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Jackson Huge Favorite on Heisman Odds

Lamar Jackson pegged as Heavy Favorite Heisman Trophy Odds - Bovada Sportsbook

Watson, Barrett, Peppers lurking on lines, while Alabama freshman QB Hurts joins board

Lamar Jackson has top odds on the 2016 Heisman Trophy futures board but the value picks might actually be stars with traditional powerhouses.

The Louisville Cardinals narrowly lost to the Clemson Tigers when Jackson and second favorite Deshaun Watson went head-to-head in a recent matchup between two then-unbeaten teams. The loss did nothing to take the shine off of Jackson, a super sophomore who is now a -190 favorite to be voted college football’s most outstanding player. In just five games, Jackson has already passed or rushed for 28 touchdowns.

Watson, who has never been lower than second on the board since it opened, is listed at +300. The junior has not been as statistically impressive as he was in his first two seasons leading the Tigers. Watson is essentially competing against his form from his 2015 season, when he finished third in the vote.

Ohio State Buckeyes QB J.T. Barrett (+750) and Michigan Wolverines versatile LB Jabrill Peppers (+900), might offer the most value. Each is the star of a currently unbeaten College Football Playoff contender, and their arguments will only gain momentum if their teams stay unblemished into November.

Barrett is a solid playmaker and Ohio State has cachet with voters. The Buckeyes have had a player finish in the top 10 in balloting for four consecutive seasons. Ohio State has also had at least one Heisman winner and/or runner-up in every decade since the 1940s. Peppers plays multiple positions on defense, offense and special teams, in the form of former Michigan great Charles Woodson, who in 1997 became the first and still only primary defensive player to win. Michigan and Ohio State, of course, will go head-to-head on November 26.

The odds on Houston Cougars QB Greg Ward Jr. have ballooned to +2800 now that his team has a loss which will probably kill its darkhorse College Football Playoff chances. Ward and the Cougars do get a shot at Jackson and Louisville on November 12.

The only tailbacks on the board are the Florida State Seminoles’ Dalvin Cook (+2500) and the Stanford Cardinal’s Christian McCaffrey (+3300), whose chances have sunk due to their teams falling in the rankings.

Jalen Hurts, the true freshman QB of the No. 1-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide, has joined the  board at +7500. Hurts is a prodigious talent, but the perception that he might be benefiting from a loaded team could make voters skittish. Former Texas A&M star Johnny Manziel, as a redshirt freshman in 2012, is the only first-year player to ever win.


*Odds as of October 12, 2016


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