If you want to know just how high expectations are for Auburn quarterback Jeremy Johnson and the Auburn offense as a whole, look no further than the current Heisman Trophy odds released by Bovada Sportsbook, today.
Johnson was not on the board when their previous odds were released, but now he has catapulted to near the top of the list with 10/1 odds. Even with his lack of big-game experience, he is listed with the best chance of any other SEC quarterback. He's also tied with UGA RB Nick Chubb for the best odds of any SEC player. Dak Prescott previously held the best odds at 7/1. He has now fallen to 12/1.
Here is the full listing:
|Player||Position||School||Current Odds||Previous Odds|
|Ezekiel Elliott||RB||Ohio State||7/1||6/1|
|Braxton Miller||QB||Ohio State||10/1||18/1|
|Jeremy Johnson||QB||Auburn||10/1||Off the board|
|Dak Prescott||QB||Mississippi State||12/1||7/1|
|Cardale Jones||QB||Ohio State||20/1||14/1|
|Connor Cook||QB||Michigan State||25/1||20/1|
|Everett Golson||QB||Florida State||25/1||Off the board|
|J.T. Barrett||QB||Ohio State||25/1||16/1|
|D.J. Foster||RB||Arizona State||40/1||25/1|
|Dalvin Cook||RB||Florida State||40/1||33/1|
|Malik Zaire||QB||Notre Dame||50/1||Off the board|
|Mason Rudolph||QB||Oklahoma State||50/1||40/1|
|Taysom Hill||QB||BYU||50/1||Off the board|
|Jacoby Brissett||QB||NC State||100/1||50/1|
|Marquise Williams||QB||North Carolina||100/1||50/1|
|Tyler Boyd||WR||Pitt||100/1||Off the board|
|Laquon Treadwell||WR||Ole Miss||Off the board||66/1|
Odds and Expectations
Since the UGA game in 1996 until the 2013 BCS Championship Game, Auburn was undefeated when the Tigers scored over 30 points. The record when scoring over 20 points was pretty impressive, as well. Auburn scored 30+ points in every loss last season other than the Mississippi State game. Auburn's offense, as we've said here on the site plenty of times, was not the problem during 2014.
OK, so we can infer from the Bovada odds that big things are expected of Auburn's offense and its quarterback in particular. However, most odds sites still list the over/under on Auburn's win total in the 8.5 region. I'm guessing this means that bookies have little confidence in Will Muschamp's defense.
It's possible that people are still questioning an offense that lost 8 starters from last season, but these Heisman odds show folks expect big production from Johnson. Big production in a Gus Malzahn offense means a lot of points. A lot of points should mean a lot of victories.
In his twelve years as a DC or HC, Will Muschamp has had very few seasons where his defenses didn't rank in the Top 10 in Total Defense. 2006 at Auburn, 2008 at Texas, and 2014 at Florida. Even then his defenses were in the top quarter of defenses in college football. The talent is there for Auburn to have a spectacular defense, but the depth and the pace of play will probably keep it from happening. That being said, I don't think Muschamp needs a Top 10 defense for Auburn to win more than 8.5 games.
I still think that if Auburn's defense is in the Top 30, then the Tigers are in the College Football Playoff. If Will Muschamp puts a classic Coach BOOM D on the field, then Auburn will be close to unstoppable.
Blips still happen. See Auburn's production against UGA last season on offense. However, it definitely seems like oddsmakers are suspecting Auburn's defense is going to struggle mightily this season judging by the odds I've seen.
I suspect they're wrong. I don't give betting advice (because I really have no clue about betting, having never done it), but that sure seems like an easy pick for me that the Tigers will beat that 8.5 win total number.