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Heisman Trophy odds: DeVonta Smith of Alabama now Heisman lock after winning Associated Press Player of the Year Award?

Alabama's DeVonta Smith on Tuesday became the first-ever receiver to win the Associated Press College Football Player of the Year Award, and that probably means he will win the Heisman on Jan. 5.
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The 2020 Heisman Trophy will be given out the night of Jan. 5 in a virtual event on ESPN, and it now appears that Alabama superstar receiver DeVonta Smith is going to win that because Tuesday he was named the winner of the Associated Press College Football Player of the Year Award. The winner of that almost always wins the Heisman, and Smith is the -220 moneyline favorite at William Hill Sportsbook to take the Heisman.

The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Smith, a senior, leads the nation with 98 catches, 1,511 yards and 768 yards after the catch, and he is second with 17 TD receptions. Smith might win that receiving TD title, too, as current leader Jaelon Darden of North Texas with 19 TDs is done playing. Smith, previously named the SEC Offensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press and the conference's coaches, also has eight punt returns for 199 yards and a touchdown to average 24.9 yards per return.

Smith is the first-ever receiver to win the AP College Football Player of the Year Award, which has been handed out only since 1998. No receiver has won the Heisman since Michigan's Desmond Howard in 1991. Howard also was a good returner.

The CBS Sports Big Board ranks Smith as the No. 8 overall prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft and No. 2 receiver behind LSU's Ja'Marr Chase, who opted out of this season.

The past four players to win AP College Football Player of the Year also won the Heisman: LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield and Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson.

The last time the AP Player of the Year didn't win the Heisman was in 2015 when Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey claimed the AP award and finished a fairly close second to Tide running back Derrick Henry in the Heisman voting. Overall, the AP Player of the Year has gone to the Heisman winner 17 of 22 times previously. It's many of the same voters in both.

Alabama QB Mac Jones was second in the AP Player of the Year voting – the first time teammates finished 1-2 -- and is the second-favorite at William Hill to win the Heisman at +190. Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence was third in the AP voting and is +550 for the Heisman, and Florida QB Kyle Trask was fourth in the AP voting and is the fourth-favorite for the Heisman at +2400.

Smith and Jones will lead top-ranked Alabama against No. 4 Notre Dame in the Rose Bowl (from Texas) on New Year's Day, with the Tide as massive 20-point favorites at William Hill. Lawrence and No. 2 Clemson face No. 3 Ohio State in the second CFP semifinal game Jan. 1 with the Tigers as 7.5-point favorites.

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SportsLine Staff
SportsLine Staff