We go into each college football season trying to figure out what teams are title contenders. We also like to predict which players will be in the running for the Heisman Trophy. Trying to figure out which player is going to emerge is no easy task.

The obvious thing we do is focus on the top players coming back. Especially those who received attention for the award the previous season. While it makes sense, these players typically don’t end up winning. Why? The expectations are going to be even higher now that we have seen them play. More times than not, it’s the player who comes out of nowhere that steals our attention.

We also like to look for players in elite programs who will be taking on a bigger role due to a player departing. For example, whoever is the starting running back for Alabama is going to get attention. It doesn’t matter if it’s a player coming back or freshmen who has never seen the field.

Why do we focus on elite programs? That’s because there is a bias here when it comes to the voting. Players who put up big numbers on bad teams don’t get near the love as a players with similar or worse numbers on a national contender. Even if the player on the crap team is the best player in the country, chances are he won’t win.

Even when we know what players to lock in on, we just never really know. The unpredictability is what makes this award so great.

2017 Heisman Favorite, Front Runners & Latest Candidates to Win Trophy

The Heisman is such a big deal that Vegas releases futures on who will win. This section is focused on the betting side of things. Odds are released shortly after the title game from the previous year. We continue to update the odds all through the offseason and each week of the regular-season. Each time we update the page, we create a checkpoint to reference what the odds where at that time.

How the Betting Works

Oddsmakers put together a list of their top candidates in the offseason. They then place a betting line on each player. Note that the list of players to bet is limited early. Players will be added and removed over the course of the year.

For the purpose of this article we will look at the lines in money line format. Basically if a team is listed at +500. That means you can bet $100 to cash $500. Same thing as odds of 5 to 1. If a team is heavily favored, they will be with “-” in front of their odds instead of a “+” An example would be -250. In this case, you would have to wager $250 just to win $100.

This is considered a future wager, which means you are betting on an outcome that won’t happen for some time. So before you wager, just keep in mind that a portion of your bankroll will be tied up for several months. Also, the oddsmakes will adjust the lines over the course of the season.

Odds on Favorite & Top Front Runners

When it comes to the favorite to win the award in 2017, you might be surprised. Most are going to just assume it’s last year’s winner Lamar Jackson. That’s not the case. Jackson will try to make history. Archie Griffin is the only player to win the award twice.

The front runner is USC quarterback Sam Darnold at +525. Darnold took over the starting job in the middle of last season and led the Trojans on a 2nd half surge.

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Maryfield is next up on the list at +850. Jackson comes in third at +950. Behind the top three you have Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett (+1250), Penn State’s Saquon Barkley (+1500) and LSU’s Derrius Guice (+1500). No other player has odds at 20 to 1 or better.

Quick Look at the Other Candidates

There’s a lot of strong names on the list who have some great odds down the list. That includes Washington’s Jake Browning and Georgia’s Nick Chubb. Both of these guys were in the mix early last year and should be on great teams.

Sometimes you can get an idea of what teams Vegas is high on by looking at the odds. I think Penn St is one of those teams. The Nittany Lions surprised last year and are expected to be even better. They are the only school besides Alabama with multiple players listed. I already mentioned Barkley and not to far back is Trace McSorely (+3500).

My Early Heisman Prediction

Over the course of the season, I’m going to give out my prediction on who I think will win the award. I’ll continue to update my prediction at different points of the year.

Jalen Hurts (+2200) – This is the hardest time to make a prediction. Until you see the product on the field, it’s all about finding value. I think Hurts gives us just that. He wasn’t to far out of the race last year as a true freshman. He should be greatly improved and we know the Crimson Tide will be in the mix for another championship.

Another guy on my radar is Texas QB Shane Buechele (+5500). He’s another true freshman that shined last season and figures to get a boost now that Tom Herman is the coach of the Longhorns.

