College Confidential

Oddsmaker handicaps tight Big 12 expansion race

Brigham Young has a slight lead in a crowded Big 12 expansion race, based on posted odds this week by one professional oddsmaker.
Brigham Young has a slight lead in a crowded Big 12 expansion race, based on posted odds this week by one professional oddsmaker. AP

For the past month, handicapping the Big 12 expansion race has become an unofficial pastime for college football fans. Now, it can be a lucrative financial opportunity for fans that pick the right teams and capitalize on actual odds offered this week by an actual sports book: SportsBettingDime.com.

The odds-maker gives Brigham Young the inside track in the race to become the Big 12’s newest member, with 5-3 odds. Following closely behind are Houston (5-2), Cincinnati (5-2) and Central Florida (3-1).

Rounding out the eight-team field are Memphis (7-1), Connecticut (8-1), Colorado State (8-1) and South Florida (10-1).

It’s fascinating that odds have surfaced because, from all indications, even Big 12 insiders are unsure how to handicap this race. At this point, there is no clear indication that any school is receiving enough support from league administrators to earn the eight “yes” votes needed from the 10 existing members to join the Big 12.

Expansion-related discussions are ongoing with league administrators hoping to reach a decision this fall.

Other off-field prop bets circulated by the odds-maker include an over/under on the number of Baylor football players arrested between Sept. 2 and Jan. 10 (3.5) and the odds that Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh will wear pants that are not khaki-colored for at least one game this season (12-1). Also on the table is a 5-3 wager that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, a Michigan graduate, will attend at least one Wolverines’ game during his four-game suspension related to Deflate Gate that he must serve at the start of the 2016 NFL season.

Jimmy Burch: 817-390-7760, @Jimmy_Burch

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