College Football Betting Looks Ahead to Heisman TrophyPosted by: Charlie Smith
As the college football betting season begins to come around, those who bet on NCAA football will have to contend with one burning question: who will win this year’s Heisman Trophy?
The Heisman represents the most prestigious single-player award given to collegiate football players and as such, it’s a very coveted honor. While it may not always translate into NFL success – take Tim Tebow for example, it is nevertheless one of the most popular online sportsbook lines available.
Sam Darnold, USC’s quarterback, enters as the college football betting favorite, followed close behind by last Oklahoma’s own quarterback Baker Mayfield. Last year’s winner and current Louisville quarterback, Lamar Jackson, isn’t facing bad odds either. Let’s take a look at what sets each of those favorite apart from one another.
Sam Darnold || QB || USC || +530 Odds
Darnold has an uncanny ability to extend plays with his legs and subsequently burn defenses that closely mirrors that of Aaron Rodgers. There’s no other way to say this, but Darnold has a clear path towards this year’s Heisman Trophy and the college football betting odds accurately reflect that. The only thing standing in Darnold’s way is himself and USC’s group of rather young wide receivers.
Baker Mayfield || QB || Oklahoma || + 860 Odds
During his two seasons with the Sooners, Mayfield has posted an eye-raising 46-15 TD-INT ratio. Last season, Mayfield was 3rd in Heisman voting and online sportsbooks think he’ll be in contention once again this season. Mayfield has a great arm and great legs that should flourish under Oklahoma’s outstanding offensive line. On paper, this might be one of the best O-Line units the Sooners have boasted in recent years.
Lamar Jackson || QB || Louisville || + 960 Odds
As the reigning Heisman winner, Jackson has a very good chance of winning it again this season. That said, defenses will focus on Jackson like never before. Having an opportunity to knock a decorated quarterback down only adds fuel to the fire of opposing lineman. The odds think Jackson can get it done but he might have the hardest time of any player on this list.
Saquon Barkley || RB || Penn State || + 1525 Odds
In terms of natural athleticism, Barkley outclasses everyone on this list. With 72 missed tackles last season, no other running back in the nation broke more heels in 2016. From what we’re hearing, Barkley has managed to improve his pass-blocking as well as increasing his top speed – which means he should have an easier time topping off those home-run plays.
Jake Browning || QB || Washington || + 2250 Odds
Browning doesn’t have the best odds on this list, but he does have the best chance of being a good sleeper pick. The one thing that Browning will have over the other names on this list is the ability to fly under the radar. The Huskies are coming off a Peach Bowl loss to Alabama, so all eyes will not be on Washington.