We are at Week 7 of the 2017 college football campaign, which is essentially the halfway point of the regular season and thus a good time to check up on the latest Heisman Trophy odds.
If you throw out the vacated award won by USC’s Reggie Bush in 2005, a running back has won the Heisman just twice this century and they were both from Alabama: Mark Ingram in 2009 and Derrick Henry two years ago.
However, Penn State junior Saquon Barkley is the +125 betting favorite this year on the odds to win the Heisman Trophy. Barkley has rushed for 649 yards and six scores on 102 carries and leads the team in catches (29) and receiving yards (395) to go along with two more scores. He’s also an excellent kickoff returner and is No. 2 in the country behind San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny in all-purpose yards.
One might think Penn State would have had several Heisman winners with some of the stars who have played there, but the only Nittany Lion to take home the award was running back John Cappelletti in 1974. Things only get tougher for Barkley, however, as Penn State’s next three games are vs. No. 17 Michigan (Oct. 21), at No. 9 Ohio State (Oct. 28) and at No. 21 Michigan State (Nov. 4).
Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield, a two-time Heisman finalist, is listed second on the Heisman odds at +325. His case wasn’t helped in Week 6 as the Sooners suffered one of the biggest upsets in recent history as a 31-point home favorite at online betting sites to Iowa State, which won 38-31. Not that it was really Mayfield’s fault as he threw for 306 yards and two touchdowns.
Mayfield leads the country with a quarterback rating of 214.1. His career mark of 171.85 is second only to former Oklahoma Heisman winner Sam Bradford (175.62). Mayfield set the NCAA single-season record of 196.39 last year.
Stanford running back Bryce Love wasn’t even a betting option to start the season but is now +400. He leads the nation in rushing by a wide margin with 1,240 yards on a whopping 10.5 yards per carry. Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph is +800. He’s third in the country in rating (186.2), fifth in yards (1,909) and tied for third in TD passes (16). The only Heisman winner in school history was Barry Sanders in 1988.
The Bedlam game between the Sooners and Pokes in Stillwater on Nov. 4 could determine Barkley’s top competition for the award between Mayfield and Rudolph.
Louisville QB Lamar Jackson is +1600 to become the second player in history to win two Heisman awards, but his Cardinals already have two losses so it’s unlikely he wins again. In some ways, Jackson has been better than last year as he has thrown for 1,990 yards and 14 scores while rushing for 510 yards and seven more TDs. Jackson has set the ACC record for career rushing scores by a QB with 39.
For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the
new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.