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Spencer Rattler Heisman Odds: Is the Sooners' QB Value?

Spencer Rattler is the early favorite for the Heisman Trophy
Spencer Rattler is the early favorite for the Heisman Trophy
By Neil Monnery

Spencer Rattler has been on the radar of College Football fans for several years ever since being the #1 rated QB recruit along with starring in the Netflix series QB1.

He committed to Lincoln Riley and Oklahoma before his Senior season of High School and was already being talked about as a potential Heisman winner. Well going into Junior season he is the betting favorite to go to New York and lift the trophy but is he good value?

The line has been drifting in recent weeks, with +300 being the common number a while back but now +550 is available is various Sportsbooks. This is not really anything to do with his spring performance but more the likelihood of other top contenders impressing. This though does open up the numbers more for those looking to back the Sooners’ QB.

In the pandemic shortened 2020 season, it was evident that Rattler got better as the season went along. His performance in the defeats to Kansas State and at Iowa State drew much criticism, particularly that three interception day against the Jayhawks.

There are mitigating circumstances however in that these were his first starts in conference. In the 2019 campaign he sat behind Jalen Hurts. He would only attempt 11 passes as a True Freshman. A tune-up against Missouri State wasn’t much of a contest so stepping up to play Big12 foe in real games was a bit of a shock to the system.

After those outings however, he did start taking care of the football better. In his final eight games, the prospect out of Pinnacle High School in Phoenix would only throw three interceptions to go along with 18 Touchdowns. A 6:1 TD/Interception ratio is nothing to sniff at.

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Those two defeats saw the Sooners stop getting their QB to throw the ball up all the time. He attempted 41 passes in the loss to Kansas State and 36 next time out at Iowa State. The following week he attempted 35 passes in the 4OT win against rival Texas in the Red River Rivalry but after this - his attempts dropped significantly. This led to more efficiency and putting him in better positions to do good things for that offense.

He went 17/24 for 301 yards with four Touchdowns and no Interceptions against the then 14th ranked Oklahoma State in November before leading the Sooners to wins in the Big12 Title Game and the Cotton Bowl without throwing a pick.

Lincoln Riley has seen great success in QB play since becoming the Head Coach at Oklahoma. Winning it twice with Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray in 2017 and 2018 respectively. In 2019 Jalen Hurts finished second so you can see why Rattler is the betting favorite. Rattler is arguably the most talented QB he’s had at his disposal and having won it twice already - this feels like a bit of a fait accompli.

Yet I’m not recommending betting on Rattler - not because he can't win - but more that Bryce Young and DJ Uiagalelei have just as good of a chance of winning and they offer slightly more value in the pre-season betting markets.

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