2019 Heisman Trophy Betting Odds, Guide & Tips to Consider

2019 Heisman Trophy Betting Odds, Guide & Tips to Consider
Player2019 Heisman Trophy Betting Odds
Trevor Lawrence+200
Tua Tagovailoa+250
Justin Fields+900
Jalen Hurts+1200
Travis Etienne+1400
D’Andre Swift+1400
Jonathan Taylor+1600
Ian Book+2000
Jake Fromm+2000
Najee Harris+2000
Justin Herbert+2500
Sam Ehlinger+3300
Jerry Jeudy+3300
Shea Patterson+3300

College football season is over, but it won’t be long before it begins stirring once again. A few programs will open spring practice as early as February.

Spring brings conference meetings, players for most top teams stay on campus through the summer to work out, suddenly there’s media days, and before you know it we’re at the start of preseason camp.

That means it’s never too early to examine Heisman Trophy odds for the 2019 season. Jalen Hurts may have owned early headlines because of his transfer from Alabama to Oklahoma — and the subsequent jump in his Heisman odds — but he’ll have plenty of company in the mix.

Early odds favor the quarterbacks who dueled in this past season’s national title game: Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, at +200 and +250 respectively according to 888Sport.

But the Heisman is a fluid race, and it’s very common for someone to do exactly what Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray did — open as a preseason long shot, rise up through the pack, and end up as the player holding the game’s most prized individual trophy at the end.

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Heisman Trophy 2019 Betting Tips

Look Beyond Early Favorites

The last time the preseason favorite won the Heisman? So long ago, it’s impossible to find. Murray opened last season at +2000, well behind the favorite, Stanford running back Bryce Love.

The closest in the last decade was Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, who opened the 2014 season at +500, but still behind reigning winner Jameis Winston of Florida State.

Over the past decade, seven Heisman winners opened at +1600 or lower according to Sports Odds History, while another — Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M — was a freshman who was off the radar until several games into the season.

So, look beyond Lawrence and Tua, not just for value, but because history strongly indicates someone else will rise up and win.

Recent Heisman Winner Preseason Odds

YearHeisman WinnerPreseason OddsPreseason Favorite
2018Kyler Murray+2000Bryce Love
2017Baker Mayfield+800Sam Darnold
2016Lamar Jackson+5000Leonard Fournette
2015Derrick Henry+2500Trevone Boykin
2014Marcus Mariota+500Jameis Winston
2013Jameis Winston+3300Braxton Miller
2012Johnny ManzielN/AMatt Barkley
2011Robert Griffin III+2800Andrew Luck
2010Cam Newton+2000Mark Ingram

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Take a Quarterback

Murray became the 16th quarterback to win in the last 19 years, a statistic that’s impossible to ignore. Spread offenses have helped quarterbacks roll up ridiculous numbers, particularly in the Big 12, and the players under center dominate the Heisman conversation.

The last time quarterbacks didn’t win the Heisman in consecutive years was 1997 through 1999, when Michigan defensive back Charles Woodson, Texas running back Ricky Williams, and then Wisconsin running back Ron Dayne took home the award. Just three non-quarterbacks have won since.

Make Sure They Play For a Contender

It’s just a fact of football: higher-ranked teams that contend for top bowl games and the national title have more eyes on them, making their players more legitimate options for the Heisman.

Over the last 20 years, just two Heisman winners — Louisville’s Lamar Jackson in 2016 and Florida’s Tim Tebow in 2007 — have played on teams that failed to win at least 10 games.

Both those squads went 9-4, but the individual accomplishments of their respective quarterbacks were impossible to ignore.

That’s not the norm. In five of the last six years, the Heisman winner has played on a team in the thick of the national championship hunt. Four times in the past decade, the winner’s team has claimed the national title.

It’s great to think that Purdue wideout Rondale Moore or Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez (both +4000) have a shot this year. In all likelihood, they don’t.

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Ensure the System Features Them

Oklahoma quarterbacks have won the Heisman the past two seasons not just because of their elite talent and outstanding statistics, but because coach Lincoln Riley’s system featured them.

That’s one reason Hurts (+1200) now appears more of a legitimate candidate. The same can’t be said for every contender on the preseason list.

Quarterbacks such as Georgia’s Jake Fromm and Notre Dame’s Ian Book (both +2000) are tremendous players, but they appear in more balanced systems with strong running games, and simply won’t be position to put up the kind of ridiculous passing numbers that Murray and Baker Mayfield have posted the past two seasons.

Georgia tailback D’Andre Swift (+1400) has better preseason odds than Fromm, which speaks volumes.

Look For a High Ceiling

Why do so many preseason Heisman favorites fail to live up to the hype? Because they simply can’t match previous seasons that put them in position to contend for the award in the first place.

Tebow never exceeded his incredible sophomore season, Manziel his fabulous freshman campaign, Winston his national championship year. Their individual bars were simply set too high.

That leaves room for someone unexpected to break out of the pack with the kind of year nobody really saw coming, perhaps why so many eventual Heisman winners start with such low odds.

In fairness, this year could be a little different: Lawrence was Kelly Bryant’s backup and missed one game with an injury before taking over as Clemson’s starter in Week 6. He still passed for 3,200 yards and 30 touchdowns, and has a lot more runway in front of him in 2019.

Who might be a value bet this year? Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger (+3000 with SugarHouse) passed for 3,200 yards despite battling an arm injury the second half of last season, and his Longhorns sent a message with their manhandling of Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.

Then there’s Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert (+2500 with 888Sport) a 3,000-yard passer whom NFL evaluators love. Just remember: Unlike the college football season itself, the Heisman race always leaves plenty of room for an upset.


Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is the favorite at +200.

The 2019 Heisman Trophy will be awarded Dec. 14, 2019 at 8 p.m. ET.

The 2019 Heisman Trophy presentation will be broadcast on ESPN.

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray won the Heisman Trophy in 2018.

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