It's summer, so lots of predictions, projections and previews of the 2017 college football season are being released by… well, everyone. That also means the casinos and oddsmakers are releasing theirs, too.
The Heisman odds began to come out right after Lamar Jackson walked away with it last December, but the latest set of odds are… odd, at least to me.
Bovada released their odds and they look like this (the number is the amount per $100 wagered one would win if they wagered on said player to win Heisman. 300 is like saying 3-1 odds):
- Sam Darnold, QB — USC 275
- Baker Mayfield, QB — Oklahoma 750
- Lamar Jackson, QB — Louisville 800
- JT Barrett, QB — Ohio State 900
- Saquon Barkley, RB — Penn State 900
- Bo Scarbrough, RB — Alabama 1400
- Derrius Guice, RB — LSU 1400
- Jalen Hurts, QB — Alabama 1600
- Deondre Francois, QB — Florida State 1800
- Jake Browning, QB — Washington 1800
- Nick Chubb, RB — Georgia 1800
- Mason Rudolph, QB — Oklahoma State 2000
- Josh Rosen, QB — UCLA 2000
- Trace McSorley, QB — Penn State 3300
- Nick Fitzgerald, QB — Mississippi State 3300
- Kamryn Pettway, RB — Auburn 3300
- Luke Falk, QB — Washington State 3300
- Shane Buechele, QB — Texas 3300
- Cam Akers, RB — Florida State — 5000
Those are the who's who of Heisman candidates enmtering 2017, according to Bovada.
Westgate Sports Book in Las Vegas released their odds July 18:
Westgate went deeper than Bovada, who went just 20 players deep, so they added the likes of Texas A&M all-purpose WR Christian Kirk, Oregon RB Royce Freeman and Mike Weber, Ohio State's feature running back. On neither list — or any other list I could find, was Kirk's teammate and Aggies sophomore running back Trayveon Williams.
I'm not suggesting he should be among the favorites, but to not even be 100-1 seems kind of crazy.
Williams averaged just 12 rushing attempts per game — Keith Ford averaged 10 and QB Trevor Knight averaged more than nine — yet Williams surpassed the 1,000 yard mark. He also caught 19 passes and showed big-play and big-game ability, running for 217 yards versus Tennessee, 127 yards on just eight carried at Auburn and 153 yards and two TD on only 12 carries versus Arkansas.
Williams had 27 runs of 10 yards or more, which is 17 percent of his carries. He went at least 20 yards 10 times, 30 or more yards seven times and 40 or more yards five times. He has two runs over 70 yards, including an 89-yard sprint.
Williams will start the season the No. 2 offensive weapon in the eyes of the public and voters, since Kirk is electric in the passing game and on returns. But Williams will touch the ball a lot more and if A&M plays this right, he's a darkhorse.
The chances are, Jackson, Darnold, Mayfield, Barkley, Guice, Barrett or Hurts wins the Heisman. But if you're looking for a long-odds sleeper, Williams may be your guy.
And if you get a sports book to lay down 100-1 or better odds on a $100 bet … I accept commission.