Heisman Trophy Odds for Week 13: Welcome to the Mac Jones Show

The Heisman Trophy race has not been a real exciting one this year; Trevor Lawrence led the pack for much of the season, but not because he was playing so much better than everyone else. No, he was playing well, but there was nothing about his game that was spectacular—which is usually a prerequisite for Heisman contenders.

That allowed Mac Jones to work his way into contention. When the Big Ten joined in on the fun and started playing, Justin Fields joined the conversation and it looked like Fields was destined to win from how he had played in his first three games.

But then Indiana got in his way.

However, in recent weeks, another contender has been working his way into the conversation. After throwing three more touchdowns in a win over Vanderbilt, it appears we have a new frontrunner—Florida’s Kyle Trask.

Will he win, though?

Heisman Trophy Odds: Things Are Starting to Get Interesting…

What was once the Trevor Lawrence Show (+1600; odds via FanDuel) now finds the Clemson quarterback fading into the background.  Missing a couple of games because of Covid-19 certainly hurt his case. Assuming the Pitt game happens this week, it will have been over a month since Lawrence last played.

There is bound to be a little rust after such a long lay-off. It would not be shocking if it takes Lawrence a quarter or even a half to get back in the swing of things. If he is going to have a shot at winning the Heisman still, he will have to dazzle voters from here on out.

Justin Fields (+400) had looked like a Heisman winner in Ohio State’s first three games of the season. But with the late start and shorter season, he could not afford to have an off day—which was just what he had against Indiana.

Yes, the Buckeyes won, and he accounted for 378 total yards and three touchdowns, but he has also had three interceptions on the day. With the Hoosiers looking like the most challenging team Ohio State is going to face this year, those three picks will stick out in the minds of voters. 

With Fields laying an egg, Mac Jones (+300) had a chance to put some distance between him and Fields. But Alabama didn’t need much out of him against Kentucky. He did not have a bad day (16-24 for 230 yards and two touchdowns with one interception). But in the eyes of voters, it didn’t do much for him.

Then there was Kyle Trask (-140). While he did not have 4+ passing touchdowns for the first time this season, he did complete 26 of 35 passes for 383 yards and three touchdowns. With those three, he set an SEC record for touchdown passes in seven games.

But the story on him remains the same. He will need to have a similar type of day over Alabama in the SEC title game if he is going to have a shot at winning.

Don’t Look Now… But BYU and Zach Wilson Are Making a Push

Zach Wilson’s odds improved (+2000) after the BYU quarterback had another big day. But a big day over North Alabama is not going to mean much to voters.

A new player has entered the conversation, Iowa State running back Breece Hall (+2500). Hall is having an exceptional season with 1169 yards and 15 touchdowns in eight games. He has had 100+ in every game this season and has scored at least once as well.

If he is going to be more than just a footnote in the conversation, though, he will have to play even better. But he will likely have a chance to shine on the national stage when Iowa State faces either Oklahoma or Texas in the Big 12 title game– and that could help.

FanDuel has odds listed for a few other guys, but anyone that follows the Heisman race at all knows what kind of shot Devonta Smith (+5000), D’Eriq King, Ian Book, and Kellen Mond (+10000) have. But one guy that should have odds but doesn’t is Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr.

It would have been nice if Indiana had won, then Penix would be one of the frontrunners. But even though the Hoosiers lost, he played well enough (27-51 for 491 yards and five touchdowns with one interception) for his name to at least be on the outskirts of the conversation.

If he can continue to have big games against Maryland, Wisconsin, and Purdue, he might do more than just enter the conversation.

But the biggest issue facing every contender down the stretch may not be their opponent, but the coronavirus. If more guys start missing games as Trevor Lawrence has, there is no telling who might win this year.

The OddsUSA College Football Best Bet of the Week: Indiana at Ohio State

Indiana at The Ohio State University Betting Breakdown

  • Spread: Ohio State -20.5
  • Moneyline: Ohio State -1115; Indiana +650
  • Over/Under: 64.5

*Odds via DraftKings.com

Prior to the start of the Big Ten season, there is no way anyone would have said Ohio State-Indiana would be the must-see game of the year. But no one would have guessed Indiana would be 4-0 and ranked No. 9 in the nation, either.

The Hoosiers have been surprisingly good, though. Ohio State, on the other hand, has been as good as expected—which does not bode well for Indiana.

Despite the success Indiana has had this season, the expectation for them heading into this game is still the same—Ohio State will blow them out of the water. But with how well they have played this season, it is not hard to wonder if the Hoosiers can do it.

Can they pull off the upset of the century and beat Ohio State in the Horseshoe?

Indiana Hoosiers Betting Preview

After getting off to a 3-0 start that included wins over Penn State and Michigan, the stage was set for Indiana to have a let-down game last week against Michigan State. If they came out flat and/or struggled to get on track, the Spartans appeared good enough to steal a win from the Hoosiers.

But Indiana took care of business, forcing three turnovers (that led to points) in the first half and cruised to a 24-0 win. So, they did not have a let-down game, after all—but that doesn’t mean they are ready for the Buckeyes.

The press has been nice to Indiana, but few (if any) have tried to compare Indiana to Ohio State. No, the expectations have remained largely the same. They are not just underdogs; they are big underdogs. So big that even diehard fans are probably choosing Ohio State.

