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West Virginia’s Will Grier, Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins make sizable move upwards in Bovada’s updated Heisman odds

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It’s still more than three months until the famed stiff-armed trophy is handed out, but it’s never too early to get a wagering slant on the most prestigious piece of hardware in college football.

With Week 1 of the 2018 season wrapped up and put to bed, Bovada.lv released its updated odds Wednesday on who will claim this year’s Heisman Trophy.  Prior to the start of the new season, Stanford running back Bryce Love was the favorite at 13/2; the new favorite at 4/1, up from 15/2 late last month, is Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.  Love’s odds, meanwhile, dipped to 12/1.

A trio of quarterbacks, on the other hand, saw their odds shorten significantly.  West Virginia’s Will Grier and Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins both began the season at 11/1; the former now sits at 5/1, the latter at 6/1.  UCF’s McKenzie Milton made an even bigger move, going from 35/1 prior to the start of the season to 11/1 after Week 1.

The running back with the best odds is Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor at 10/1, down slightly from 17/2.

Houston’s Ed Oliver has the best odds for a player on the defensive side of the ball at 90/1, up a bit from the 100/1 at which he started the year.  Ohio State’s Nick Bosa is the only other defensive player listed, and he’s at 200/1.  Bosa was at 125/1 a week ago.

Milton is the only player from a Group of Five conference to be listed as Temple quarterback Frank Nutil is now off the board.

Below are the complete set of updated odds from Bovada.lv, with their numbers on Aug. 30 listed first followed by the new odds.

Tua Tagovailoa (QB Alabama) 15/2 4/1
Will Grier (QB West Virginia) 11/1 5/1
Dwayne Haskins (QB Ohio State) 11/1 6/1
Trace McSorley (QB Penn State) 12/1 9/1
Jonathan Taylor (RB Wisconsin) 17/2 10/1
McKenzie Milton (QB UCF) 35/1 11/1
Bryce Love (RB Stanford) 13/2 12/1
Kyler Murray (QB Oklahoma) 20/1 18/1
Justin Herbert (QB Oregon) 30/1 22/1
Jake Fromm (QB Georgia) 15/1 25/1
D’Andre Swift (RB Georgia) 40/1 25/1
Khalil Tate (QB Arizona) 12/1 25/1
Jarrett Stidham (QB Auburn) 25/1 30/1
Brandon Winbush (QB Notre Dame) 50/1 30/1
Drew Lock (QB Missouri) 45/1 35/1
Damien Harris (RB Alabama) 55/1 40/1
Trevor Lawrence (QB Clemson) 16/1 40/1
Jake Browning (QB Washington) 25/1 50/1
AJ Dillon (RB Boston College) 80/1 50/1
J.K. Dobbins (RB Ohio State) 40/1 50/1
Justice Hill (RB Oklahoma State) 125/1 60/1
Shea Patterson (QB Michigan) 20/1 65/1
Cam Akers (RB Florida State) 60/1 85/1
Deondre Francois (QB Florida State) 60/1 85/1
Ed Oliver (DL Houston) 100/1 90/1
Kelly Bryant (QB Clemson) 50/1 100/1
Nick Fitzgerald (QB Mississippi State) 50/1 100/1
Travis Etienne (RB Clemson) 80/1 100/1
David Sills (WR West Virginia) 225/1 100/1
Stephen Carr (RB USC) 200/1 175/1
Nick Bosa (DL Ohio State) 125/1 200/1
Sam Ehlinger (QB Texas) 35/1 200/1
Ryan Finley (QB NC State) 200/1 225/1
Frank Nutil (QB Temple) 200/1 Off the Board

LSU opens as double-digit favorites on Oklahoma; Ohio State slight underdog to Clemson

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While definitely subject to change, the initial wagering odds for the degenerates in the reading audience are out.

Earlier Sunday, and in a surprise to absolutely no one, the four semifinalists for the 2019 College Football Playoff were released.  LSU was given the No. 1 seed by the selection committee and will face No. 4 Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl.  No. 2 Ohio State, which came into Championship Saturday ranked first in the country, will square off with No. 3 Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl.

