Updated 2016 College Football Betting Props (Sept. 8)
The Kickoff Week fully lived up to its expectations, delivering a highlight reel of pulsating plays and matchups, along with standout performances from various players. It’s probably too early to jump into any conclusions right now, but based on the action and results from Week 1, here are our updated college football betting prop picks for the 2016 season.
Here Are the Updated 2016 College Football Betting Props
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) September 6, 2016
Heisman Trophy Odds Update After Week 1
Best Pick: J.T. Barrett
The 2016 Heisman Trophy favorites like DeShaun Watson (Clemson, QB), Leonard Fournette (LSU, RB), Christian McCaffrey (Stanford, RB) and Baker Mayfield 12/1 (Oklahoma, QB) all had commendable starts to the season in their respective Week 1 games, so it will be important to keep an eye on them as the season progresses. But if there is someone who boosted his stock greatly, it is Ohio State’s gunslinger J.T. Barrett. The starting QB, who played a pivotal role in Ohio State’s National Championship title in the 2014 season, started his season with a bang, as he set a school record with seven touchdowns in a 77-10 blowout win over Bowling Green.
Barrett completed 21-of- 31 passes for 349 yards and six passing touchdowns to go along with 30 rushing yards and another score on the ground. With Ohio State’s offense looking better than ever with Barrett at the helm, and the defense also capable of playing up to its strength, a very favorable Heisman Trophy campaign can be expected from Barrett.
Honorable Mention: Lamar Jackson (Louisville)
Call me cheesy or corny for riding the popular wave, but you really can’t blame me for being high on these guy as a sleeper pick for the Heisman Trophy after he totaled a school-record eight touchdowns (6 passing, 2 rushing) and 405 offensive yards in just one half against Charlotte on Thursday Night. This was after he finished the 2015 season with aplomb in the Music City Bowl win over Texas A&M, where he threw for 227 yards and two TDs while rushing for 226 yards (a Music City Bowl record for any position) and two more TDs to earn game MVP honors. I know that Barrett, McCaffrey and Co. are the names everyone is talking about, and rightfully so. But if Lamar Jackson can keep on making decisions in the splendid way he did against Charlotte, and possibly lead to an upset over Clemson, Florida State or both teams; then he could easily win the title, or at least factor in the list of finalists. Mind you, Jackson’s odds to win the Heisman Trophy were 100-1 prior to Week 1, but those odds incredibly improved to 40-1 after his Week 1 showcase, underlining just how the betting public loves what he brings to the Heisman table.
Divisional Title Props Update After Week 1
Nebraska to Win the Big Ten West
Save for Northwestern, all members of the Big Ten West posted wins in Week 1, with Wisconsin’s upset win over LSU at the Lambeau standing as the biggest victory of the week. The fact that the Badgers were able to outplay LSU’s talent-laden offense and new Wisconsin defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox turned in a great performance means the Badgers will be a tough out in the Big Ten West divisional race. That said, the hyped Badgers have a really tough schedule that includes a five-week stretch against Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State and Iowa. No way will Wisconsin win the Big Ten West with such a schedule.
That brings me to Nebraska, who are my sleeper pick for the divisional title, obviously behind top favorites Iowa. For starters, the Cornhuskers will be dodging the bullet in conference play by not meeting Michigan State and Michigan. Roster-wise, the Huskers are led by an uprising QB in Tommy Armstrong Jr., who threw for over 3000 yards with 22 TDs against 16 picks. The QB noticeably cut down on his mistakes as the season went on, and this was evident in the Foster Farms Bowl last season, where he threw for 174 yards and 1 TD and also had 76 yards rushing with a TD to lead Nebraska to a in a 37-29 victory over the UCLA Bruins. That, mind you, wasn’t their only win against an elite opponent, as they also beat Michigan State earlier in the season. And above everything else, the Huskers were competitive in all their games last year, with five of their defeats coming by 5 points or less and their worst loss of the season coming by 10 points; a game in which Armstrong Jr. didn’t play.
Fast forward to 2016, the Huskers landed 5-4 star recruits in ESPN’s top 300 Recruits for 2016, the team is returning a good number of experienced players, and the Nebraska running game is solid enough to win a game even when Armstrong Jr. is not using his big arms, as was showcased in their run-heavy 43-10 win over Fresno State. Blend up all these ingredients, you get a team that is well worth a bet as a sleeper in the Big Ten West race.
Passing Yards Props After Week 1
Patrick Mahomes (Texas Tech, QB) To Lead the Nation in Passing Yardage
In 2015, the Red Raiders were an average team, finishing the season 7-6, but that had nothing to do with TTU’s offense but rather the leakiness of their defense. This defense ranked 126th in the country in rush defense and total defense (547.7 yards allowed per game). The 55 points allowed in a loss to No. 3 TCU, 63 points allowed in a defeat to No. 5 Baylor, 63 points allowed in a blowout loss at No. 17 Oklahoma, 70 points allowed in a home loss to Oklahoma State and 56 points allowed in a Texas Bowl loss to No. 20 LSU stand as prime examples of how porous the TTU defense was.
In the offense, it was an entirely different story, as Texas Tech ranked second in the nation in passing yards, scoring and total yards. Patrick Mahomes, in his first year as the full-time starting QB in Texas Tech, displayed his arm strength and poise in the pocket as he completed 364 of 573 passes (63.5 percent) for 4,653 yards (fourth-best in the nation and most in Big 12 since 2011) and 36 touchdowns (sixth-best nationally) against 15 interceptions. And for good measure, Mahomes added 456 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. The QB did lose some of his targets in the offseason like RB DeAndre Washington and WR Jakeem Grant, but he is returning with a good number of high-potential players, led by the top JuCo receiver recruit in the nation in Derrick Willies, a 6-3, 225-pounder who led the nation in yards per reception (23.6).
To prove his continued development as a big-yardage passer, Mahomes was at it in Week 1, flaunting his flame-throwing skills with 540 Total yards (including 483 passing yards) with 6 touchdowns (4 passing, 2 rushing) in a 69-17 win over FCS foe Stephen F. Austin. Put into better perspective, the Texas Tech’s gunslinger had 407 passing yards by halftime… with his coach choosing to rest him for most of the second half. Had he played the entire game, hitting 700 passing yards could have been a definite possibility. The fact that 18 different catchers had receptions in that Week 1 win further ascertains just how good the QB is. And with TTU likely to still struggle a bit in the defense, especially against high-scoring teams, Mahomes will have to throw/score a lot, so chucking it up for 5,000 passing yards and leading the nation in passing yards should be very possible for him.