Updated Vegas Betting Odds on Who Will Win Heisman Trophy This Year

PlayerNowProb.10-Feb
Sam Darnold (QB USC)+52516.00%+500
Baker Mayfield (QB Oklahoma)+85010.53%+600
Lamar Jackson (QB Louisville)+9509.52%+600
JT Barrett (QB Ohio State)+12507.41%+1200
Saquon Barkley (RB Penn State)+15006.25%+1200
Derrius Guice (RB LSU)+15006.25%+1600
Bo Scarbrough (RB Alabama)+22004.35%+900
Jalen Hurts (QB Alabama)+22004.35%+1000
Jake Browning (QB Washington)+22004.35%+1200
Deondre Francois (QB Florida State)+22004.35%+1400
Jarrett Stidham (QB Auburn)+25003.85%
Trace McSorley (QB Penn State)+35002.78%+1200
Josh Rosen (QB UCLA)+35002.78%+1400
Mason Rudolph (QB Oklahoma State)+36002.70%+1400
Nick Chubb (RB Georgia)+43002.27%+1600
Quinton Flowers (QB South Florida)+45002.17%
Kamryn Pettway (RB Auburn)+47002.08%+2800
Luke Falk (QB Washington State)+49002.00%+3300
Shane Buechele (QB Texas)+55001.79%+3300
Will Grier (QB West Virginia)+66001.49%
Mike Weber (RB Ohio State)+75001.32%
Nick Fitzgerald (QB Mississippi State)+100000.99%+2500
Jacob Eason (QB Georgia)+100000.99%
Myles Gaskin (RB Washington)+100000.99%
Derwin James (S Florida State)+100000.99%
Josh Allen (QB Wyoming)+100000.99%
Royce Freeman (RB Oregon)+115000.86%
Brandon Wimbush (QB Notre Dame)+125000.79%
Justin Herbert (QB Oregon)+125000.79%
Justin Jackson (RB Northwestern)+125000.79%
Kyle Allen (QB Houston)+140000.71%
James Washington (WR Oklahoma State)+150000.66%
Christian Kirk (WR Texas A&M)+150000.66%
Hunter Johnson (QB Clemson)+150000.66%
Malik Zaire (QB Florida)+150000.66%
Brett Rypien (QB Boise State)+160000.62%
Bryce Love (RB Stanford)+175000.57%
Nyqwan Murray (WR Florida State)+175000.57%
Deon Cain (WR Clemson)+175000.57%
Wilton Speight (QB Michigan)+175000.57%
Tanner Mangum (QB BYU)+175000.57%
Calvin Ridley (WR Alabama)+200000.50%
Kenny Hill (QB TCU)+200000.50%
Shea Patterson (QB Mississippi)+200000.50%
Mike White (QB Western Kentucky)+200000.50%
Eric Dungey (QB Syracuse)+200000.50%
Kerryon Johnson (RB Auburn)+200000.50%
Sewo Olonilua (RB TCU)+200000.50%
Mark Walton (RB Miami Florida)+200000.50%
Dexter Lawrence (DT Clemson)+200000.50%
Ed Oliver (DT Houston)+250000.40%
Cam Akers (RB Florida State)+250000.40%
Nick Shimonek (QB Texas Tech)+250000.40%
LJ Scott (RB Michigan State)+250000.40%
Rashan Gary (DL Michigan)+250000.40%
Minkah Fitzpatrick (S Alabama)+250000.40%
Courtland Sutton (WR SMU)+250000.40%
Chris James (RB Wisconsin)+250000.40%
Malik Jefferson (LB Texas)+250000.40%
Ronald Jones (RB USC)+250000.40%
Arden Key (LB LSU)+250000.40%

More College Football Futures & Odds

It’s no secret that the winner of the Heisman is often the best player on the best team in the country. Before placing any wagers on this future, check out our National Championship Odds.

Looking for more ways to bet on college football before the season starts? You are going to want to check out our regular-season win totals page. 

Season already started? Build your bankroll with premium NCAAF picks from one of our expert handicappers. You are also going to want to visit our college football odds section. It’s the perfect place to stay up to date on the latest totals and spreads. Plus, you can shop lines from some of the top sportsbooks in the industry.

