clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

DEGENERATE GAMBLING: What is Bovada seeing in West Virginia that no one else is?

New, 4 comments

The Mountaineers have the fourth-best odds to win the Big 12 Championship this season, according to one online sportsbook.

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

With the 2019 season quickly approaching, the Vegas and online sportsbooks have begun publishing betting lines for the opening week of college football and futures for College Football Playoff and conference championship odds. For example, betting odds indicate the CFP will consist of Alabama, Clemson, Georgia (+650) and Ohio State (+950), likely with another rematch between the Tigers and Crimson Tide (both +225) for the National Championship. That foursome seems about what you’d expect heading into the season, taking current projections and predictions from all the major outlets into consideration, but as I continued scrolling through the odds something brought me to a screeching halt.

Bovada, one of the most respected online sportsbooks, currently has the West Virginia Mountaineers listed as having the fourth best odds to win the 2019 Big 12 Championship, behind the Iowa State Cyclones, Texas Longhorns, and the obvious front-running Oklahoma Sooners.

Bovada Big 12 Championship Odds

TEAM OPENING CURRENT
TEAM OPENING CURRENT
Oklahoma Sooners -125 -125
Texas Longhorns +250 +300
Iowa State Cyclones +1100 +800
West Virginia Mountaineers +1000 +1400
TCU Horned Frogs +1800 +1800
Baylor Bears +2500 +1800
Oklahoma State Cowboys +1600 +2000
Texas Tech Red Raiders +2000 +2300
Kansas State Wildcats +4000 +5000
Kansas Jayhawks +5000 +10000
Odds updated on 7/25 - Opening line provided by OddsShark

That’s quite a stark contrast to where the Mountaineers have been predicted to finish, according to multiple outlets. West Virginia was picked to finish eighth in the conference at this month’s Big 12 media days and ESPN’s FPI projection has the Mountaineers winning 4.6 games — meaning 4-8 or 5-7 is the most likely outcome. Former SB Nation robot and current ESPN analytics guru Bill Connelly’s S&P+ projections seem to favor West Virginia slightly more than everyone else, although they factor in Jarret Doege’s 2018 numbers from Bowling Green. As of now, Doege has not been cleared to play this season after transferring in this Spring.

Bookmakers are very intentional in the odds they publish. After all, their goal is to make cash rather than lose it by having fast and loose odds. But the difference between what Bovada has published and the odds from 5Dimes, another reputable online book, is night and day, with West Virginia coming in with the eighth best odds to win the conference.

5Dimes Big 12 Championship Odds

TEAM OPENING CURRENT
TEAM OPENING CURRENT
Oklahoma Sooners -125 -120
Texas Longhorns +250 +360
Iowa State Cyclones +1100 +800
Baylor Bears +2500 +1400
TCU Horned Frogs +1800 +1800
Oklahoma State Cowboys +1600 +1800
Texas Tech Red Raiders +2000 +2300
West Virginia Mountaineers +1000 +2500
Kansas State Wildcats +4000 +6000
Kansas Jayhawks +5000 +10000
Odds updated on 7/25 - Opening line provided by OddsShark

So, the question is what does Bovada see in this West Virginia team that apparently no one else does? Common sense would tell you that they don’t have any inside info that would lead them to believe the Mountaineers outright have the fourth best odds at winning the conference when everything is pointing in the opposite direction. The odds more than likely indicate that the level of parity between the teams that will probably finish somewhere between fourth and eighth in-conference is closer than it has ever been.

We’ll continue to monitor the movement on these lines as teams begin camp and the season draws closer. For now, if you think the Mountaineers are a legitimate longshot to win the conference championship, as Bovada seems to indicate, and want to put some cash down on them just in case, your greatest return on investment will come from 5Dimes.