Sportsbooks have Kansas as the Big 12’s top team to take home the national title in March Madness this spring at an NCAA basketball betting line of +2800.
The 15th-ranked Kansas Jayhawks (21-7) have won or tied for the Big 12’s regular-season championship a record 14 consecutive years. However, the Jayhawks have some work to do if they want to extend their streak to 15 in a row this season because they are currently chasing both the 16th-ranked Kansas State Wildcats (21-7) and 11th-ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders (23-5) for the conference lead.
The Jayhawks could easily win their last three games of the regular season to finish at 13-5 in Big 12 play, starting with Saturday’s road matchup with the Oklahoma State Cowboys. The big question is, will that be enough to secure the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament with the Wildcats and Red Raiders also playing very well?
Texas Tech is coming off an 84-90 overtime win over Oklahoma State on Wednesday to tie for the Big 12 lead with Kansas State at 11-4. Like the Jayhawks, the Red Raiders play two of their last three regular-season games away from home, including the finale on March 9 versus the Iowa State Cyclones (20-8), who remain one of the conference’s most dangerous teams despite going 2-3 straight up and against the spread in their last five games.
Iowa State and Texas Tech are both listed at +4000 on the 2019 NCAA Tournament odds, which tells you oddsmakers still think highly of the Cyclones even though they have slid a bit recently.
Kansas State is even further down that NCAA basketball betting board at +9000 but appears to have the most favorable schedule down the stretch in an effort to secure the top seed in the Big 12 Tournament. The Wildcats play two of their last three games at home, where they have gone 12-2 this year, including a battle with the Baylor Bears (19-9) on Saturday.
With those March Madness odds, they offer more value than any team in the conference.
Baylor and Iowa State may have a tougher time trying to win the Big 12 regular-season title when compared to the top three teams, but they both have a solid chance to make the Big Dance and could do some damage in the conference tournament as well.
Keep in mind, in the previous 14 years that Kansas has ended up winning or tying for the Big 12’s regular-season championship they have won the conference tournament title just eight times. In fact, the Cyclones have won the Big 12 Tournament more times (three) over the past five years than the Jayhawks (two).
Three other teams with winning records overall in the conference will need a lot of help in order to get into the Big Dance based on disappointing marks in Big 12 play.
The Texas Longhorns (15-13) have the best conference record of that bunch at 7-8 but the worst overall mark, making them a difficult wager at +12500 on the NCAA basketball betting futures to win it all. The TCU Horned Frogs (18-10) have the same odds at +12500 with an outside shot at earning 20 wins, but they will need to win each of their last three games to finish at .500 in the Big 12.
The Oklahoma Sooners (17-11) surprisingly have better odds to win the NCAA Tournament than the Longhorns and Horned Frogs at +10000 with what may be the hardest remaining schedule. After hosting the West Virginia Mountaineers on Saturday, Oklahoma must host Kansas (March 5) and then visit Kansas State (March 9).