Betting Insights: Michigan's J.J. McCarthy For Heisman
John David Yonke
A 12-2 record and College Football Playoff appearance wasn’t good enough for Jim Harbaugh. After two games of the season, incumbent quarterback Cade McNamara was unseated by the younger and more talented J.J. McCarthy. Harbaugh hopes that this switch to a more dynamic player will make the offense even more difficult to contain now that defenses must account for McCarthy’s rushing threat and his plus arm. Bettors have taken note, flooding to the window to bet on McCarthy to win the Heisman.
Once the favorite early in the summer to repeat as Heisman Trophy winner, Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young’s odds (+450) have continued to drop following a disappointing showing against the Texas Longhorns in Week 2 and lackluster output from the offense overall. C.J. Stroud (+250) and Caleb Williams (+300) have continued to establish themselves as frontrunners as both of their respective teams are off to an undefeated start to the season.
Bettors have taken note of McCarthy’s rise to prominence, however, causing a drop in his odds from +6600 all the way down to +2500.
BetMGM SportsBook Heisman Trophy Highest Ticket%
JJ McCarthy 9.7%
CJ Stroud 8.9%
Will Anderson Jr. 7.5%
Yep, that’s right. McCarthy now has the highest percentage of tickets (9.7%) of any player in the country. He’s looked tremendous in three appearances this season, completing 30 of 34 attempts (88.2%) for 473 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions while adding another 73 yards and a score on the ground. The competition certainly hasn’t been difficult, but McCarthy’s sheer efficiency has been noticeable. He’s now averaging 13.9 yards per pass attempt and 10.4 yards per attempt on the ground.
BetMGM SportsBook Heisman Trophy Highest Handle%
CJ Stroud 12.5%
JJ McCarthy 10.6%
Bryce Young 9.8%
The Wolverines’ signal caller is also creeping up on Stroud as the highest handle percentage in Heisman future betting. McCarthy (10.6%) has surpassed Bryce Young (9.8%), something that may have seemed unthinkable early in the offseason, and he isn’t far behind Stroud (12.5%). Although the schedule does get more difficult, the Wolverines may be favored in every game this season until the finale against the Ohio State Buckeyes. A road trip to the Iowa Hawkeyes and a home game versus the Penn State Nittany Lions stick out as the toughest obstacles ahead, but they also provide McCarthy with showcase games for Heisman moments if he can lead his team to victory in difficult spots.
Deuce Vaughn tickets took a big hit this past week as the Kansas State Wildcats lost 17-10 to the Tulane Green Wave. Simply put, you don’t see any Heisman winners losing to Tulane. McCarthy has now become BetMGM’s second-biggest liability overall behind Vaughn. As the Georgia Bulldogs look to be a nearly-unstoppable force yet again in 2022, quarterback Stetson Bennett has crept onto the leaderboard as a potential Heisman candidate and liability for sportsbooks.
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