Consequently, the team could fall into a common underdog trap. They may buy into what people say and go into the game expecting to lose. But if they can use those low expectations as fuel to fire the game of their lives, an upset could be possible.

Ohio State’s defense is good this year, but not the great unit the team often fields. Their weakness happens to be what the Indiana offense does best—pass (224.3 yards/game; 51st). Indiana is averaging 267.5 yards/game but will likely need another 300+-yard day from Michael Penix Jr. as they got out of him last week.

The key, however, will be on defense. Indiana has done well against the pass and run so far this season. But they have yet to face an offensive attack as potent as Ohio State.   

Ohio State Buckeyes Betting Preview

As usual, the expectations were high for Ohio State once the season started. So far, they have lived up to them. Justin Fields is playing like a Heisman frontrunner, they have won all three games by double-digits, and the defense is getting the job done.

It is hard to find a flaw. On paper, there does not appear to be anything the Hoosiers will be able to exploit.  Ohio State is running for over 200 a game and passing for over 300. Defensively, they are only allowing 356 total yards/game and 23 points.

Anyone who will beat them will need to score more than 23 points (Indiana is averaging 33).

However, there is a glimmer of hope. Nebraska was able to run through the Ohio State defense to the tune of 200+ yards. While the Ohio State defense has done a good job this year, they have played three terrible offensive teams.

So, maybe they are not as good as they look?

Indiana at Ohio State Betting Prediction

There is not a football fan in the country outside of Ohio that wants to see the Buckeyes win this game. Everyone loves a good underdog story; should Indiana win, it would be a great one. But it is hard to see how the Hoosiers are going to pull it off.

Like the Buckeyes, the Hoosiers defense has looked good against some bad teams. Facing one with the offensive firepower like Ohio State is going to be a rude wake-up call. At the same time, the Buckeyes have yet to encounter an offense as good as Indiana’s.

But to try to say the offenses are comparable—well, they are not. Michael Penix Jr. is good, but Justin Fields is better. 

So—how should you bet?

Take Ohio State to win but look for Indiana to keep it competitive and win against the spread. As for the over/under— take the over. Both teams are going to put on an offensive show.

Heisman Trophy Odds for Week 12: Entrance of the Mac

A few questions about the Heisman Trophy have gone unanswered this season—until recently, that is. With every conference getting off to a late start this season, the original trophy presentation date just did not make sense. As more conferences returned to play and pushed the end of the regular season a couple of weeks beyond that date, one thing was clear.

The date was going to have to change—and now it has.

Over the weekend, the Heisman Trust announced that trophy presentation would be virtual on January 5th, with votes due by December 21st. The three finalists will be announced on Christmas Eve.

Okay! So, now we know the when and the how, but one question remains—who. Who will win the Heisman this year?

For most of the season, popular opinion has had the race down to two or three guys. But it appears that a case for a fourth candidate is starting to gain steam.

Heisman Trophy Odds: And the Plot Thickens…

The Heisman was widely considered Trevor Lawrence’s to lose for most of the season. While Clemson’s quarterback has played well this season, he has not had the kind of game that could lock the award down for him. He could have had such a game against Notre Dame, but the coronavirus had him sidelined.

He has not played poorly; he just hasn’t ‘wowed’ us this year. But he is still in consideration, of course, and is one of four co-favorites (+250 odds via FanDuel).

Lawrence did not play last weekend, and neither did one of the other favorites, the guy that has been hot on his tail all season long—Alabama’s Mac Jones. While he does not have the name recognition of Lawrence or Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, the results speak for themselves.

Fields almost got grandfathered into frontrunner status. After being a finalist last year, he was expected to win this year before the Big Ten decided to cancel its season. As soon as they announced they were indeed going to play, he was reinstalled as a favorite. His play has been exceptional, but he will not play as many games as Lawrence or Jones.

Can Kyle Trask Claw His Way Back into the Heisman Trophy Race?

The competition in the Big Ten is not as tough as it was expected to be. But the competition isn’t exactly tough in the ACC, either. That has allowed a fourth contender to sneak into the race: Florida quarterback Kyle Trask.

Trask has remained on the outskirts of the Heisman conversation all season. But he has joined the big three as a favorite after torching Arkansas over the weekend. He had as many touchdowns (six) as incompletions in the game (23-29 for 356 yards), giving him 28 on the season.

The only downside to him is the loss to Texas A&M, but even in that game, he threw for 312 yards and four touchdowns. He has had at least four touchdown passes in every game this season. If he can keep that level of production up in Florida’s last four games (Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Tennessee, and LSU), voters will have to notice him.

If he does it against Alabama in the SEC title game as well, he just might win.

Most books have cut their lists of players with odds short at this point in the season. While many of the guys still getting odds have had great seasons, most have had at least one bad game or don’t play anyone.

Outside of the top four, BYU’s Zach Wilson has the best odds at +3000. But his most formidable opponent was Boise State.  

Had the Pac-12 started sooner, it might be worth including a few guys in the conversation like Kedon Slovis or CJ Verdel. But for the Pac-12, it is too little, too late.

But while it appears to be at least a four-person race right now, that could all change by the end of next weekend. The odds are going to be heavily against Michael Penix Jr. and Indiana when they face Ohio State. But if the Hoosiers pull off the upset, Penix will most certainly jump right into the thick of the Heisman race.