College basketball season is underway with a busy week from Nov. 6-10. Baylor got the league off to a solid start by beating Auburn, 88-82, on Tuesday. Notable Big 12 games ahead this week include UCF at No. 13 Miami and No. 17 San Diego State at BYU on Friday.
Big 12 Basketball futures odds are available below.
Big 12 Basketball 2023-24 Futures Odds
The Big 12 has boasted impressive depth in recent seasons, with six teams earning an NCAA Tournament bid in ’21-22 and seven in ’22-23.
But even in a solid league that features ’21 national champ Baylor and ’22 national champ Kansas, oddsmakers understandably see the Big 12 in ’23-24 as Kansas and everyone else. The Jayhawks are coming off another impressive regular season, which earned them a No. 1 seed in the ’23 NCAA Tourney, but Kansas was eliminated in the second round of the tournament.
Below is a look at this year’s top contenders in one of the best college hoops leagues in the country, which has 14 members after adding four teams for this season: Houston, BYU, Cincinnati, and UCF.
Big 12 Basketball Favorites: Kansas, Houston
Kansas has been one of the most consistently dominant teams in the country under Bill Self, finishing the season in the top 5 in the final AP Poll six of the last eight years dating back to ’15-16. KU enters ’23-24 with another loaded roster and a preseason AP ranking of No. 1. By their standards, the Jayhawks are coming off a failure of a season that ended with just one NCAA Tournament win, as Self missed his team’s postseason while dealing with a health scare.
Kansas has plenty of returning talent, and it also added a national player of the year candidate via the transfer portal in former Michigan big man Hunter Dickinson. In addition to Dickinson (the Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year), the Jayhawks are led by redshirt senior Dajuan Harris Jr., another preseason All-Big 12 selection.
Oddsmakers see the preseason AP No. 7 Cougars as the biggest threat to Kansas in their first year as a Big 12 team. Houston has finished the last three seasons ranked No. 6, No. 15, and No. 2. Coach Kelvin Sampson has turned this team into one of the most athletic and toughest defensively year in and year out.
Houston’s top player entering this season is senior transfer guard LJ Cryer. He averaged 15 points per game last year at Baylor and is hoping to win national titles at two different schools after raising the trophy with the Bears in ’21.
Big 12 Basketball Longshots: Texas, Baylor, TCU
For oddsmakers, there’s a big drop-off after Kansas and Houston. Texas has the shortest odds of the Big 12’s other contenders. The Longhorns are coming off solid seasons each of the last three years, including a 29-9 season in ’22-23 that earned them a No. 2 seed in last year’s NCAA Tournament. Texas responded in impressive fashion last year after coach Chris Beard was fired early in the season following a domestic violence arrest.
Under Rodney Terry, who was promoted from interim to head coach after leading the team to last year’s Elite Eight, Texas enters ’23-24 at No. 18 in the AP Poll. The high expectations from last season’s run got a big boost from the offseason addition of high-scoring guard Max Abmas. The fifth-year senior is in Austin after starting 123 games over the last four years at Oral Roberts. Abmas famously led 15-seed Oral Roberts to the Sweet 16 in ’21.
Baylor has been a top-three seed in each of the last three NCAA Tournaments. But after winning it all in ’21, Scott Drew’s team was bounced in the second round of the Big Dance in ’22 and ’23. The ’23-24 Bears feature Big 12 preseason freshman of the year Ja’Kobe Walter, a top recruit in the class of ’23. Walter has big shoes to fill for a Baylor team that lost two guards to the NBA (Keyonte George and Adam Flagler) and Cryer to Houston via the transfer portal.
TCU’s top player is preseason All-Big 12 selection Emanuel Miller, whose team is coming off back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances. TCU has been solid enough to win an NCAAT game each of the last two seasons, but after finishing 8-10 in the conference in ’21-22 and 9-9 last year, the Horned Frogs would need to take a massive leap to finish ahead of the likes of Kansas and Houston.