- The Texas Longhorns have lost three of their last four regular season openers
- The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs haven’t won as a road ‘dog of 17.5-21 points in the last 27 years
- The Oklahoma Sooners have to replace Kyler Murray, Marquise Brown and four starting offensive linemen from last season
As we approach the first full week of college football, there’s been an interesting line move in the Big 12: the Texas Longhorns’ odds to win the conference have improved, going from +400 to +350.
Is Texas a good bet to win the conference and, if so, is now a good time to bet it knowing their previous Week 1 struggles?
2019 Odds to Win Big 12 Conference Title
|Team||Odds at BetOnline*|
|Iowa State Cyclones||+700|
|TCU Horned Frogs||+1600|
|Oklahoma State Cowboys||+2000|
*Odds taken 08/30/19
Longhorns Have Been Slow Starters Of Late
The Longhorns have struggled in recent Week 1s as they’ve lost back-to-back openers. Both losses were at the hands of Maryland and both were quite deflating. Even looking further back, Texas needed double-overtime to get past Notre Dame in 2016 and were crushed by the Irish in.08 Week 1 of 2015.
Since 2013, the Longhorns have started with at least two losses in their first three games four times and have lost at least one of their first three games every single year.
It feels like this is a different Texas team, but given their history, one has to be careful. That’s why you might be better off waiting as these futures will drop if they lose.
Longhorns Have A Cupcake Week 1 Matchup With Louisiana Tech
As embarrassing as Week 1s have been for Texas the last two seasons, it’s hard to see them losing here. This is Louisiana Tech’s only game against a Power 5 team this season and they haven’t beaten a Power 5 team in an opener since 2008.
Texas should be careful here, though, as Tech has a decent passing game with their top-10 targets from last season back. J’Mar Smith is a veteran quarterback and Texas is rebuilding its secondary.
However, the Bulldogs have to replace both starting tackles. They also haven’t won a game as a road dog of 17.5 to 21 points in the last 27 years.
Your bet on Texas to win the conference shouldn’t hinge on Week 1. The LA Tech vs Texas odds show that the Longhorns are about a three-touchdown favorite. A Week 2 showdown with LSU will tell us much more.
Is Texas A Good Bet To Win The Big 12?
I do like the Longhorns to win the Big 12 – even at +350 – as I feel there’s still value at that number. A lot of people are expecting Jalen Hurts to follow the lineage of Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray at Oklahoma, but he’s simply not the same caliber. If he was, he’d still be starting for Alabama.
Lincoln Riley will elevate his game a little, but this Oklahoma team had Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks the last couple of seasons and still got a test from Texas, including one straight-up loss. Now that the Longhorns are better and the Sooners might take a small step back, this will be the Longhorns best shot yet.
Remember that the Sooners also have to replace Marquise Brown and four starting offensive linemen. Yes, they typically just reload rather than rebuild, but if the margin between the teams was minor, this could be the difference. With Texas having the better quarterback this year, my money is on them.
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