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Is Jalen Hurts a Heisman Contender with Oklahoma?

Jalen Hurts taking questions during a press conference.
Jalen Hurts has transferred to Oklahoma for his senior season, the school that has produced the last two Heisman Trophy winners. Photo by Thomson2000 (wikimedia commons) [CC License].
  • Former Alabama QB Jalen Hurts has transferred to Oklahoma.
  • The last two Heisman Trophy winners were Sooner quarterbacks.
  • Is now the time to place a bet on the grad transfer?

A huge shift in the college football landscape occurred when Jalen Hurts made his transfer decision official: he’s heading to Norman, Oklahoma.

As a graduate transfer, Hurts doesn’t have to sit out a year and will be immediately eligible to play for Lincoln Riley and the Sooners.  It’s the best case scenario for a program that, for the second year in a row, is losing a Heisman Trophy-winner. This year, it’s Kyler Murray, who’s headed to either the NFL or Major League Baseball.

Betting futures is a lot like playing poker: you don’t know what card is going to come up next. The best you can do is get your money in when the expected value is at its highest. For those looking to bet on Hurts, now is the time.

Here’s where the Heisman odds stood this morning at MyBookie.

2019 Heisman Odds

Player (Team) 2019 Heisman Odds at  MyBookie (Jan. 16)
Trevor Lawrence (Clemson) +200
Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama) +250
Jake Fromm (Georgia) +750
Jonathan Taylor (Wisconsin) +900
Travis Etienne (Clemson) +900
D’Andre Swift (Georgia) +900
Sam Ehlinger (Texas) +1000
Jerry Jeudy (Alabama) +1100
Rondale Moore (Purdue) +1600
Shea Patterson (Michigan) +1600
AJ Dillon (Boston College) +1600
Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma) +2000

Looking at these odds, it’s clear that Hurts is the best value play.  He has no business being this low on the list no matter where he is starting, but especially not Oklahoma. The fact he’s behind QB’s Sam Ehlinger (+1000) from Texas and Shea Patterson (+1600) from Michigan is wild.

Hurts was the starting QB at Alabama for two full seasons before being replaced by Tua Tagovailoa.  In those two seasons, he combined for 40 passing touchdowns and 4,861 yards through the air while also compiling 1,809 rushing yards and 21 TDs on the ground.

The Crimson Tide are a powerhouse, but they aren’t necessarily an offensive juggernaut.  Put him in an offense like Oklahoma and he could find himself with an invite to New York.

Oklahoma Has Been There, Done That

Another reason to love the Jalen Hurts Heisman play? This is a script Oklahoma has followed not once, not twice, but three times in a row.

Baker Mayfield was born in Texas, transferred to Oklahoma and won the Heisman trophy.  Kyler Murray was born in Texas, transferred to Oklahoma and won the Heisman trophy.  Jalen Hurts was born in Texas, transferred to Oklahoma and can complete the trifecta if he uses the skills that made him the 2016 SEC Offensive Player of the Year at his new school.

Final Sales Pitch

The odds will change, and soon. Hurts’ average 2019 Heisman Trophy odds are already much shorter, when multiple sportsbooks are taken into consideration. It’s not a unique take believing Hurts has a chance to win some hardware joining a program with the rich history of Oklahoma, so make the bet now.

Going back to the poker analogy, Hurts is the pocket queens of the Heisman race.  Is he absolutely the favorite? No, that title belongs to the newly minted National Champion Trevor Lawrence.

But if someone is willing to give you 20-1 odds on a hand this good, don’t muck it and lose out on a potential windfall.

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