According to the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook, LSU is a 7/5 favorite to win the 2019 national championship.  Clemson is next at 2/1, while Ohio State sits at 3/1.  Oklahoma, which won its way into the playoffs at the expense of Georgia, is a decided underdog at 16/1.

Speaking of underdogs, the SEC Tigers are currently listed as a 12½-point favorite in their matchup with the Sooners.  Despite being the higher seed, the Buckeyes have opened as a two-point underdog to the ACC Tigers.

The over/under for Ohio State-Clemson opened at 63; for LSU-Oklahoma, it’s at 75.

LSU and Oklahoma have squared off just twice previously, with the most recent matchup coming in 2004.  Clemson and Ohio State have met three times in their collective histories, the most recent meeting coming in the 2016 College Football Playoff — a 31-0 win for the Tigers.

Arkansas confirms hiring of Georgia OL coach Sam Pittman as head coach

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When it came to replacing the fired Chad Morris, Arkansas, as it turned out, didn’t have to look outside of the SEC.

Sunday, with one of its top targets, Lane Kiffin, already having been locked up by SEC West rival Ole Miss, Arkansas reportedly pivoted its attention to Georgia’s Sam Pittman.  A few hours later, the Razorbacks confirmed that Pittman has been hired as the school’s next head football coach.

“Sam Pittman has been an integral part of successful teams that have competed at the highest levels, including for SEC and NCAA Championships,” UA athletic director Hunter Yurachek said in a statement. “As one of the nation’s premier offensive line coaches, he has built a remarkable body of work thanks to his tremendous passion for his student-athletes, including teaching the fundamentals and developing his players on and off the field. Sam instills in his players the motivation, grit and determination required to compete and win. Throughout this process, I heard from many of his former players about the tremendous influence he had on them as a player and as a man.

“Sam knows the Southeastern Conference inside and out and is one of the nation’s best recruiters. His connections throughout football will enable him to build a quality coaching staff. In his previous tenure, Sam and his wife Jamie fell in love with the state of Arkansas and with Razorback fans. They know what a special place this is and are excited for the opportunity to come back to the Home of the Razorbacks.”

The hiring marks a return to Fayetteville for Pittman as he was a member of Bret Bielema‘s first coaching staff in 2013. In 2016, he left for Georgia, where he spent the past four seasons as the Bulldogs’ offensive line coach.  He also served as Kirby Smart‘s associate head coach.

The 58-year-old Pittman will be officially introduced as the Razorbacks’ 34th head coach Monday afternoon.

Mizzou zeroing in on Eli Drinkwitz as next head coach

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Once again, it appears a Power Five program will pilfer a Group of Five school for its next head football coach.

Sunday afternoon, Bruce Feldman of The Athletic reported that Applachian State’s Eli Drinkwitz “has emerged as a strong candidate” for the vacancy at Missouri.  Subsequent to that, ESPN.com reported that “Drinkwitz has reached an agreement to become Missouri’s next head football coach and a deal is being finalized.”

An official announcement of Drinkwitz becoming the permanent replacement for Barry Odom, who was fired late last month after four seasons at his alma mater, is expected no later than Monday.

The 36-year-old Drinkwitz is in his first season as the head coach of the Mountaineers, his first head-coaching job at any level of football.  App State stands at 12-1 on the season after claiming its second-straight Sun Belt Conference championship Saturday with a win over Louisiana.

Dec. 21, App State will face UAB in the New Orleans Bowl.

Georgia WR Dominick Blaylock reportedly suffered ACL tear in SEC title game loss

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A rough weekend for Georgia was underscored on Sunday as reports surfaced saying one of their key young players is done for the rest of this year and likely part of the next one.

As per Rivals’ Radi Nabulsi and a host of other beat writers in Athens, Bulldogs receiver Dominick Blaylock suffered a torn ACL in the loss against LSU in the SEC Championship Game on Saturday.

The freshman from Marietta, Ga. had to be carted off the field in the first quarter after making a short catch and planting his knee awkwardly. The team’s top receiver, Lawrence Cager, was already out after undergoing knee surgery on Nov. 29.

Blaylock had made 18 catches for 310 yards and five touchdowns at UGA this season.