2019 College Football Odds: More Value in Title or Heisman Futures?

June 25, 2019 - 2:19 pm

By Eli Hershkovich

We’re just two months away from 2019-20 college football season kicking off, but there’s still time to take advantage of market inefficiencies. Discovering them remains the biggest challenge, especially when the past four national championships have stemmed from either Clemson (2016, 2018) or Alabama (2015, 2017).

Here are some of the title odds for the upcoming campaign, with those two programs at the top of the list once again.

  • Clemson +200
  • Alabama +250
  • Georgia +850
  • Ohio State 12-1
  • Oklahoma 16-1
  • Michigan 22-1
  • Texas 30-1
  • Florida 35-1
  • LSU 50-1
  • Notre Dame 50-1
  • Miami (Fla.) 55-1
  • Oregon 55-1
  • Washington 55-1
  • Auburn 65-1
  • Michigan State 65-1
  • Wisconsin 75-1
  • Nebraska 80-1
  • Mississippi State 100-1
  • Oklahoma State 100-1
  • Penn State 100-1
  • Stanford 100-1

 

The Sooners (16-1) represent an intriguing play after reeling in ex-Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Hurts, who played a major role in their last championship (+300). Nevertheless, betting against Tigers signal caller Trevor Lawrence and an offense that generated the fifth-highest S&P+ (efficiency, explosiveness, field position, finishing drives and turnovers) in the country, according to Football Outsiders, is a risky proposition.

Clemson is returning eight players that started at least seven games apiece, too, including four offensive linemen. Even though they’re turning over much of their defense, it’s depth was a key factor in last season’s title push, playing an average of 72.5 players per game — the most in the nation.

But six of the past eight Heisman Trophy winners — all of them starting under center — didn’t celebrate under the confetti at season’s end, providing more parity within this department. Then-Louisville signal caller Lamar Jackson opened with the longest odds (100-1) among them, and the Cardinals weren’t a part of the College Football Playoff discussion at any point during the 2016 campaign.

Below are the top 2019 Heisman futures, with the aforementioned Lawrence tied with Alabama signal caller Tua Tagovailoa (+250) for the lowest odds.

  • Hurts 11-1
  • Justin Fields 11-1
  • D’Andre Swift 14-1
  • Jonathan Taylor 14-1
  • Jake Fromm 16-1
  • Adrian Martinez 18-1
  • Justin Herbert 22-1
  • Sam Ehlinger 22-1
  • Travis Etienne 22-1
  • D’Eriq King 29-1
  • Jerry Jeudy 34-1
  • Eno Benjamin 36-1
  • Ian Book 36-1
  • Najee Harris 36-1
  • Shea Patterson 36-1
  • JK Dobbins 45-1
  • Khalil Tate 45-1
  • Tate Martell 45-1
  • Austin Kendall 50-1
  • Cee Dee Lamb 50-1
  • JT Daniels 50-1
  • KJ Costello 50-1
  • Rondale Moore 50-1

 

The Pick: Ehlinger 22-1

Sooners-turned-Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, who won the award in 2017, voiced his distaste towards the third-year signal caller. Don’t let their rivalry affect your betting strategy, as Ehlinger generated 41 total touchdowns last season (25 passing, 16 rushing) with just five turnovers and a 64.7 completion percentage.

The Longhorns finished with college football’s 26th-highest S&P+ a campaign ago, but their explosiveness (ISO IPP+) ranked No. 111. In fact, they were one of three FBS schools to fail to accumulate a touchdown of at least 50 yards. But expect Ehlinger to continue to develop, as a pair of playmaking senior wide receivers in Collin Johnson and Devin Duvernay lead the pack.

Texas possesses a shot to challenge Oklahoma for the Big 12 championship, and falling to the Sooners in last season’s title game should provide Ehlinger with extra motivation in 2019.