2016 Heisman Trophy Winner Futures
By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
Betting on the Heisman Trophy winner for the upcoming year isn't an easy bet. A whole lot can happen from now to the end of the year that could throw a bet like this into a funk. At the same time, honing in on a good choice now gives you a chance to lock in some good odds and make a handsome profit before the odds drop. But yes, making a Heisman bet well before the season begins is a case of betting in the dark a bit.
It's still a bet that packs a whole lot of mileage into one wager. You will have a vested stake in that player's every performance, as you pull for that player to put together good games to create a compelling Heisman profile. It is also a bet where you can profit off of your observations. Maybe you saw something in a player to suggest a big upsurge this season and this is really the only bet where you can capitalize off those types of opinions. We also recommend taking more than one player, just in case of injury, the player's team not being as good as forecasted, or if that player just doesn't fire for whatever reason.
Let's take a look at the choices for this season's Heisman Trophy winner. Here, we list all the players, with their odds, as well as a brief analysis of their actual viability to take home college football's most-prized individual award.
Deshaun Watson (QB Clemson)+300: Last season, he came 5 points from leading his team to an unbeaten National Championship campaign, throwing for over 4000 yards and running for 1000 more. Now a junior, a similar season from Watson and his team will make it hard to deny him the game's top honors.
Christian McCaffrey (RB Stanford)+400: He ran for over 2000 yards in 2015 and also adds another dimension as a return man. He should put up monstrous numbers and if he's a big part of leading the Cardinal to a big season, he could be a no-brainer. McCaffrey is going to be huge this season.
Leonard Fournette (RB LSU)+400: Might just be the best NFL prospect on this list and an absolute monster even against SEC defenses. With almost 2000 yards and 22 touchdowns in 2015, Fournette may be even more consistent and if he strings together a bunch of 200-yard games again, he could end up earning the award.
JT Barrett (QB Ohio State)+1000: You always have to defer to the quarterback of what might be the best team in college football. He actually has quite a resume and will not have anyone breathing down his neck this season. Barrett will put up some big numbers with both his arm and his legs with Ezekiel Elliot gone. Worth a look.
Chad Kelly (QB Mississippi)+1200: Kelly looks to have settled in as Ole Miss' top player and might have the best pure arm in the business, having inherited some genes from uncle Jim Kelly. Last year was his first real exposure to big-time college football and in the SEC, he threw for over 4000 yards. A definite contender.
Dalvin Cook (RB Florida State)+1200: Not a player to neglect in this race, Cook should be wreaking havoc on ACC defenses this season. Slowed by injuries a bit last season, he still managed 1691 yards on 7.4 yards per rush with 19 touchdowns on the ground.
Baker Mayfield (QB Oklahoma)+1400: He left Texas Tech and after a year sitting out, returned as the Sooners quarterback, leading them to the College Football Playoff. Look for Mayfield to post some big stats in the offense-happy Big 12 again this season en route to another big campaign.
Nick Chubb (RB Georgia)+1400: An injury saw him miss over half of the season last year and we'll see how he bounces back. But in parts of two seasons, he has shown himself to be a top-flight back and looks due to put it all together, assuming his body holds up well.
Royce Freeman (RB Oregon)+1400: The way Oregon ended the season last year, they should be a pretty good team, enhancing the chances for one of their players to get the necessary attention to get this award. Freeman really doesn't have many off-games and the junior back is a candidate to have a transcendent season for the Ducks.
Samaje Perine (RB Oklahoma)+2000: A good back who usually delivers in the biggest spots, the junior back came up a bit flat in the CFP and was plagued by inconsistency throughout the 2015 season. Look for Perine to blossom this season on a good Sooners team, making him a solid choice at 20/1.
Calvin Ridley (WR Alabama)+2000: He was pretty compelling in his freshman season, leaving little doubt that 'Bama has another game-changing receiver on their hands along the lines of Julio Jones or Amari Cooper. He should be the star of the Alabama offense this season.
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Joshua Dobbs (QB Tennessee)+2000: A true dual-threat quarterback, Dobbs is coming off a bright season where he gave the Volunteers a nice boost. He could be better this season and isn't a bad long-shot choice.
Josh Rosen (QB UCLA)+2000: He went through his ups and downs as a true freshman last season, but his potential is unmistakable. Look for a better season with a team that could be a surprise. He may end up being more of a contender than some people think.
Brad Kaaya (QB Miami)+3300: Miami should be good enough this year to make it so Kaaya will get some national attention is he puts together a great season. He has the look, a big strapping kid with a booming arm. Now a junior, we could see some things come together for Kaaya in 2016.