Tuesday, February 5, 2013
B1G players among early Heisman favorites
By Brian Bennett
The sports betting site Bovada released its 2013 Heisman Trophy odds this week, and -- for entertainment purposes only -- it's fun to take a look at where some Big Ten players stand.
Reigning Heisman winner Johnny Manziel is not surprisingly the early favorite, at 4-to-1 odds. But right behind him is Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller at 7-to-1. Miller finished fifth in the Heisman voting in December.
Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez is tied for ninth among the choices, at 15-to-1. That's pretty good value if you think Martinez can cut down his turnovers and perform well in big games this season. Next in line behind him, surprisingly, is Huskers running back Ameer Abdullah. He had a breakout year in 2012 by running for more than 1,000 yards, and he has the ability to create highlights on special teams. Still, Abdullah has to be considered a Heisman dark horse.
The only other Big Ten candidate on the list of 22 players is Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner. He's listed at 40-to-1 odds, tying Maryland's Stefon Diggs as the longest shot on the board. While it's a stretch to think Gardner will win the Heisman, he has the talent to have a huge season as the full-time Wolverines starting quarterback.
Northwestern fans might be a little disappointed not to see running back Venric Mark make the list, but he's probably a 50-to-1 or more type of candidate at this point.
Keep in mind, too, that if you looked at this same list a year ago, you wouldn't have found Johnny Manziel's name anywhere near it.