Alabama and Clemson have yet to name their starting quarterbacks for the 2018 season, but bettors are banking on Tua Tagovailoa to win the job for the Crimson Tide and Trevor Lawrence to do the same for the Tigers.
Wagers on Tagovailoa and Lawrence to win the Heisman Trophy caused the Westgate sports book to improve the odds on each player.
Tagovailoa, a sophomore who led Alabama to a 26-23 comeback overtime win over Georgia in the national title game, is tied for the 8-1 second choice to win the Heisman with Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor after a bet was placed on him at 12-1.
“The only thing that’s going to hurt him is that Alabama will have so many blowout wins that, for the most part, their quarterback is not even throwing the ball in the fourth quarter,” Westgate sports book manager Ed Salmons said. “And (returning starter) Jalen Hurts never transferred, so (coach Nick) Saban will feel compelled to let him play some.
“It’s hard to win the Heisman if you’re just playing half the game.”
Lawrence, a true freshman who was ranked the No. 1 recruit in the nation, is expected to push junior Kelly Bryant, Clemson’s returning starter who threw for only 124 yards and two interceptions in the Tigers’ 24-6 loss to Alabama in the College Football Playoff semifinal.
Lawrence is a 30-1 shot — as is Bryant — after opening at 60-1 to become the first true freshman to win the Heisman.
“It’s far-fetched to believe a freshman will come in and win the Heisman,” Salmons said. “I don’t know how they’re not going to start the kid from last year, at least in the beginning, especially when he went through growing pains last year and was important to the team.
“To win the Heisman, you have to start at least nine or 10 games.”
Go East, young man
Stanford running back Bryce Love is the 6-1 favorite to win the Heisman after finishing runner-up last year to former Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield.
“It’s so much harder for a West Coast player to win, just because people on the East Coast won’t even watch most of their games or they’ll be sleeping,” Salmons said. “I thought if Bryce Love played last year for a Big Ten team, he would’ve won. But he didn’t.”
For a sleeper pick, Salmons likes Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson (20-1), a transfer from Mississippi who will lead the Wolverines against Notre Dame in the Sept. 1 season opener for both schools.
“He’s going to get a lot of hype,” Salmons said. “If he has a big game against Notre Dame, he could be in the mix.”
Nevada sports books won $20.476 million in May, according to the the monthly revenue report released by the state’s Gaming Control Board.
The books won $10.8 million on baseball and $9.3 million on basketball. But they lost on hockey, which is included in the “other” category.
The books lost $69,000 in the “other” category, which was almost certainly because of bettors backing the Golden Knights during their NHL playoff run to the Stanley Cup Final. The Knights went 7-3 in May overall and 4-1 at home, covering the puck line and going over the total in three of those wins at T-Mobile Arena.
Yankees and under
The New York Yankees entered Monday’s game against the Atlanta Braves on a 21-4 under run, with the Yankees-and-under parlay combination cashing in 14 of those 25 games.
The Yankees went under in 14 straight games from June 4-18 and were on a 21-2 under run before going over Saturday and Sunday in the last two games of their series with the Boston Red Sox.
Take the under
The Kansas City Royals entered Monday as baseball’s best under team at 48-31-4, followed by the Washington Nationals (47-33-2), Detroit Tigers (49-35-2) and the Baltimore Orioles (47-34-2).
Contact reporter Todd Dewey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow
@tdewey33 on Twitter.