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.
2018 Heisman Favorite, Front Runners & Latest Candidates to Win Trophy
Here’s a look at the updated odds to win the award as we near the start of Week 12 on the college gridiron.
Last week the books made Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa the overwhelming favorite at -1000. All but indicating that he had this award wrapped up. Apparently that’s no longer the case, as Tagovailoa’s odds have dropped back down to -450.
The two biggest threats both come out of the Big 12 in Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (+500) and West Virginia quarterback Will Grier (+700). There’s quite a gap after these three guys, as the next best odds belong to Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson at +2000.
After that you got Clemson’s duo of quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne both at +2500. The only other players with odds at Washington State’s Gardner Minshew (+5000), Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins (+10000) and UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton (+10000).
I’ll continue to update the odds leading up to the start of each week, so be sure to check back.
Heisman Predictions – Pick to Win
Winner: Tua Tagovailoa (QB, Alabama) -450
I was on Tagovailoa back in July when he was sitting at +700 and continued recommend betting him, despite the return not being as good. While I still think he’s got the award locked up, last week I said there was no value at -1000. I still think there’s a little too much risk involved at -450, but it’s definitely worth consideration if you got the bankroll.
I get the love for Murray and Grier, but I don’t think either deserve the award over Tua. He might have slightly fewer yards and TDs, but it’s not by much and he’s playing against much better competition in the SEC. I’m sorry Big 12 fans, but defense is not your conferences’ strength. You give Tagovailoa the same number of attempts against a Big 12 schedule and his numbers would be drastically improved. It might end up being closer than it should be, but I’m confident they will give it to the Alabama signal caller.
Updated Vegas Betting Odds on Who Will Win Heisman Trophy This Year
|Player||Current Odds||Implied Probability|
|Tua Tagovailoa (QB, Alabama)||-450||81.82%|
|Kyler Murray (QB, Oklahoma)||+500||16.67%|
|Will Grier (QB, West Virginia)||+700||12.50%|
|Shea Patterson (QB, Michigan)||+2000||4.76%|
|Trevor Lawrence (QB Clemson)||+2500||3.85%|
|Travis Etienne (RB, Clemson)||+2500||3.85%|
|Gardner Minshew (QB, Washington State)||+5000||1.96%|
|Dwayne Haskins (QB, Ohio State)||+10000||0.99%|
|McKenzie Milton (QB, UCF)||+10000||0.99%|
|Tua Tagovailoa (QB, Alabama)||-1000||-275||-275||-150||-150||-105||+115||+175||+330||+400||+700||+700|
|Kyler Murray (QB, Oklahoma)||+600||+330||+350||+300||+700||+350||+800||+950||+1200||+1800||+2000|
|Will Grier (QB, West Virginia)||+1800||+1800||+2000||+1200||+650||+550||+650||+650||+450||+500||+1500||+2000|
|Shea Patterson (QB, Michigan)||+1400||+1200||+1200||+3300||+3300||+5000||+6500||+1800|
|Trevor Lawrence (QB Clemson)||+6600||+4000||+4000||+5000||+5000||+10000||+4000||+4000||+4000||+4000||+1500||+3500|
|Travis Etienne (RB, Clemson)||+10000||+1600||+2500||+5000||+4000||+10000||+8000||+8000||+12500||+10000||+7000||+3500|
|Gardner Minshew (QB, Washington State)||+5000|
|Dwayne Haskins (QB, Ohio State)||+1400||+900||+1200||+300||+450||+375||+500||+650||+650||+600||+1500||+2200|
|McKenzie Milton (QB, UCF)||+10000||+2000||+2000||+2000||+1200||+2000||+1600||+2500||+1200||+1100||+7000||+2800|
|Trace McSorley (QB, Penn State)||+2000||+1400||+2000||+1200||+2500||+1600||+1600||+950||+900||+1500||+1800|
|Johnathan Taylor (RB, Wisconsin)||+5000||+5000||+2000||+2200||+1600||+1000||+900||+1000||+800||+600|
