive end. They are still searching for consistent scoring. For example, the offense struggled with only 65 points while shooting only 36.2% from the field in the 78-65 loss against Kansas on February 3rd.

Still, Houston has a great case of winning the conference. Their toughest remaining games include two home games against Iowa State and Kansas and a road contest against Baylor.

Iowa State Cyclones (+350)

Iowa State is the big riser over the last two weeks, going from +850 to +350. Similar to Houston, the Cyclones are led by elite defense and guard play. They have the fourth-best adjusted defensive efficiency while ranking in the 98th percentile of PPG allowed and field goal attempts allowed per contest.

In addition, Tamin Lipsey, who averages 13.5 PPG, 5.2 rebounds per game (RPG), and 5.6 assists per game (APG), remains one of college basketball’s best players with the eighth-best Bayesian Performance Rating (BPR) in the nation, per EvanMiya. Keshon Gilbert at 13.9 PPG is a nice compliment in the backcourt.

The Cyclones have won four of their last five games and have one of the most favorable schedules remaining in the Big 12. Their most challenging games include Houston, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and BYU. If Iowa State can defeat Houston once again on February 19th, their odds to win the conference could free fall.

Kansas Jayhawks (+750)

Kansas’ chances of winning their third straight regular-season Big 12 title are fading fast. While defeating Houston on February 3rd helped their case, the Jayhawks still have some upcoming tough tests such as two games against Baylor and another clash with the Cougars.

Even though Kansas odds have rose from +470 to +750, their play has actually improved. First off, they are now 13th in KenPom. They were approaching 20th not long ago. Plus, the offense has more balance with the freshman wing Johnny Furphy totaling 14.0 PPG over his last four games. This has formed a dangerous trio, which includes Furphy, Kevin McCullar Jr. (19.5 PPG), and Hunter Dickinson (18.9 PPG).

The Jayhawks’ chances of winning the Big 12 took a big hit after losing in overtime against Kansas State on February 5th. Kansas has little room for error going forward, but they have showed some signs of improvement.

Baylor Bears (+900)

Following three consecutive losses, Baylor has shown signs of life with their ongoing three-game winning streak. The Bears have a Titanic-sized matchup on Saturday against Kansas. With another win, Baylor’s odds to win the Big 12 will surely take another drop.

As the nation’s fourth-best unit, the Bears’ offense has taken the forefront. Ja’Kobe Walter (14.2 PPG), RayJ Dennis (13.8 PPG), and Langston Love (11.5 PPG) are a three-headed monster in the backcourt. Baylor sits in the 95th percentile of PPG, FG%, and three-point percentage. However, with the 75th-best adjusted efficiency, the defense must improve if the Bears are to make a late push for a Big 12 title.


Texas Tech was the big faller since our last Big 12 odds check in. The Red Raiders went from +600 to +2500 after losing three consecutive games. It wasn’t much of a surprise, though, as Texas Tech had a favorable schedule to begin league play, and their KenPom rating suggested some weaknesses.

Texas went from +7500 to +25000; the Longhorns’ dreams of winning the conference are on their last breath. Cincinnati has made a push, going from +20000 to +5000 over the last two weeks of play.

Ultimately, this looks to be a four-horse race between Houston, Iowa State, Kansas, and Baylor. There is a sharp drop off following the fourth-shortest odds; TCU and Texas Tech carry the fifth-shortest odds at +2500.

Looking for more college basketball betting opportunities? Head over to FanDuel Sportsbook to check out all of the upcoming college basketball odds.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author’s advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.