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Mac Jones
Gary Cosby Jr via Imagn Content Services, LLC
Odds and Ends

CFB futures market: Week 15

by Thor Nystrom
Updated On: December 7, 2020, 2:12 pm ET

Heisman and national title odds courtesy of PointsBet.

 

Heisman odds

Player Position Team This week Last week    
Mac Jones QB Alabama Crimson Tide -125 150    
Kyle Trask QB Florida Gators -112 -118    
Trevor Lawrence QB Clemson Tigers 1400 550    
Justin Fields QB Ohio State Buckeyes 2000 1000    
Ian Book QB Notre Dame Irish 4000 5000    
DeVonta Smith WR Alabama Crimson Tide 4500 5000    
Zach Wilson QB BYU Cougars 200000 2500    
Brock Purdy QB Iowa State Cyclones 200000 N/A    
Najee Harris RB Alabama Crimson Tide N/A 8000    
D’Eriq King QB Miami Hurricanes N/A 10000    
Spencer Rattler QB Oklahoma Sooners N/A 10000    

 

  • Mac Jones vaulted Kyle Trask on the PointsBet board to become the new Heisman favorite after leading the Tide to a 55-17 blowout win over LSU in a sweet revenge spot last Saturday. Jones (-125) went 20-of-28 for 385 yards with a 4/0 TD/INT rate over three quarters before he hit the showers early in the laugher. Jones is up to 3,113 passing yards with a 27/3 TD/INT ratio on 75.7% completions this season.

 

  • Trask, sitting just behind Jones at -112, right around the price Trask was listed at last week (-118) when he was the frontrunner, remains the most singularly-impressive statistical candidate. And that’s unlikely to change. At least from the perspective of the counting stats. Following Florida’s 31-19 win over Tennessee, Trask has now thrown for 3,243 yards and a 38/3 TD/INT rate on 71.4% passing. Trask has one more opportunity to pad those stats against LSU’s poor pass defense next week. And then he’ll get his shot for his “Heisman moment” the week after that in the SEC title game against Alabama, where not only will Trask be playing for the Heisman, but the Gators will be playing for a berth into the playoff.

 

  • The crux of Mac Jones’ argument over Trask: He’s averaged more than two yards more per attempt (12.2 to 10.1) on more than 4% more completions (75.7 to 71.4) with a higher passer rating (210.8 to 193.1) as the undefeated quarterback for the No. 1 team in the nation. And he’s done it with one of his top receivers going down for the season earlier this year (Jaylen Waddle). The crux of Trask’s argument over Jones: He’s thrown for 11 more TD (38 to 27) and the same amount of interceptions despite putting the ball in the air 67 more times, he leads in passing yards in the same amount of games played, and, even with the Waddle injury factored in, Trask doesn’t play with the same kind of talent and isn’t surrounded by the same kind of resources Jones is. If Trask's Gators upset Jones' Crimson Tide, you can see why the latter argument probably knocks the dominoes in Trask's direction.

  • Jones and Trask are now fighting over the award because of the unique circumstances of this season. Trevor Lawrence (+1400) and Justin Fields (+2000), who likely would have finished 1-2 in a season where all top contenders were able to play their full 12-game seasons, have both seen their candidacy pushed to the brink by COVID-19. Lawrence has played in eight games and only has the ACC title game left on his schedule. Fields has only played in five, and is hoping he has two (Michigan and the Big 10 title game) -- though that could easily get slashed to zero by circumstances outside his control.

 

  • Ian Book (+4000) accounted for five touchdowns in last Saturday’s 45-21 win over Syracuse, improving to 30-3 as the Irish’s starting quarterback, passing Brady Quinn, Ron Powlus and Tom Clements to become the all-time winningest quarterback in school history. Book went 24-37 for 285 yards passing while rushing for 53 yards. He now ranks No. 2 in Notre Dame history in pass yards, passing touchdowns, quarterback rushing yards and winning percentage.

 

  • Over his last four games, Alabama WR DeVonta Smith has posted a ludicrous 35-749-11 receiving line. He reeled in three TD over the weekend in a monster performance against LSU, including an insane one-handed catch over All-American LSU CB Derek Stingley in the back of the end zone. Smith has posted an 80-1305-15 receiving line during Alabama's 9-0 start. If the Heisman wasn't so heavily skewed towards quarterbacks, he'd have a real shot. Unfortunately, a receiver hasn't won the award since Tim Brown in 1987. If Smith has any say in the award, it'll likely be because he syphoned enough votes from teammate Mac Jones to flip the winner.

