Odds released for every major 2017 college football quarterback battle
Bookmaker.eu has odds on quarterback battles, and we have thoughts on the best bets
You can bet on anything these days, and Bookmaker.eu is the place for your quarterback battle hot takes, apparently. The online bookmaker released odds on the major college football quarterback battles, and some of them are quite surprising.
But before we get to breaking down some of the top battles in college football, let's take a look at the odds.
|Tennessee||Quinten Dormady -200, Jarrett Guarantano +155|
|Texas||Shane Buechele -480, Sam Ehlinger +355|
|Texas A&M||Jake Hubenak +145, Nick Starkel +185, Kellen Mond +235|
|Virginia Tech||Josh Jackson -140, Hendon Hooker +300, A.J. Bush +350|
What are some of the best bets on the board? What can we take away from how oddsmakers see these quarterback battles shaking out?
Malik Zaire isn't entrenched at Florida
Zaire came to Florida after a much-ballyhooed graduate transfer process that culminated with the SEC changing its rules on during its spring meetings session to allow Florida to accept him from Notre Dame. So, naturally, a guy who has 17 games under his belt at a major program would be the overwhelming favorite over a redshirt freshman in Feleipe Franks who has taken as many college snaps in games as my 5-year-old and a returning starter in Luke Del Rio who has had knee and shoulder injuries over the last calendar year ... right?
Not so much. At -110, these odds suggest that Zaire is a solid insurance policy and a viable option, but that the battle will rage on throughout fall camp leading up to Florida's season-opener against Michigan at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
It's likely that the magnitude of that game is a big reason why Zaire is even the favorite to begin with. It's a lot to ask coach Jim McElwain to trot out Franks against a defense like Michigan's for his first career snap, and the health status of Del Rio is still up in the air. Zaire is the favorite, but fall camp in Gainesville is going to be a roller coaster.
Well, hello, Hunter Johnson
Could the defending national champions really start a true freshman at quarterback? Really?! Judging from these odds, absolutely.
Johnson, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound true freshman from Brownsburg, Indiana, who enrolled in January, completed 5-of-13 passes for 48 yards, one touchdown and an interception in the spring game. He was one of a select few to play well in the Atlanta regional for The Opening in March 2016 in windy and cold conditions, and he has the kind of command and leadership skills that Clemson fans became accustomed to with Deshaun Watson.
Will Dabo Swinney really trot out a true freshman in Week 1? He played Watson as a backup in big spots in the season-opener against Georgia in 2014, and he looked fantastic. With Kent State in the opener and Auburn and Louisville looming in Weeks 2 and 3, respectively, there isn't much time for Swinney to get his quarterback situation set once toe meets leather.
Nobody knows what's going to happen at Texas A&M
You know that emoji with the man or woman throwing their hands up in the air? Yeah, that might as well be the odds on Texas A&M's starting quarterback.
Senior Jake Hubenak is the only player with game experience -- one start in 2015 and two in 2016 -- and redshirt freshman Nick Starkel and true freshman early enrollee Kellen Mond are not far behind on the odds board.
Why the tight-knit grouping? Hubenak checks the experience box, Mond makes the most sense from a scheme standpoint due his ability to create with his legs, and Starkel might be the nice compromise option heading into the Week 1 showdown at UCLA.
With the odds so close for the trio, it's not a good bet no matter who you choose. But it wouldn't be shocking if coach Kevin Sumlin hands the ball to Starkel to open things up given his ability to make smart decisions with the football and create enough havoc with his legs to at least keep defenses honest.
There is no battle at Auburn
Jarrett Stidham is Auburn's starting quarterback. Of course, that's not breaking news by any stretch. Stidham lit it up during Auburn's spring game to the tune of 267 passing yards including four deep tosses of 30 or more yards. He's there to stretch the field deep and prevent opposing defenses from stacking the box against Auburn's potent rushing attack.
But -750 is extremely aggressive considering his primary competitor, Sean White, was solid after taking control of the starting job last year prior to getting banged up in November.
"I'm very excited about Sean White," coach Gus Malzahn said at SEC Media Days. "When Sean White's healthy, he plays at extremely high level. Last year when we got on that roll, that six-game winning streak, he was leading the league in completions and quarterback efficiency."
Stidham will be the starter if both are healthy. But taking White just in case an unforeseen situation sidelines Stidham might not be the worst idea in the world.
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