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Vegas odds project Payton Thorne will lose Auburn’s QB battle

Vegas believes Thorne will be the Tigers’ backup QB.



Payton Thorne
© Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

After transferring from Michigan State to be QB1 elsewhere, it looks like Payton Thorne may be the underdog to start at Auburn.

Heading into the offseason this past winter, many college football fans were hearing rumblings that Auburn would be looking to nab a quarterback out of the portal. The idea would be to get someone to start for them next season after a less-than-stellar 2022. Most Spartan fans paid no attention to the rumors initially. Then suddenly on April 30, fans were shocked to learn that Payton Thorne was going to be transferring out.

Within a few days, rumors swirled that Auburn had contacted him before entering the portal and that culminated in Thorne committing to the Tigers.

After the commitment, the former MSU quarterback was projected by many to be the clear-cut starter going into 2023 even though he had yet to practice with the Tigers. Some of that confidence may be wavering, however.

The first evidence of that came on Monday when BetOnline released their Week 1 starting quarterback odds. Surprisingly, those odds list incumbent quarterback Robby Ashford as the -140 favorite to Payton’s +100 odds as the underdog. Also, others are pointing out that college football expert Phil Steele has Thorne as the backup on his initial season preview article as well.

Now there could be a number of reasons for this.

First, Thorne had not fully arrived at Auburn and got situated until spring practice had concluded. Not having time to really gel with the team is a big deal and that could be what this is based on. Also, it should be noted that Ashford had a decent season for the Tigers last fall. While there were parts of the season that could have gone better, Ashford still managed to establish himself as a real dual-threat option. He took over the job after starter TJ Finley was injured against Penn State. The majority of Auburn’s offensive struggles were not at the fault of the quarterback. Abysmal offensive line play and questionable coaching decisions lead to multiple issues as well.

While we are still a long way from the 2023 kickoff, it is interesting to start to see that Thorne may not just be the de facto starter off the rip. We all were assuming the reason he left was because he was thinking he would start elsewhere. Here it was widely known he was going to have to compete for that job. It would be quite the storyline to see a Power Five starting quarterback leave via the portal to go to another school and not start.

Personally, I’m pulling for Payton as I really enjoyed his play while here in East Lansing. Regardless of what does happen, Auburn still got a solid player in Payton Thorne. He’s a veteran leader and good quarterback that will help strengthen that room down there.

It will be interesting to see what transpires over the remaining summer workouts.

Dad, die hard MSU (and Detroit sports) fan, and writer for Spartan Shadows. Certified knower of Ball (and puck). MSU Content Creator since 2022. Central Michigan Alum!