Big 12 Tournament 2021: Betting Tips for Round 1 Odds, Spreads and Over-Under

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMarch 10, 2021

Oklahoma forward Brady Manek (35) shoots during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Iowa State, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

Just a few weeks ago, the Oklahoma Sooners were riding high in the AP Top 25 and looked destined for a top-four seed in the NCAA men's basketball tournament. 

Instead of coming into the Big 12 tournament with title aspirations, though, the Sooners are just hoping to turn around their awful form before it's too late. 

Lon Kruger's team has to play an extra day in Kansas City as the No. 7 seed, but that could be a blessing in disguise since it can get right against the worst team in the league, the Iowa State Cyclones. 

Oklahoma won both of its regular-season meetings with Iowa State by seven or more points, but it will need to open up a larger gap to cover the 11.5-point spread set for the No. 7-versus-No. 10 matchup. 

The other first-round game is projected to be much closer, as the TCU Horned Frogs are favored by three points in their No. 8-versus-No. 9 clash with the Kansas State Wildcats. 


Big 12 1st-Round Schedule

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

No. 8 TCU (-4) vs. No. 9 Kansas State (Over/Under: 128.5) (6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

No. 7 Oklahoma (-11.5) vs. No. 10 Iowa State (O/U: 140.5) (9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)


Betting Tips

Oklahoma (-11.5) vs. Iowa State

Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

It is understandable if you choose to fade the Sooners in this spot because of their four-game losing streak, but it's the perfect one to get right before the more competitive games begin. 

Iowa State did not win a single game in Big 12 play, and it scored only 56 points in its last meeting with the Sooners. 

The Cyclones average 9.8 fewer points per game than the Sooners and typically don't get anywhere close to their scoring average of 75.1. In a nine-game stretch dating back to February 11, Iowa State has not reached the 75-point mark in a single game. 

Additionally, Steve Prohm's side scored just 110 points in its last two regular-season games against the Texas Tech Red Raiders and Kansas State. 

The offensive inefficiency should come back to haunt the Cyclones on Wednesday in what will likely be their final game of the campaign. 

Although Oklahoma is stumbling into Kansas City, it did put up 165 points in back-to-back defeats to the Oklahoma State Cowboys. One of those games went to overtime. 

The top key for Kruger's side is to outperform Iowa State on the glass. It recorded 15 more rebounds than the Cyclones in their two meetings. 

Senior Brady Manek, who had 15 rebounds versus Iowa State on February 6, could be the X-factor in a likely victory and cover. He has four performances with five rebounds or more in the last seven games and scored 33 total points against the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma State. 

If Manek dominates down low and some of Oklahoma's guards shoot well against an Iowa State defense that allows 76.6 points per game, the Sooners may get a chance to rest some of their top players in the final minutes with a possible four games in four days ahead of them.


TCU vs. Kansas State (Under 128.5)

Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

The opening game of the Big 12 tournament will not be an offensive exhibition.

Kansas State and TCU did not reach 130 total points in either of their regular-season meetings, and they both average well under 70 points per contest. 

The Horned Frogs are the better of the two sides with 67.5 points per game, while Kansas State averages 61.5. 

The Wildcats' offensive futility was not exclusive to their games with TCU. They have not scored more than 62 points in each of their last four games. 

Both programs have two players who average over 10 points per game, but their leading scorers haven't been overly impressive of late. 

Kansas State freshman Nijel Pack has 37 points in his last four appearances, while RJ Nembhard is one game removed from a five-point outing for TCU against the West Virginia Mountaineers. 

If the top scorers continue to record low totals, it may take a Herculean effort from an unsung hero to get one of the teams over 65 points. 

Even if the victorious team gets hot on Wednesday, its stay in Kansas City is not expected to last long with the Baylor Bears awaiting the winner.


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from ESPN.com.

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