Houston Looks to Fend Off a Deep List of Contenders in the Big 12 Tournament

Skyler Carlin
Skyler Carlin@skyler_carlin
Houston Looks to Fend Off a Deep List of Contenders in the Big 12 Tournament

The college basketball regular season may have come to a conclusion, but teams will still be jockeying for better seeding or a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Winning a conference tournament can be a positive addition to any team's resume before the committee chooses which teams will take part in the big dance.

From the moment the regular season began, the Big 12 has been one of the most fun and competitive conferences to watch in college basketball. The Big 12 Tournament is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, March 12.

With conference tournament season getting underway, FanDuel Sportsbook is offering Big 12 Tournament Winner odds for the 14 teams who are fighting for a conference championship. Ahead of what should be an action-packed tourney, let's dive into the Big 12 Tournament bracket, betting odds, and best bets.

All NCAA basketball odds via FanDuel Sportsbook.

Big 12 Tournament Bracket

Big 12 Tournament Odds

2024 Big 12 Tournament Winner
Iowa State+430
Texas Tech+1800
View Full Table

Big 12 Tournament Best Bets

Houston (+100)

The move from the American Athletic Conference (AAC) to the Big 12 was seamless for the Houston Cougars this season. En route to earning the No. 1 spot in KenPom's ratings with the best adjusted defensive efficiency (88.0) in the nation, the Cougars have produced a dominant 28-3 overall record and 15-3 conference record.

There isn't a team who plays more tenacious defense than Houston, who is allowing the fewest points per game (56.9) and forcing the 12th-most turnovers per game (16.10). The Cougars are led by their guard trio of LJ Cryer (15.7 PPG), Jamal Shead (13.2 PPG, 6.2 APG), and Emanuel Sharp (12.3 PPG).

Aside from having the shortest odds to win the Big 12 Tournament (-105), the Cougars also have the second-shortest odds to win the National Championship (+650). After finishing the regular season on a nine-game winning streak, Houston is set up well to win the Big 12 Championship in the program's first year in the conference.

Iowa State (+430)

The team with the second-best overall (24-7) and conference record (13-5) in the Big 12 is the Iowa State Cyclones. The Cyclones are another defensive-centric squad that is surrendering the fifth-fewest points per game (62.1) and holding opposing teams to the 23rd-worst field-goal percentage (40.54%).

As the No. 2 seed in the Big 12 Tournament, Iowa State wouldn't need to face Houston until the championship game at the earliest. On top of that, the Cyclones split the two meetings against the Cougars this season, proving they have the formula to beating the top-ranked team in the country.

While Iowa State has four players averaging 10-plus points per game, generating offense can sometimes be a struggle for them despite being tied for the 11th-shortest odds to win the National Championship (+3000). With the second-best adjusted defensive efficiency (89.3), the Cyclones are going to be leaning on their stifling defense in hopes it can bring them their first conference tournament title since 2019.

Baylor (+600)

The Baylor Bears are another team that won't need to worry about facing Houston until the Big 12 Championship game at the earliest. While the Cyclones can sputter on the offensive end of the court, the Bears are producing the second-most points per game (81.5) in the conference and the 24th-most points per game in all of college basketball.

In the midst of being the No. 14 team in KenPom's ratings, Baylor tallies the fifth-best three-point percentage (39.79%) and the 12th-best effective field-goal percentage (56.4%). According to Bart Torvik's bracketology, the Bears are primed to be a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament with guard duo Ja'Kobe Walter (14.7 PPG) and Rayj Dennis (13.5 PPG) leading the team.

Counting Walter and Dennis, Baylor has six players tallying 10-plus points per game, giving them plenty of options to score the basketball. Despite winning the National Championship back in 2021, the Bears are still seeking their first conference tournament victory in the Big 12.

If you’re betting on any NCAAB action before Selection Sunday on March 17th, you can take advantage of FanDuel Sportsbook’s College Basketball Boost Builder. See the promotions page for more information.

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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.