Championship odds

Team This week Last week    
Alabama Crimson Tide -106 140    
Clemson Tigers 250 200    
Ohio State Buckeyes 450 400    
Notre Dame Irish 800 800    
Florida Gators 1600 1600    
Texas A&M Aggies 2500 2000    
Cincinnati Bearcats 4000 3500    
Indiana Hoosiers 15000 10000    
Georgia Bulldogs 20000 5000    
Northwestern Wildcats 20000 5000    
Oklahoma Sooners 20000 10000    
Iowa State Cyclones 20000 15000    
Miami Hurricanes 20000 25000    
BYU Cougars N/A 10000    
Oklahoma State Cowboys N/A 50000    

 

  • Alabama remain your title favorites, this week dropping beneath the even-money threshold to -106 after plastering LSU 55-17. The win secured the Crimson Tide’s trip to the SEC title game next weekend against Florida.

 

  • Clemson (+250) blew out Virginia Tech 45-10. The Tigers await their rematch with Notre Dame in the ACC title game. This time, of course, they’ll have a healthy Trevor Lawrence. Less talked about: Clemson’s front-seven will also be far, far healthier this time around, key in a matchup against the Irish’s vaunted running game.

 

  • Following their short-handed mauling of Michigan State 52-12, Ohio State remained No. 3 on the PointsBet board. But the Buckeyes’ price decreased slightly to +450 from +400. Ohio State is in a bizarre, unprecedented situation this week. If the scheduled game against hated rival Michigan takes place, OSU will blow out the floundering Wolverines and book a ticket to the Big 10 title game to play Northwestern, at which point they’d be one win away from the playoff. But Michigan’s roster is dealing COVID issues right now, putting the game in doubt. If canceled, it would be OSU’s third game cancelation of the year, by rule disqualifying them from the conference title game. There has been whispers this week that the Big 10 will attempt to circumvent its own rules to get Ohio State qualified for the game in that scenario. Here’s the million-dollar question: If OSU-Michigan is canceled, and the Big 10 does not change the rule, would the playoff committee take a 5-0 Ohio State that did not qualify for its conference title game due to COVID protocols?

 

  • Notre Dame’s 45-21 win over Syracuse over the weekend extended the Irish’s win streak to 16 games, the longest active streak in the nation. At +800, the Irish comfortably sit No. 4 on the PointsBet board. Beat Clemson in the ACC title, they’re obviously be into the playoff. Lose close, the Irish would likely be in as well. But a double-digit loss right before the committee makes their decision? That's the sort of thing that could escort the Irish right out of the field. Texas A&M and Cincinnati are two teams hoping that either Notre Dame knocks off Clemson again in that game, or falls flat on their face.

 

  • Florida remained at +1600 this week, No. 5 on the board, despite a closer-than-expected 12-point win over Tennessee. Florida’s road to the playoff is very straightforward: They have a play-in game next weekend in the SEC title game against Alabama. Win, and they're in.

 

  • The Texas A&M Aggies (+2500) continue to hang around the peripheries of the playoff race. Over the weekend, they knocked off Auburn 31-20. A&M plays Ole Miss and Tennessee the next two weeks, rescheduled COVID games. Due to the loss to Alabama earlier this year, A&M has been locked out of the SEC title game. Their only hope of getting in: Alabama beats Florida, ND beats Clemson *or* Clemson beats ND big, or Ohio State gets upset or gets COVID’d out of the playoff race -- and then the committee decides to reward a one-loss, non-conference title game participant like A&M over an undefeated G5 powerhouse like Cincy, a surprise Pac-12 or Big 10 team, or a two-loss Big 12 team. A&M is still alive.

 

  • Cincinnati (+4000) is your last remaining realistic Cinderella candidate for this year’s playoff after BYU was upset last weekend by Coastal Carolina. BYU was removed from the PointsBet board this week. Cincy is also still alive. Their candle is flickering, though. They need orchestrated chaos the next two weeks, with Alabama eliminating Florida for them and as many other teams above them as possible taking losses.

 

  • Indiana (+15000) not only stayed on the fringes of the playoff race, but they might have even sent current SP+ top-10 Wisconsin towards a potential losing regular season (2-2 with a game at Iowa to go) by upsetting the Badgers last week.

    Week 15 games of note:

    No. 16 Wisconsin at No. 19 Iowa

    No. Alabama at Arkansas

    No. 11 Oklahoma at West Virginia

    No. 17 UNC at No. 10 Miami

    No. 22 Washington at No. 23 Oregon

    LSU at No. 6 Florida

    No. 7 Cincinnati at No. 24 Tulsa

    Michigan at No. 4 Ohio State


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    Thor Nystrom

    Thor Nystrom is NBC Sports Edge’s lead CFB writer. The 2018 FSWA College Sports Writer of the Year, Nystrom’s writing has also been honored by Rolling Stone magazine and The Best American Essays series. Say hi to him on Twitter @thorku!