Heisman History – Invitees, Standings, Voting Polls & Past Champions

List of Finalists Invited to Heisman Ceremony in 2016

  • Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
  • Deshuan Watson, QB, Clemson
  • Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
  • Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
  • Dede Westbrook, WR, Oklahoma

Voting Poll Standings Last 5 Years

Voting Rank20162015201420132012
1stLamar Jackson (Louisville)Derrick Henry (Alabama)Marcus Mariota (Oregon)Jamies Winston (FSU)Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M)
2ndDeshaun Watson (Clemson)Christian McCaffrey (Stanford)Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin)A.J. McCarron (Alabama)Manti Te’o (Notre Dame)
3rdBaker Mayfield (Oklahoma)Deshaun Watson (Clemson)Amari Cooper (Alabama)Jordan Lynch (Northern Illinois)Collin Klein (Kansas State)
4thDede WestBrook (Oklahoma)Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma)Trevone Boykin (TCU)Andre Williams (Boston College)Marqise Lee (USC)
5thJabrill Peppers (Michigan)Keenan Reynolds (Navy)J.T. Barrett (Ohio State)Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M)Braxton Miller (Ohio St)

Every Player Who has Won the Heisman Award

YearPlayerSchool
2016Lamar JacksonLouisville
2015Derrick HenryAlabama
2014Marcus MariotaOregon
2013Jameis WinstonFlorida State
2012Johnny ManzielTexas A&M
2011Robert Griffin IIIBaylor
2010Cam NewtonAuburn
2009Mark IngramAlabama
2008Sam BradfordOklahoma
2007Tim TebowFlorida
2006Troy SmithOhio State
2005Reggie BushUSC
2004Matt LeinartUSC
2003Jason WhiteOklahoma
2002Carson PalmerUSC
2001Eric CrouchNebraska
2000Chris WeinkeFlorida State
1999Ron DayneWisconsin
1998Ricky WilliamsTexas
1997Charles WoodsonMichigan
1996Danny WuerffelFlorida
1995Eddie GeorgeOhio State
1994Rashaan SalaamColorado
1993Charlie WardFlorida State
1992Gino TorrettaMiami (FL)
1991Desmond HowardMichigan
1990Ty DetmerBYU
1989Andre WareHouston
1988Barry SandersOklahoma State
1987Tim BrownNotre Dame
1986Vinny TestaverdeMiami (FL)
1985Bo JacksonAuburn
1984Doug FlutieBoston College
1983Mike RozierNebraska
1982Herschel WalkerGeorgia
1981Marcus AllenUSC
1980George RogersSouth Carolina
1979Charles WhiteUSC
1978Billy SimsOklahoma
1977Earl CampbellTexas
1976Tony DorsettPittsburgh
1975Archie GriffinOhio State
1974Archie GriffinOhio State
1973John CappellettiPenn State
1972Johnny RodgersNebraska
1971Pat SullivanAuburn
1970Jim PlunkettStanford
1969Steve OwensOklahoma
1968O.J. SimpsonUSC
1967Gary BebanUCLA
1966Steve SpurrierFlorida
1965Mike GarrettUSC
1964John HuarteNotre Dame
1963Roger StaubachNavy
1962Terry BakerOregon State
1961Ernie DavisSyracuse
1960Joe BellinoNavy
1959Billy CannonLSU
1958Pete DawkinsArmy
1957John David CrowTexas A&M
1956Paul HornungNotre Dame
1955Howard CassadyOhio State
1954Alan AmecheWisconsin
1953John LattnerNotre Dame
1952Billy VesselsOklahoma
1951Dick KazmaierPrinceton
1950Vic JanowiczOhio State
1949Leon HartNotre Dame
1948Doak WalkerSMU
1947John LujackNotre Dame
1946Glenn DavisArmy
1945Doc BlanchardArmy
1944Les HorvathOhio State
1943Angelo BertelliNotre Dame
1942Frank SinkwichGeorgia
1941Bruce SmithMinnesota
1940Tom HarmonMichigan
1939Nile KinnickIowa
1938Davey O’BrienTCU
1937Clint FrankYale
1936Larry KelleyYale
1935Jay BerwangerChicago