Alabama’s Bryce Young remains favorite

As we enter the third week of college football, Heisman Trophy talk will start heating up. Odds have shifted a lot since the preseason with a few teams falling below expectations, while others have popped up as potential conference champions.

Here’s a look at the preseason odds from BetMGM just to get an idea of where we were:

  • Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler +800

  • Alabama QB Bryce Young +1000

  • Clemson QB D.J. Uiagalelei +1100

  • Georgia QB J.T. Daniels +1200

  • North Carolina QB Sam Howell +1600

  • Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud +1600

  • Miami QB D’Eriq King +2000

  • Ole Miss QB Matt Corral +2500

  • USC QB Kedon Slovis +2800

  • Texas RB Bijan Robinson +3000

With a loaded list, how should you assess the Heisman landscape? Keep it simple. Is the player posting great stats? Is the player on a wining team? Is the player’s team in a competitive conference?

Bryce Young (+325)

The value was certainly during the preseason at +1000 odds. However, if you are looking to opt-in now, this might be your best opportunity. Alabama is averaging 46 points per game and is 2-0 thus far. Though one of those games was against an FCS opponent, the first win was against the Miami Hurricanes, and it was a 44-13 beat down.

Why buy now?

The Crimson Tide face Florida in Week 3. The Gators, through two games, are ranked 68th in opponent passing yards allowed and 73rd in opponent yards per pass. The two teams the Gators have faced: Florida Atlantic (7.9 yards per pass) and South Florida (6.3 yards per pass).

The week after? The Crimson Tide faces Southern Miss, ranked 97th in opponent yards per pass. In the next 10 games, ‘Bama is expected to face only one team inside the top 25 in passing defense, Texas A&M. Young’s passing numbers are looking to improve each week. If Young can hold or improve on his near 71 percent completion rate and 8.8 yards per completion, along with zero interceptions, then he should not only remain the favorite but odds will move in his favor.

Why I’m not high on Spencer Rattler (+1000)

This Oklahoma defense is atrocious and every year it’s the same story. In the opening game, the Sooners gave up three passing touchdowns and 400 total yards to … Tulane. Saturday’s matchup against Nebraska could be another shootout. The defense will look like an “improved” unit with a slate of Big 12 opponents on deck with only one, Texas Tech, currently ranked in the top 30 in points per game.

This team will do what it always does. Make the playoff. Get demolished by actual offenses.

Why Matt Corral (+600) is a pass … for now

Corral’s odds are inflated after making the big drop down from +2500 during the preseason. Through two games, he’s passed for a 66 percent completion, 10.2 yards per pass, and just six touchdowns. That leaves Corral out of the top 40 for completions and top 10 for passing yards and yards per pass.

Not to mention, Ole Miss faces Alabama in two weeks. Last year, the Rebels lost 63-48 as 23-point underdogs with Corral throwing for 365 yards and two scores. In all likelihood, a similar result is expected. A better number than 6-to-1 will be available after.

One name not being talked about: Florida QB2 Anthony Richardson (+4000)

Richardson is a backup. Why is he the backup?!?!? Richardson has just six completions, but his numbers are comparable to starter Emory Jones’.

Here’s the statistical passing comparison:

Jones: 31 CMP, 264 yds, 63%, 5.4 YPP, 35 long, 2 TDs, 4 INTs

Richardson: 6 CMP, 192 yds, 54.5%, 17.5 YPP, 75 long, 2 TDs, 0 INTs

They also happen to be the top two rushers on the team. Once again, Richardson is better in a lesser role.

Jones: 23 ATT, 155 yards, 6.7 YPC, 33 long, 1 TD

Richardson: 11 ATT, 275 yards, 25 YPC, 80 long, 2 TDs

What does coach Dan Mullen know that we don’t? Why is Mullen sticking with Jones? At least for now, it may be because Richardson left the Week 2 game with “hamstring tightness.”

Other than that, Richardson has to be the most dynamic player in college football right now and he’s on the bench. Yes, I placed a wager for him to win the Heisman. Unlikely to happen. However, if Mullen does the right thing and swaps Jones for Richardson mid-game against Alabama and he shines? These odds are gone.

It’s only Week 3. What is value now may not be value later and vice versa. It is still early enough that no player is a “lock” just yet.

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