Every Monday this fall, I’ll provide updated Heisman and national title odds from PointsBet along with thoughts on potential angles.
|Justin Fields||QB||Ohio State||500|
|KJ Costello||QB||Mississippi State||1000|
|Kellen Mond||QB||Texas A&M||2500|
|Ian Book||QB||Notre Dame||3000|
|Sam Howell||QB||North Carolina||4000|
|Master Teague III||RB||Ohio State||4000|
|Sean Clifford||QB||Penn State||5000|
|John Rhys Plumlee||QB||Ole Miss||6000|
|Hendon Hooker||QB||Virginia Tech||15000|
|Tylan Wallace||WR||Oklahoma State||20000|
|Pooka Williams Jr.||RB||Kansas||20000|
- At +500 apiece for front-runners Justin Fields and Trevor Lawrence, PointsBet offers odds nearly twice as good for each player as competitors did last week. That’s in part because of the emergence of a new fellow front-runner, discussed two bullet points down. Clemson had a bye last week and gets Virginia this weekend. Ohio State opens its season the weekend before Halloween.
- After Fields, the next Big 10 players to show up on the list are Ohio State RB Master Teague III (+4000) and Penn State QB Sean Clifford (+5000). The Buckeyes have already said Teague will share touches with Oklahoma transfer Trey Sermon, probably making Teague DOA for Heisman consideration before the season has even begun. Clifford and Tanner Morgan (+10000) would likely need their teams to rally into the playoffs to have a shot at the award. Ditto for Jack Coan (also +10000) and Adrian Martinez (+15000).
- PointsBet has moved Miami QB D’Eriq King onto the +500 line with Lawrence and Fields as well after the Hurricanes’ dominant showing Saturday in a blowout win over FSU. At other sportsbooks, King is now considered the frontrunner.
- Texas QB Sam Ehlinger (+700) was named the Big 12's co-offensive player of the week after completing 27-of-40 passes for 262 yards and five touchdowns in a wild OT win over Texas Tech. He added 69 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
- JT Daniels (+1400) remains No. 8 in PB’s Heisman odds despite the fact that he wasn’t cleared to return to the field until today and didn’t play in Georgia’s lethargic 37-10 win over Arkansas. Even if Daniels is named the starter this week, this is a sucker bet. So is John Rhys Plumlee at +6000. Plumlee is now a jack-of-all-trades “slash” type player in Lane Kiffin’s offense. Matt Corral is Ole Miss’ undisputed starting QB.
- After Oklahoma was stunned by Kansas State on Saturday, QB Spencer Rattler checks in this week at +1100, No. 7 on the list. Rattler has thrown for 677 yards and an 8/3 TD/INT rate on 75.9% completions and 11.7 YPA through two games. One more Sooners regular season loss probably cooks him, but Rattler should be considered a live dog for now. The last three seasons, Oklahoma quarterbacks have finished No. 1 (Baker Mayfield), No. 1 (Kyler Murray), and No. 2 (Jalen Hurts).
- Meanwhile, Mississippi State’s rousing upset of LSU, in which KJ Costello threw for an SEC-record 623 yards, moved Costello into the top-six in odds for the award. Costello’s 623 yards snapped the conference’s old record by 115 yards, and he added five touchdown passes in knocking off the defending champs. At +1000, Costello is one of the better values on the board. Those odds will drop next week after Costello and Mississippi State shred Arkansas on Saturday.
- Costello’s exploits overshadowed the sensational 2020 debut of Florida QB Kyle Trask, who lit up Ole Miss for 416 yards and six TD. At +800, PointsBet considers Trask a top-five Heisman candidate. Interestingly, PointsBet does not offer odds for UF TE Kyle Pitts, who went off for an 8-170-4 line on Saturday, nor does it offer a “field” option. Only two tight ends have ever won the Heisman. Larry Kelley was the award’s second-ever winner, in 1936, and Leon Hart won the award in 1949.
- Wide receivers are also often ignored in voting. Only two have ever won it: Desmond Howard and Tim Brown. Defensive back Charles Woodson moonlighted as a receiver and returned kicks when he won in 1997. Last year, pure-defender Chase Young, the Ohio State edge rusher, finished No. 3 behind Joe Burrow and Jalen Hurts. He finished one spot ahead of Justin Fields. Fields was the highest vote-getting from 2019 to return to college football in 2020.
- Speaking of the “field”, PointsBet doesn’t currently offer odds on several star RBs, including Travis Etienne, Chuba Hubbard, Kylin Hill and Javian Hawkins. Iowa State QB Brock Purdy is also not listed.
National title odds
- It’s no surprise that Clemson, Ohio State and Alabama are easily the three chalkiest bets on the board. After Alabama (+300), the next-closest odds for winning the title are Georgia and Florida at +1600. All three of those SEC teams won their opener last week.
- After losing to Kansas State in a late-game meltdown on Saturday, Oklahoma drops to +2000. They still have better odds of winning the title than Texas, which stands at +2500 after holding off its own spirited upset bid by Texas Tech. Oklahoma could still rally into the playoff if they win out, but Texas is the better EV bet at the moment if you had to pick one.
- After Ohio State, the Big 10 teams with the next-best odds are Penn State (+3000) and Wisconsin (+4000). That slots PSU and Wisko at No. 8 and No. 11, respectively, on PointsBet’s title odds. ESPN’s FPI believes each are better than that, ranking Wisconsin No. 4 and Penn State No. 5.
- Another potential value on the Big 10 board might be Michigan at +6000. QB Joe Milton has been drawing raves in camp. Michigan’s schedule is brutal, of course. But in reality they don’t have half Penn State’s chances of hoisting the trophy. FPI ranks Michigan No. 15, three spots below Oklahoma, four behind Notre Dame.
- Looking for another bargain-bin option? How about Miami?! At +6000, the Hurricanes are not currently being treated as a legitimate title contender. The computers agree with that: ESPN’s FPI, for instance, ranks Miami No. 17 (up nine spots from last week). But the Hurricanes have already dispatched Louisville and throttled FSU, and have only one nightmare matchup left on the schedule: A date with Clemson on October 10. If Miami wins that game, their title odds are going to get slashed into the neighborhood Clemson, Ohio State and Alabama currently occupy, probably not higher than +500.
- Auburn (+6000) will have its own chance to slash its odds when it plays at Georgia this week. If the Tigers improve to 2-0, they’ll likely open next week around where Georgia finds itself now (+1600). A Georgia win would inch the Bulldogs closer to the +1000 range while decimating Auburn’s odds.
- UCF might be worth a roulette chip. You can get 200-to-1 on the Knights winning the title right now. They are the No. 22 team listed by PointsBet, while ESPN’s FPI ranks them No. 10. UCF has only two challenging games left on its slate -- at Memphis, and a home date against Cincinnati. A Group of 5 team has never made the playoff. Is it possible that UCF could be aided by a chaotic season played during a pandemic? A bet on UCF will net big money if they can just make the playoff. A $20 bet on UCF to win the title would pay $4,000 if they did. Hedging on the moneyline of UCF’s hypothetical first-round opponent would guarantee several hundreds of dollars in profit either way. But the Knights will once again fight the G5 stigma as they make their case.
Games of note this weekend:
South Carolina at Florida
TCU at Texas
Texas A&M at Alabama
Auburn at Georgia
Tulsa at UCF
UNC at Boston College
Oklahoma at Iowa State
Arkansas at Mississippi State
Virginia at Clemson
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