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Giving Away Money: Handicapping the winners of quarterback battles across the nation

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Alabama isn’t the only playoff contender facing questions under center

<p zoompage-fontsize="15" style="">NCAA Football: Tennessee at Alabama

Couldn’t ask for two better kids. Unfortunately, there’s only one ball.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

For those with a little more confidence in position battles than season outlooks, the European books have released the props for starting quarterbacks in 2018: there are several high profile contenders with quarterback battles to be decided over the next month, including Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Clemson.

As of today, give me Jalen Hurts to get the first few series of snaps to open 2018. I think he and Tagovailoa split reps during the Louisville tussle, on a pre-scheduled basis. Does that mean he keeps the job or is the week two starter? Of course not. But, he will certainly play. And, as the healthy incumbent upperclassman, that’s worth +$165. Note: Saban’s long-standing mantra of “win the team” more often than not happens that first week or two of the season, not in fall camp. A great showing against a bowl-caliber opponent on a neutral field is the perfect way to do that.

Elsewhere, expect to see something similar at Auburn with a Lake: Kelly Bryant is simply too limited of a passer for Dabo’s offense. But, like Tua/Jalen, I suspect Trevor Lawrence will have to win the job on the field in the first week or so. Gimme prohibitive favorites Dwayne Haskins and Kyler Murray at OSU and Oklahoma respectively. I like Shane Buechele as the dark horse in the Texas race — maybe not in Week One, but I suspect he wins the job back as the season goes on. Bigger arm, bigger upside. I also think Feleipe Franks will thrive in Dan Mullen’s offense. Emory Jones is the future, but it’s hard to overlook the trial-by-fire Franks faced as a freshman last season on a mediocre-to-bad team. Finally, don’t be so quick to overlook Brandon Peters at Michigan either. Like Franks, he saw a lot of quality snaps on a team that underperformed. His familiarity with the system, and Shea Patterson’s notorious carelessness with the ball, may be a better fit for Jim Harbaugh’s ball control, paleolithic offense.

Alabama starting quarterback Week 1 of 2018 regular season

Tua Tagovailoa -230

Jalen Hurts +165

Ohio State starting quarterback Week 1 of 2018 regular season

Dwayne Haskins -600

Tate Martell +370

Oklahoma starting quarterback Week 1 of 2018 regular season

Kyler Murray -600

Austin Kendall +370

Clemson starting quarterback Week 1 of 2018 regular season

Kelly Bryant +130

Trevor Lawrence +160

Hunter Johnson +510

Chase Brice +820

Texas starting quarterback Week 1 of 2018 regular season

Sam Ehlinger -250

Shane Buechele +180

Florida starting quarterback Week 1 of 2018 regular season

Feleipe Franks +105

Emory Jones +130

Kyle Trask +820

Jake Allen +1740

USC starting quarterback Week 1 of 2018 regular season

Matt Fink -120

JT Daniels +130

Jack Sears +825

Michigan starting quarterback Week 1 of 2018 regular season

Shea Patterson -190

Brandon Peters +270

Joe Milton +820

Dylan McCaffrey +1740

Florida State starting quarterback Week 1 of 2018 regular season

James Blackman -120

Deondre Francios +130

Bailey Hockman +820

Notre Dame starting quarterback Week 1 of 2018 regular season

Brandon Wimbush -150

Ian Book +130

Phil Jurkovec +1740

LSU starting quarterback Week 1 of 2018 regular season

Joe Burrow +130

Myles Brennan +270

Lowell Narcisse +360

Justin McMillen +510

UCLA starting quarterback Week 1 of 2018 regular season

Devon Modster +200

Austin Burton +265

Wilton Speight +360

Matt Lynch +510

Dorian Thompson-Robinson +815

Texas A&M starting quarterback Week 1 of 2018 regular season

Nick Starkel -300

Kellen Mond +210

Nebraska starting quarterback Week 1 of 2018 regular season

Adrian Martinez -120

Tristan Gebbia +105

Andrew Bunch +1750

Arkansas starting quarterback Week 1 of 2018 regular season

Cole Kelley -180

Ty Storey +135

Tennessee starting quarterback Week 1 of 2018 regular season

Keller Christ -185

Jarrett Guarantano +165

Will McBride +1750

Oklahoma State starting quarterback Week 1 of 2018 regular season

Spencer Sanders +105

Dru Brown +130

Taylor Cornelius +815

Keondre Wudtee +1730

TCU starting quarterback Week 1 of 2018 regular season

Shawn Robinson -320

Justin Rogers +360

Michael Collins +1740

Grayson Muehlstein +1740

BYU starting quarterback Week 1 of 2018 regular season

Joe Critchlow +210

Tanner Mangum +270

Beau Hodge +270

Zach Wilson +360

Maryland starting quarterback Week 1 of 2018 regular season

Kasem Hill -120

Tyrell Pigrome +210

Max Bortenschlager +360