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Updated 2013-2014 Heisman Trophy odds

Johnny Manziel will look to become only the second player in history to win the Heisman trophy twice when college football resumes in August.

Johnny Manziel will look to become only the second player in history to win the Heisman trophy twice when college football resumes in August.

Following on from Friday’s look at the updated College Football futures, BettingSports takes time to bring you the latest Heisman odds.

A quarterback has won the Heisman trophy in each of the last three seasons, as well as 11 times (from 13) since 2000. It should come as no surprise to learn that the latest odds are quarterback-heavy, with no fewer than five triggermen included in the top seven.

Of course, picking a Heisman winner at this time of the year is far from an exact science. You need only look at last year’s preseason favorites (Matt Barkley, Montee Ball, Denard Robinson, Landry Jones, and Geno Smith) to see how tough it is to live up to expectation. But we’re in the business of speculation, prognostication, and second guessing, which means that we’re all too happy to look at the early field.

Note: All odds are supplied by Bovada, who released an updated list of Heisman odds this past week.

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Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M Aggies)

Odds: 17/4 – Manziel made history last year. He’ll look to do the same this year. The first ever freshman Heisman award winner will look to become only the second player to win the award twice. If he’s to equal Archie Griffin’s record, he’ll need to build on last season’s stellar performance – he recorded 5,116 combined passing and rushing yards to go alongside 47 touchdowns – while avoiding distraction. And there will be a lot of distraction to avoid.

Since lifting the famous trophy, we’ve seen Manziel courtside in Dallas, on the mound in Arlington, brushing shoulders with the rich and famous, and generally becoming the Lone Star State’s answer to Rob Gronkowski. Yo soy fiesta!

The Aggies caught a lot of people by surprise last year. A 10-2 record and the only team to beat Alabama all season, the side is second favorite to win the BCS National Championship. If the team achieves that feat it’s likely that Manziel will have played a huge part in it. However, winning a second Heisman – especially as the favorite – will be tough, as history is quick to show us.

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Braxton Miller (Ohio State Buckeyes)

Odds: 13/2 – Just as Texas A&M will rely on Manziel to win this season, so will the Buckeyes rely on quarterback Braxton Miller. Coming off an undefeated season that ended premature thanks to NCAA sanctions, Urban Meyers’ side has plenty to prove this season and much will revolve around Miller’s play.

Miller finished last season with 2,000+ yards passing and 1,000+ yards rushing, tallying a total of 28 touchdowns. Whilst those numbers may be lower than Manziel, Miller did all of that in a Big 10 conference that is known for tough defenses and running the football.

The Buckeyes are (joint) second favorites heading into the new season, and Miller will be a focal point. If his junior season goes the same way as his sophomore season, Miller is all but assured to be in the Heisman conversation come the end of the season. But the pressure is on again with the Buckeyes eligible for postseason play again, which leaves a cloud of uncertainty over how well the team and Miller will respond.

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After two consecutive national championships, you can bet A.J. McCarron would like to take home the Heisman as well.

After two consecutive national championships, you can bet A.J. McCarron would like to take home the Heisman as well.

A.J. McCarron (Alabama Crimson Tide)

Odds: 9/1 – McCarron marched his team to a second straight national championship last season, looking much improved on the previous year in the process. Perhaps most impressive though were his individual numbers; be threw 30 touchdowns and just three interceptions.

Playing on the best team in football automatically makes McCarron one of the Heisman favorites, but playing on the best team in football also hinders his chances of winning the award. With so many weapons, so many talented players, and the burden of expectation on the quarterback’s shoulders, standing out to be considered the best of the best is that much tougher.

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Aaron Murray (Georgia Bulldogs)

Odds: 12/1 – The Bulldogs came within four points of the title game last season, losing 32-28 to Alabama in a SEC championship game that could have seen either side through. Murray – who was just 107 yards shy of 4,000 passing yards – was a big part of school’s success, tallying 36 touchdowns to 10 interceptions. The same is expected again this season.

Georgia is No. 5 on Bovada’s college football futures, with 14/1 odds. Murray is entering his senior season and, presumably, will be looking to book himself a trip to the NFL Draft. Combine those elements and you have a player that looks like a genuine threat to walk off with the Heisman.

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Teddy Bridgewater (Louisville Cardinals)

Odds: 12/1 – Louisville is the favorite to emerge as champions from the rebranded American Athletic Conference (formerly the Big East) which in all honesty isn’t exactly the biggest accolade to be thrown out there. But still, the AAC does receive an automatic BCS qualifier.

Bridgewater enters his junior season having thrown for 3,718 yards and 27 touchdowns last campaign, securing a Big East offensive player of the year award and leading Louisville to a win over the Florida Gators in the Sugar Bowl. With the Cardinals passing roughly twice to ever rush, Bridgewater will be the focal point again this year, but his Heisman credentials will be hampered by the AAC’s reputation; the conference lacks a true football powerhouse. If he sticks around for a senior season – when the Cardinals join the ACC – things could be different.

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Despite being one of the favorites with bookmakers, Marqise Lee winning the Heisman trophy is highly unlikely.

Despite being one of the favorites with bookmakers, Marqise Lee winning the Heisman trophy is highly unlikely.

Marquis Lee (USC Trojans)

Odds: 12/1 – Quarterbacks may be prominent on the list of potential Heisman candidates, but they don’t have things all their own ways. Joining Murray and Bridgeman at 12/1 is wide receiver Marquis Lee, entering his junior season at Southern California.

Lee has his back against the wall in terms of the Heisman though. Firstly, in the 77 year history of the Heisman, only three receivers have ever won the award, the last being Desmond Howard in 1991. Secondly, Matt Barkley has moved on to the NFL leaving a question mark at the quarterback position, which could obviously have a huge impact on Lee’s game. Thirdly, just how good will the Trojans be this season?

Lee is a longshot for the Heisman, a longer shot than 12/1 odds suggest.

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T.J. Yeldon (Alabama Crimson Tide)

Odds: 12/1 – Closing out the quartet of players with 12/1 odds is Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon. In his freshman year, Yeldon ran for 1,108 yards and 12 touchdowns while playing behind Eddie Lacy. Lacy opted for the draft and will be plying his trade with the Green Bay Packers this season, which potentially means more game time for Yeldon.

Of course, Nick Saban prefers to use dual backs, which means Yeldon will be the lead back but will share time with the team’s up-and-coming freshman and sophomore backs. The chances are this means he’ll post lower numbers than the likes of De’Anthony Thomas  (Oregon Ducks) and Duke Johnson (Miami Hurricanes), each of whom has been assigned 14/1 odds in the Heisman stakes.

Like McCannon at quarterback, Yeldon will also be hindered by the depth and team strength of Alabama. It’s hard to imagine him being considered the reason the Tide succeeds, which he’ll need to be if he’s to lift the Heisman trophy.


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