With the college football season over a week away, we’ve focused on season-long futures. Once the games kick-off, these bets will be taken off the board. Earlier in the week, we went over team props. Now we’ll look at four juicy player props for the upcoming 2014 college campaign.
Marcus Mariota, Oregon Ducks
Prop: Heisman Trophy Winner
Pick: Marcus Mariota
Mariota is 5/1 to win the Heisman trophy, but that number could get even lower with Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller missing the year. Miller was listed right behind Mariota at 15/2 to win the Heisman, and only Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston was listed ahead of them. Only one player has ever won the Heisman twice, and that was Ohio State running back Archie Griffin all the way back in 1974 and 1975.
While Winston is talented enough to lead the Seminoles to another national title and could very well be a top nominee for the award, the fact that he won it last year is a reason to look at the next-best option. Mariota set a school-record with 4,380 yards and 40 touchdowns last year and his 88 total quarterback rating was the second-best in the nation behind only Winston.
Oregon won at least 10 games in every season since 2007, and Mariota has a 23-3 record as a starter. The Ducks’ offense is once again set to put up big numbers in 2014, and that will make Mariota a solid bet to win the Heisman trophy.
Marcus Mariota, Oregon Ducks
Prop: Total Passing and Rushing Touchdowns: 38.5
Sticking with Mariota, matching last year’s 40 touchdowns would be enough to push him over for this prop. Mariota’s ability to make plays with both his arm and legs makes him much more dangerous, and he has thrown at least 31 touchdowns in each of his first two seasons. Look for Mariota to have his best statistical season as he attempts to lead Oregon to a national title and boost his stock as one of the top quarterbacks heading into the 2015 NFL Draft.
Mike Davis, South Carolina Gamecocks
Prop: Total Rushing Touchdowns 11.5
South Carolina’s junior running back, Mike Davis, should be enough to turn the team into SEC title contenders. Davis ran for 1,183 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2013, but there is reason to believe he can top those marks this season. Last season, Davis scored just one touchdown over his final five games, topping the 100-yard mark only once over that stretch. He should once again score the majority of his touchdowns early on in the year when the schedule is softer, but look for Davis to be more consistent down the stretch and finish with at least 12 rushing touchdowns in 2014.
Bryce Petty, Baylor Bears
Prop: Will Lead the Big 12 in Passing Touchdowns
Petty led the Big 12 with 32 touchdown passes a year ago and is primed to lead the conference again in 2014. A smart passer with a big arm, Petty can make all of the throws asked of him in the Baylor offense. The Bears’ defense isn’t very good, so any chance this team has to win a conference title will likely come down to how many points they can score. Look for the senior quarterback to put up ridiculous numbers and lead the Big 12 in passing touchdowns again.