Senior quarterback K.J. Costello probably wants to end his career for the Cardinal with his best season. According to the 2020 Stanford College Football Playoff odds, that likely won’t include a national title.
The Cardinal need better balance on offense and to find answers to question marks in the defensive front seven if Stanford is to overcome a loaded Pac-12 North schedule in 2019. Failing that, bets placed on the Cardinal this year won’t pay off.
2020 Stanford College Football Playoff odds: offseason recap
Stanford abandoned its once-formidable rushing attack last season, albeit for good reason. It was simply ineffective.
Costello was able to throw the Cardinal to a 9-4 overall record in 2018 and should have that same capability in 2019 because of talented receivers like Osiris St. Brown, Connor Wedington and Michael Wilson. 2019 could be a breakout year for tight end Colby Parkinson, as well.
Getting to 10 wins with foes like Oregon and Washington on the schedule will require a better balance on offense, however. For that, Stanford is looking to its offensive line to not only play better but stay healthy, as well.
Cameron Scarlett is the top back on the roster. Holes on the defensive side of that roster are more concerning, however.
Stanford lost both of its top two tacklers from last season, and the linebacker corps is unproven. The defensive line may be stout against the run, but generating a pass rush is uncertain.
Fortunately for Stanford, its secondary is anchored by Paulson Adebo, a junior who was first-team All-Conference last year. The question is whether the bright spots can shine brightly enough to mask the Cardinal’s deficiencies.
Sportsbooks aren’t optimistic about that happening in the 2019 season. Stanford isn’t expected to be a playoff team.
Breaking down the 2020 Stanford College Football Playoff odds
Las Vegas always welcomes Californians, but a new option will soon exist. Oregon is set to launch legal sportsbooks soon.
Vegas odds on the Cardinal winning the 2020 College Football Playoff are long at 200/1. Other books that could someday play a part in legal sports betting in California aren’t far off.
- DraftKings +20000
- FanDuel +20000
- PointsBet +18000
- William Hill +30000
DraftKings Sportsbook and SugarHouse agree on their odds of Stanford being selected for the playoff. That line of +6600 is the best available right now.
The committee is unlikely to select the Cardinal if they don’t win the Pac-12. Books have lines on that, as well.
Other Stanford futures: Pac-12 title and win total
Currently, the best action available on Stanford winning the Pac-12 championship game is on PointsBet. Those odds rest at +2000 pending any changes.
Although books don’t favor the Cardinal to win the conference, they are more optimistic about Stanford playing for the Pac-12 title. FanDuel has the best line on the Cardinal winning the Pac-12 North Division at +1000.
Winning the North won’t be easy because it will require Stanford to surpass expectations. Books have a strong consensus on the win total for the Cardinal set at 6.5.
None of the books have positive odds on the over, so the under is the only option for bettors right now. DraftKings and SugarHouse have a slightly better line than the competition at +122.
Because Costello was one of the top quarterbacks in the conference last year, he’s a Heisman candidate in 2019. Odds on him claiming that trophy are available.
Costello’s Heisman candidacy by the books
Vegas lists Costello at 100/1 to win the next Heisman Trophy. Other books don’t deviate from that standard.
The best line elsewhere is at William Hill, which has Costello +10000 to hear his name called. The voters will require Costello to not only put up amazing numbers but win a lot of games, as well.
Stanford has to get better at running the ball and playing defense for that to happen. If the Cardinal can manage those two things, it may be the season Costello likely hopes for.