There are first-round quarterback busts every year in the NFL, and you never hear from guys like Ryan Leaf or JaMarcus Russell or Jake Locker ever again unless they’ve done something bad off the field.
Yet, NFL fans can’t get enough of two first-round quarterback flameouts: Tim Tebow and Johnny Manziel. Probably because they were both Heisman Trophy winners and arguably the two most popular college football players this century.
Tebow almost surely won’t be playing in the NFL again and is currently toiling in the New York Mets’ minor-league system as he attempts to make the majors in baseball. Manziel was the No. 22 overall pick in the 2014 draft by the Cleveland Browns, which means we should have all known that Manziel would have been a bust. That’s just what happens to Browns QBs since the franchise re-entered the NFL in 1990.
Cleveland tried again in the 2018 draft by taking another charismatic/controversial Heisman winner in Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield at No. 1 overall. That’s a story for another day.
Manziel, who didn’t help his NFL chances with his off-the-field partying lifestyle, is trying to resurrect his football career with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League. Because this is Johnny Football, there are props available on him this year at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. And forget about the NFL for now, because even if Manziel shows something his contract essentially ties him to Hamilton through next season.
That Manziel starts Week 1 for Hamilton on June 16 at Calgary is a +200 underdog with no at -300. By all accounts, the plan from Tiger-Cats coach June Jones (a former NCAA and NFL head coach) is for Manziel to back up Jeremiah Masoli, who played at Oregon and Ole Miss, all season. In 12 games last season for the Tiger-Cats, Masoli completed 64 percent of his passes for 3,177 yards, 15 touchdowns and five interceptions.
Manziel is also given an over/under of 7.5 starts this season – CFL teams play 18 regular-season games. Both betting options are -110 there.
There are likely only two realistic options for Manziel to top 7.5 starts: Masoli gets injured or the Tiger-Cats, who were just 6-12 last year, struggle terribly in the early going. Manziel would at least help fill the seats. The CFL regular season is 21 weeks long as each team gets a few byes (there are nine teams in the league so at least one is off every week). That Johnny Football is still on the roster in Week 21 is -200 with no at +150. Hamilton sits at +550 on the 2018 Grey Cup odds.
You can also bet on Manziel’s season stats, although obviously these are predicated on him playing: over/under 3,900 yards, 23.5 touchdown passes and 11.5 interceptions. Keep in mind that the CFL has only three downs instead of four so the league is more pass-happy than the NFL. We will see Manziel’s debut Friday in a preseason game against Toronto.
For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.
Source: Heavy Sports