LSU, Joe Burrow Making Moves on College Football Odds Boards After First Month of Games

Posted on: September 28, 2019, 07:26h. 

Last updated on: September 29, 2019, 09:35h.

The 2019 college football season hits the one month mark this weekend, and by the time Saturday ends, every team will have played a third of its regular season contests.

Quarterback Joe Burrow has led LSU to a 4-0 start, including a big win at Texas a couple weeks ago. Thanks to that, both he and his Tigers are among the favorites for the Heisman Trophy and national title. (Image: Chris Parent/LSU)

There hasn’t been much change at the top of the polls, as there have been very few upsets so far this season. That could change as we get deeper into conference play.

Where there has been some change has been in the Heisman Trophy odds. One co-favorite has pretty much dropped off the leaderboard, while a couple of players unheralded at the beginning of the season find themselves among the favorites as we near October.

Clemson, Alabama Still Lead Title Race

As we began in August – heck, as we ended last season – it was Clemson and Alabama at the top of the odds board. As we end September, that’s where those two still sit. Over at FanDuel, the Tigers, the defending national champions, currently have +175 odds to repeat, while Alabama’s odds are +300. That’s likely due to the Crimson Tide having a much tougher schedule than Clemson, as Bama must still face teams like Louisiana State (LSU), Texas A&M (who lost to Clemson, by the way), and Auburn.

Georgia and Ohio State are next, but both schools have college football title odds of +900. LSU, which has one of the season’s bigger wins with its road win at Texas, is +1100, while Oklahoma, which still must face Texas, is +1600. Wisconsin, fresh off its win against Michigan is at +2500, and Auburn follows +4000. Michigan is the first one-loss team on the board at +5000.

LSU has been one of the biggest movers in the early stages of the season. Back in January, the Tigers had odds of +5000 to win the college football championship at the Westgate SuperBook. Earlier this week, their odds were +800 thanks to starting the season 4-0, including that win in Austin over the Longhorns.

If you’re looking for a value selection, Penn State at +8000 is available. The Nittany Lions throttled Maryland on Friday, and while they struggled to beat Pittsburgh a couple weeks ago, the Panthers followed that up with an upset of Central Florida.

After they host Purdue next week, the 4-0 Nittany Lions have three games against teams currently ranked – at Iowa, vs Michigan, and at Michigan State. If they get through that gauntlet, Ohio State awaits on Nov. 23.

Burrow Goes from Heisman Long Shot to Contender

Back in July, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, fresh off leading the Tigers to the college football national title as a true freshman, was the Heisman Trophy favorite at +200 at FanDuel.

Today, his odds are +2500. It’s not necessarily that Lawrence has played badly. It’s more that others have stood out against tougher competition. Clemson, still the top-ranked team in the country, has dominated all of its opponents, and in the one game Lawrence has played from start to finish, against Texas A&M, he completed 24-of-35 passes for 268 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

That’s not awful, but it pales in comparison to a player like LSU quarterback Joe Burrow. The transfer from Ohio State threw for 471 yards at Texas and followed it up two weeks later by setting a school record with six passing touchdowns. Those are the stats that grab the attention of Heisman voters.

When the SuperBook opened its Heisman odds, Burrow was at +20000. Since then, his odds for college football’s top individual award have shortened all the way to +350. That puts him right behind Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, who started as the SuperBook’s co-favorite with Lawrence at +300. While Lawrence is now at +1200 at Westgate, Tagovailoa is down to +225.

One thing that will further help players like Burrow and Tagovailoa is that they have multiple games remaining against ranked teams. LSU could face three top 10 teams, including Alabama, in a four-week period. Alabama’s November schedule includes games against LSU and Auburn.

Clemson, meanwhile, may not face another ranked team until either the ACC Championship or the College Football Playoff. That means Lawrence would need to pad his stats against weaker competition in order to get back in the Heisman race.