The Heisman Trophy is the highest honor bestowed upon a college athlete, and it is a hot topic every offseason. Everyone wants to follow the Heisman race, and they want to be the first person or sportsbooks to accurately predict who will join the elite fraternity of college football players.
Getting this right can earn you bragging rights, but it can also lead to a nice payday. The past few Heisman winners were complete shocks, and they had amazing odds to start the college football season. With DeVonta Smith, bettors could get great odds before the end of November.
However, it remains a challenge to accurately predict who will be the dark horse. One 2021 candidate is Tyler Shough from Oregon. Shough hopes to carry the Ducks to the College Football Playoff, and winning the Heisman would be a nice bonus.
At +8000 odds in Bovada (visit our Bovada Review), there is value right now. However, it only matters if Shough can pull it off and actually win the Heisman Trophy. So, is that feasible? There is some good news and bad news for Tyler Shough.
What’s Working in Shough’s Favor
When you look for a Heisman candidate, there are a few key characteristics. Unless you’re an Alabama skill player, you essentially have to be a quarterback. More often than not, you need to be from a team looking to make the College Football Playoff (CFP). Since the CFP was created, Lamar Jackson was the only player to win the Heisman Trophy without leading his team to the College Football Playoff. You also need to have a Heisman moment, and the stats clearly have to be there.
The good news for Shough is that he is in control of all of these things. Obviously, his play is going to determine his stats. He’s in a solid offense with a quality coach, so he has a chance to dominate the passing game if everything goes right.
Also, Oregon is good enough to make the College Football Playoff and the best betting sites know it. They will have to go undefeated, but that is possible if Shough thrives in 2021.
The best piece of this is the Heisman moment. Oregon will travel to play Ohio State next year. This is a bit early for a Heisman moment, but it will put Oregon and Shough on the biggest stage possible.
However, there is some bad news as well.
What’s Working Against Shough
If you only looked at what Shough can control, he would be poised to be a Heisman candidate. However, there’s a lot that he has no control of. For example, there is a definite bias against Pac-12 players when it comes to the Heisman Trophy. Christian McCaffrey was probably snubbed in 2015, and there hasn’t been a true candidate from the conference since him.
The conference simply lacks exposure, and players won’t get buzz unless fans are watching their games. This is a hurdle for every player in the Pac-12, and Tyler Shough is no different.
Also, Oregon likely must go undefeated for Shough to win the Heisman Trophy. Between the lack of exposure and the conference’s lack of talent, a one-loss Oregon won’t make the College Football Playoff. If Oregon is out of the CFP running, Shough would have to have an absurdly great season, and he simply isn’t capable of that.
Shough won’t get the benefit of the doubt. He’ll have to shine in every game with highlight plays and impressive stats and odds. With that in mind, can he win the Heisman Trophy?
Can Shough win the Heisman Trophy?
Shough has what it takes to win the Heisman, and there is value with +8000 odds. Still, it remains highly unlikely that he pulls this off.
To do so, Shough must improve his touchdown-to-interception ratio. He had a small sample size last year, but he has to both increase his touchdowns and decrease his interceptions. Neither number was satisfactory.
Shough also needs to improve as a runner. He can be considered a dual threat, but he needs to become an actual weapon to boost his chances of winning the Heisman Trophy. If he fails to do these things, his slim odds take a turn for the worse.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.