The Penn State Nittany Lions are 7–0 straight up and 5-1-1 against the spread through the first seven games of the season. Running back Saquon Barkley has played a big role in Penn State's success, leading the nation with 1,478 all-purpose yards.
Barkley has broken away from the pack as the clear favorite on the odds to win the Heisman Trophy at -275 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Barkley rushed for 108 yards and two touchdowns and added on 53 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown in Penn State's 42–13 win over Michigan. Michigan entered that game with one of the best defenses in the nation.
At this point, it might take a major collapse from the Nittany Lions to take the trophy away from Barkley. The junior has the statistics to justify winning the award, no quarterbacks have managed to stand out from the field and Penn State has proven to be an elite team. A win over Ohio State in its matchup this weekend could all but lock up the award for Barkley, while a loss and an off-night could maybe give some other Heisman hopefuls some new life.
Bryce Love looks to be the biggest threat to upset Barkley at this point going off at +300 to win the Heisman. In just 135 rushing attempts, Love has amassed 1,387 rushing yards, giving him the top spot in the nation by 245 yards. Love also leads the nation in yards per attempt among running backs with 10.3 and has 11 rushing touchdowns.
Stanford is 4–0 SU and 2-1-1 ATS over its last four games, and a strong finish for Love and the Cardinal should keep the junior in the conversation.
Rounding out the remaining Heisman hopefuls are a handful of quarterbacks in Baker Mayfield (+1200), J.T. Barrett (+1400), Jalen Hurts (+2000), Mason Rudolph (+3300) and Lamar Jackson (+3300).
One of the biggest problems for the quarterback crop this season is how likely they are to split votes. Rudolph leads the nation in passing yards, Mayfield has the best passer rating in the country, Jackson has excellent rushing stats to go along with his passing stats, Barrett's 21 passing touchdowns lead this group and Hurts is undefeated.
While Saquon Barkley and Bryce Love should be on every Heisman voters' list, the quarterback shuffle is much harder to solve.
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