Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Tua Tagovailoa, Nick Saban and Jalen Hurts
- Odds have been released on 14 high-profile quarterback battles in college football.
- There were originally 20 released on Monday, but teams such as Clemson, Michigan and UCLA came off the board.
Quarterback competitions are a staple of the college football offseason, and now we’ve got oddsmakers’ opinions on some big battles just in time for camp.
One book released odds on 14 high-profile quarterback duels that will occupy college football’s bandwith next month, including competitions at Alabama, Texas, USC and Notre Dame.
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A few caveats to note:
- The betting limit is $100 for these props. That’s how books protect themselves on getting crushed on bets such as these. That’s not a super-low limit, but even if you have some inside information, you won’t become a millionaire.
- The prop is for the Week 1 starter, so even if that player starts only in the opening game, the bet cashes.
- These odds opened on Monday afternoon, then came off the board a few hours later. When they re-opened Tuesday, a handful were gone — Clemson, Michigan, LSU, UCLA and Oklahoma State, among them. Those schools probably saw lots of action.
The odds listed below are based on $100 wagers. So if you bet $240 on Tua Tagovailoa to win the Alabama job, you’ll win $100. If you bet $100 on Jalen Hurts, you win $170.
The implied probability reflects the likelihood of each player winning the job, as projected by the odds. It adds up to more than 100% because of the “juice” collected by the sportsbook.
Hurts started the entire 2017 season before giving way to Tagovailoa in the second half of the national title game — and we know how that ended. Hurts has two years of eligibility left; Tagovailoa’s got three.
Saban has lost 12 quarterbacks to transfer during his reign at Alabama, and there’s not much depth behind these two. He’ll want to keep them happy, so expect both to see time this year.
Dwayne Haskins played really well against Michigan last season in relief (6 for 7, 94 yards), and might be an upgrade over now-departed J.T. Barrett. The odds reflect that this race is very much Haskins’ to lose. In fact, Haskins has been bet up from -600 to -750.
Kyler Murray saw the field in certain packages last season, and he’s been waiting two years for his shot behind Baker Mayfield after transferring from Texas A&M in December of 2015.
Unless he decides to scrap his football career in August and pursue baseball full-time (he was a first-round pick in the MLB draft last month), Murray should get the job.
This two-man battle lasted pretty much all of last season, and both played in the Texas Bowl (although Sam Ehlinger was much better). Tom Herman still hasn’t committed to a starter.
JT Daniels is the future — he was the No. 2 pro-style QB in the Class of 2018. But he’s been on campus only since June, and Matt Fink has a few years in the program under his belt.
Deondre Francois missed most of last season after getting hurt against Alabama in the season opener. Blackman wasn’t great, but Francois was charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana this offseason and may not have the “quarterback of the future” billing he had entering 2017.
Brandon Wimbush has some room to grow as a passer, but he’s Notre Dame’s No. 1 guy. The odds have moved in his favor to reflect that. Here’s what coach Brian Kelly said after the Irish’s spring game:
“I think it’s pretty clear that Brandon went out and got a chance to go with the first group and Ian [Book] played with the second group,” Kelly said. “You know, that’s not etched in stone, but that’s the way they’ve been trending. I don’t think there was anything today that changed that, but we know Ian Book can win for us.”
Kellen Mond began last season as the starter, but Starkel finished it. Starkel threw for 499 yards and four touchdowns against Wake Forest in the Belk Bowl, too.
Scott Frost needs a quarterback who can run his new-school, up-tempo option offense. Adrian Martinez fits that mold the best.
Martinez is a true freshman but he enrolled in January, so he’s had a full spring of practices with the new staff.
Cole Kelley has a big edge in experience after backing up Austin Allen last year. Although with new coach Chad Morris in town, there are no guarantees.
Keller Chryst went 11-2 as a starter at Stanford, but lost his job last season before transferring (and mostly handed the ball off to Christian McCaffrey and Bryce Love). Jarrett Guarantano started every game in the second half of last season for Tennessee, and went 1-6 in those starts.
Chryst’s odds have come down, indicating that some bettors believe it’s a tight race.
Shawn Robinson was the starter last season, and there’s no reason to believe he won’t be again.
Whoever ends up as the starter will probably wind up getting hurt. That was the case for Kasim Hill and Tyrell Pigrome last season.
This was actually a late edition that came Tuesday after a handful of other teams had come off the board.
There’s little reason to believe Nate Stanley won’t be the starter. He threw 26 touchdown passes and just six interceptions while averaging a solid 7.6 yards per attempt as a sophomore last season.