|Justin Herbert (QB, Oregon)||+10000||+6600||+6600||+4000||+5000||+3300||+2500||+2200||+3300||+1800|
|Drew Lock (QB, Missouri)||+10000||+20000||+10000||+6000||+4000||+3300||+4000||+3500||+3300||+2500|
|Bryce Love (RB, Stanford)||+20000||+10000||+10000||+4000||+1600||+2000||+1600||+1200||+700||+700|
|Benny Snell (RB, Kentucky)||+6000||+6000||+6000|
|Jake Fromm (QB, Georgia)||+20000||+10000||+10000||+4000||+10000||+5000||+2500||+1500||+1200|
|David Sills (WR, West Virginia)||+8000||+6600||+6600||+6600||+5000||+10000||+10000||+6600|
|Ed Oliver (DL, Houston)||+8000||+8000||+8000||+6600||+8000||+9000||+10000||+6600|
|D’Andre Swift (RB, Georgia)||+10000||+10000||+4000||+2500||+2200||+2500||+3000||+2800|
|J.K. Dobbins (RB, Ohio State)||+20000||+8000||+2000||+5000||+5000||+1800||+650|
|Nick Fitzgerald (QB, Mississippi St)||+4000||+3300||+8000||+10000||+5000||+3500|
|Khalil Tate (QB, Arizona)||+5000||+5000||+5000||+2500||+1500||+1400|
|Jake Browning (QB, Washington)||+8000||+8000||+5000||+5000||+3300||+2200|
|Jarrett Stidham (QB, Auburn)||+10000||+6600||+4000||+3000||+2500||+1600|
|Brandon Wimbush (QB, Notre Dame)||+12500||+4000||+4000||+3000||+5000||+3500|
|Kelly Bryant (QB, Clemson)||+12500||+5000||+4000||+10000||+4000||+2000|
|Ryan Finley (QB, NC State)||+20000||+20000||+15000||+22500||+10000||+4400|
|A.J. Dillon (RB, Boston College)||+2000||+6000|
|Damien Harris (RB, Alabama)||+5000||+4000||+4500||+5000|
|Deondre Francois (QB, Florida State)||+6600||+8500|
|Sam Ehlinger (QB, Texas)||+8000||+20000||+7500|
|Cam Akers (RB, Florida State)||+10000||+8500||+2500||+2500|
|Nick Bosa (DL, Ohio State)||+10000||+20000||+10000||+6600|
|Justice Hill (RB, Oklahoma State)||+6000||+10000||+7500|
|Stephen Carr (RB, USC)||+17500|
|Rodney Anderson (RB, Oklahoma)||+4000||+2500|
|Frank Nutil (QB, Temple)||+10000||+10000|
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
- Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
- Bryce Love, RB Stanford
- Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
Voting Poll Standings Last 5 Years
|1st||Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma)||Lamar Jackson (Louisville)||Derrick Henry (Alabama)||Marcus Mariota (Oregon)||Jamies Winston (FSU)|
|2nd||Bryce Love (Stanford)||Deshaun Watson (Clemson)||Christian McCaffrey (Stanford)||Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin)||A.J. McCarron (Alabama)|
|3rd||Lamar Jackson (Louisville)||Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma)||Deshaun Watson (Clemson)||Amari Cooper (Alabama)||Jordan Lynch (Northern Illinois)|
|4th||Saquon Barkley (Penn St)||Dede WestBrook (Oklahoma)||Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma)||Trevone Boykin (TCU)||Andre Williams (Boston College)|
|5th||Rashaad Penny (San Diego St)||Jabrill Peppers (Michigan)||Keenan Reynolds (Navy)||J.T. Barrett (Ohio State)||Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M)|
Every Player Who has Won the Heisman Award
|2013||Jameis Winston||Florida State|
|2012||Johnny Manziel||Texas A&M|
|2011||Robert Griffin III||Baylor|
|2006||Troy Smith||Ohio State|
|2000||Chris Weinke||Florida State|
|1995||Eddie George||Ohio State|
|1993||Charlie Ward||Florida State|
|1992||Gino Torretta||Miami (FL)|
|1988||Barry Sanders||Oklahoma State|
|1987||Tim Brown||Notre Dame|
|1986||Vinny Testaverde||Miami (FL)|
|1984||Doug Flutie||Boston College|
|1980||George Rogers||South Carolina|
|1975||Archie Griffin||Ohio State|
|1974||Archie Griffin||Ohio State|
|1973||John Cappelletti||Penn State|
|1964||John Huarte||Notre Dame|
|1962||Terry Baker||Oregon State|
|1957||John David Crow||Texas A&M|
|1956||Paul Hornung||Notre Dame|
|1955||Howard Cassady||Ohio State|
|1953||John Lattner||Notre Dame|
|1950||Vic Janowicz||Ohio State|
|1949||Leon Hart||Notre Dame|
|1947||John Lujack||Notre Dame|
|1944||Les Horvath||Ohio State|
|1943||Angelo Bertelli||Notre Dame|