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

PlayerCurrent OddsImplied Probability
Tua Tagovailoa (QB, Alabama)-45081.82%
Kyler Murray (QB, Oklahoma)+50016.67%
Will Grier (QB, West Virginia)+70012.50%
Shea Patterson (QB, Michigan)+20004.76%
Trevor Lawrence (QB Clemson)+25003.85%
Travis Etienne (RB, Clemson)+25003.85%
Gardner Minshew (QB, Washington State)+50001.96%
Dwayne Haskins (QB, Ohio State)+100000.99%
McKenzie Milton (QB, UCF)+100000.99%
Player7-Nov31-Oct24-Oct17-Oct10-Oct3-Oct26-Sep19-Sep12-Sep5-Sep27-Jul7-May
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

Voting Rank20172016201520142013
1stBaker Mayfield (Oklahoma)Lamar Jackson (Louisville)Derrick Henry (Alabama)Marcus Mariota (Oregon)Jamies Winston (FSU)
2ndBryce Love (Stanford)Deshaun Watson (Clemson)Christian McCaffrey (Stanford)Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin)A.J. McCarron (Alabama)
3rdLamar Jackson (Louisville)Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma)Deshaun Watson (Clemson)Amari Cooper (Alabama)Jordan Lynch (Northern Illinois)
4thSaquon Barkley (Penn St)Dede WestBrook (Oklahoma)Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma)Trevone Boykin (TCU)Andre Williams (Boston College)
5thRashaad 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

YearPlayerSchool
2017Baker MayfieldOklahoma
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