Nick Chubb Odds to win the 2015 Heisman Trophy with Expert Predictions
by Dave Schwab - 7/7/2015
The long history of quality running backs playing for the SEC's Georgia Bulldogs continues with sophomore Nick Chubb. He played so well as a freshman last season that his name has moved near the top of Bovada's futures list at 10/1 betting odds to take home this season's Heisman Trophy as the nation's top college football player.
Todd Gurley began the 2014 season as the Bulldogs' lead running back and a legitimate contender to win that year's Heisman, but when a mid-season suspension followed by a knee injury in mid-November took him out of the lineup, Chubb immediately rose to the occasion as the team's new featured runner. Gurley went on to become a rare first-round NFL draft pick at the running back position, and Chubb is in line to possibly do the same someday if he can continue to put up numbers like he did last year.
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He carried the ball 219 times last season for a total of 1,547 yards. This equated to a highly-productive 7.1 yards an attempt. He also proved to be resourceful catching the ball out of the backfield with 18 receptions for 213 yards. All told, Chubb was a solid scoring threat with a team-high 16 touchdowns (14 rushing and two receiving).
One of his finest games of the regular season came in Georgia's 45-32 victory against Arkansas with 202 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 30 attempts. Over the course of his final seven games last year, he rushed for an average of 151 yards in each to establish himself as one of the top backs in the nation. Chubb saved the best for last in the Bulldogs' impressive 37-14 victory against Louisville in the BELK Bowl on Dec. 30. He carried the ball 33 times for 266 yards and two scores.
The opportunity to put up some even bigger numbers this season is there behind a Georgia offense that was ranked 12th in the nation in 2014 in rushing yards per game (257.8) and ranked eighth in scoring with an average of 41.3 points a game.At 5-foot-11, 218 lbs., Chubb is a prototypical power back that still has some deceptive speed taking the ball outside the tackles. He can beat you in any number of ways, and I would expect that he will become even more a big-play threat catching balls out of the backfield.
Georgia's nonconference schedule is also conducive to Chubb grabbing some immediate attention from the Heisman voters. The Bulldogs open up the 2015 season at home against UL Monroe, and after SEC matchups against Vanderbilt on the road and South Carolina at home, they will square off against Division IAA Southern in the friendly confines of Sanford Stadium.
Chubb will also get a chance to show what he can do in early October in a home game against Alabama. After facing Auburn on the road on Nov. 14, Georgia will close things out against Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech in two more nonconference matchups. Bovada is fairly bullish on the Bulldogs' chances to make some noise in national playoff race at 25/1 betting odds to win a national title. These are the third-best in the SEC behind Auburn (10/1) and the Crimson Tide (15/2).
I do believe there is some solid value in Chubb's betting odds to win this year's Heisman, but he will have some stiff competition at the running back position with Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliott listed at slightly better 7/1 odds to take home the hardware. The main thing working against both of these players is the plain and simple fact that Heisman voters tend to favor quarterbacks. Since 2000, the only non-quarterback to win a Heisman Trophy was Alabama running back Mark Ingram in 2009. Chubb could also be at a slight disadvantage given that he is only in his sophomore year.
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Read more articles by Dave Schwab
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