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    SEC Best QB (08/22/13)

    John Ewing, Director of Research and Analytics, @johnewing
    By John Ewing
    With the SEC coaches naming Aaron Murray to the first-team All-SEC, we look at prop bets for Murray, AJ McCarron as well as props for who will lead the SEC in passing yards and touchdowns. Lines courtesy of Bovada.lv.



    Who is the best quarterback in the Southeastern Conference? SEC coaches named Georgia's Aaron Murray to the preseason first-team All-SEC over reigning Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. Manziel was selected to the second-team over AJ McCarron, who will be gunning for his third BCS title this year; McCarron landed on the third-team All-SEC.

    So what makes a quarterback better than another? For starters, passing yards and touchdowns thrown. Below we look at AJ McCarron and Aaron Murray specific prop bets as well as props for which quarterback will lead the SEC on passing yards and touchdowns. Lines courtesy of Bovada.lv.

    Note: The NCAA investigation into Johnny Manziel has caused Bovada.lv to close down all odds (except Heisman, Manziel is 15/1) involving Texas A&M and Manziel. Otherwise, Manziel would most likely be listed among these props.

    Aaron Murray
    2012 stats: 3,893 yards, 36 touchdowns
    Projected 2013 stats: 3,387 yards, 32 touchdowns

    Note: Our projected stats only include FBS vs. FBS programs. Georgia plays one FCS program (Appalachian St.), Murray's totals would increase to 3,695 yards and 35 touchdowns if he maintains his season averages against FBS competition when facing Appalachian State.

    Last season, Murray set Georgia records for passing yards and touchdowns as well as becoming the first SEC quarterback to pass for 3,000 yards in three consecutive seasons. We expect Murray to break 3,000 yards passing for a fourth year but to come up short of his own Georgia record.

    2013 Regular Season - Total Passing Yards
    • Over/Under: 3,674 yards
    2013 Regular Season - Total Passing Touchdowns
    • Over/Under: 30.5 touchdowns
    AJ McCarron
    2012 stats: 2,933 yards, 30 touchdowns
    Projected 2013 stats: 3,008 yards, 27 touchdowns

    Note: Alabama plays one FCS team (Chattanooga), McCarron's totals, if we assume he maintains his averages against FBS programs, 3,281 yards and 29 touchdowns.

    McCarron finished 6th in the SEC in passing yards last season while completing 67.2% of his passes. While we expect his passing yardage to improve we do not project an increase passing touchdowns.

    2013 Regular Season - Total Passing Yards
    • Over/Under: 2,900 yards
    2013 Regular Season - Total Passing Touchdowns
    • Over/Under: 30.5 touchdowns
    Who will lead the SEC in Passing Yards and Passing Touchdowns?
    After looking at our projections for every starting quarterback in the SEC, Aaron Murray should be the favorite to lead in both categories. If Johnny Manziel plays every game we would project him to throw for 3,356 yards and 23 touchdowns (with FCS opponent: 3,661 yards and 25 touchdowns), making him a threat to contend for the passing crown.

    Note: We project Bo Wallace to throw for 2,762 yards and 22 touchdowns (with FCS opponent: 3,013 yards and 24 touchdowns). Nice numbers but not quite in the same breath as Murray and McCarron.

    Who will have the most Passing Yards?
    • Aaron Murray (Georgia): 1/2
    • A.J. McCarron (Alabama): 3/2
    • Bo Wallace (Ole Miss): 2/1
    2013 Regular Season - SEC - Who will have the most Passing Touchdowns?
    • Aaron Murray (Georgia): 1/2
    • A.J. McCarron (Alabama): 3/2
    • Bo Wallace (Ole Miss): 2/1
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