Can you believe that the college football season is just about to get underway? It is truly remarkable. We are literally days away from kickoff, which means it’s time for you to start figuring out where to place your bets.
It can be a little bit of a challenge to try to choose national or conference champions, so maybe you are looking for a different kind of bet. This is where choosing the Heisman Trophy winner may be the choice for you.
Usually, there are four or five candidates who clearly are a cut above the rest, and this year that is true is well. So, here are the likely top four, as well as a couple of dark horses you may want to place a wager on.
(Odds of Winning the Heisman Listed in Parenthesis)
Sign up for a FREE Trial Consultation to start working with Legendary Sports Bettor Jon Price
Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama (+260)
One thing you are going to learn quickly is that most of the top Heisman Trophy candidates in college football are quarterbacks. As a matter fact, of the top 10 only one is a running back, D’Andre Swift out of Georgia.
Currently, there are two quarterbacks who are considered to be the most likely to win the award. Tua Tagovailoa from Alabama and Trevor Lawrence from Clemson.
Tagovailoa comes in with an impressive resume. The junior quarterback threw for 3,966 yards last season with 43 touchdowns and just six interceptions. He completed 69.0% of his passes and led his team all the way to the national championship game.
The numbers are clearly there, and he will have every opportunity to lead this offense to another title. However, what sets Tagovailoa apart from almost any of the other candidates is the fact that he plays at Alabama. That means he’s going to have a primetime game at least nine or 10 times this season. This gives the Heisman Trophy voters plenty of opportunities to see the junior play. If he performs well on the big stage, you can be sure he’s going to be a top-two candidate.
Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson (+260)
Lawrence is in the same boat. He led Clemson to the college football national championship as a freshman last season. He put up some pretty gaudy numbers along the way. Lawrence threw for 3,280 yards, completing 65.2% of his passes with 30 touchdowns and just four interceptions. Plus, he beat out the incumbent starter who had taken the Tigers to the national title game the year before. The kid’s got moxie for sure.
Like Tagovailoa, he is going to be on national television in prime time nine or 10 times this season. Add to it the fact that Clemson will be in the ACC title game and will likely be 13-0, and it is easy to see why the sophomore will garner a lot of Heisman attention.
Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State (+900)
Fields is a transfer out of Georgia, where he was simply not going to get any playing time behind Jake Fromm. Knowing he would be sitting for at least two more seasons, the sophomore opted to transfer to Ohio State. There, he will have a real opportunity to guide his team to a national title berth.
Fields is a big kid, coming in at 6-3, 223 pounds, and has a big arm. He has shown his skill level, throwing for 328 yards and four touchdowns on just 39 pass attempts at Georgia. With the new offensive coordinator at Ohio State and a defense that is suspect, to say the least, this team is expected to throw, giving Fields the opportunity to showcase his talents right away.
Fields can also run the ball, meaning that he should create some highlight-reel moments this season. The kind of moments that Heisman voters love.
Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma (+1000)
It’s kind of funny, but there are really two Alabama quarterbacks battling for the Heisman Trophy this year. After being supplanted as the starter by Tagovailoa, Hurts transferred to Oklahoma, and you better believe there’s a huge chip on his shoulder. After throwing for 2081 yards and 17 touchdowns with just one interception in his sophomore season, the now-senior was benched.
He transferred knowing he wasn’t going to be playing in Alabama and now will want to prove that he truly was the best quarterback for the Crimson Tide. Hurts not only has a quality arm but can move the ball with his legs as well. He gained 954 yards rushing in his freshman year and put up 855 the following season. A 2,500 yard passing season and 1,000-yard rushing campaign is not out of the question.
D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia (+2500)
We have to include at least one non-quarterback in this review, and there is no better in college football than Swift. The junior rushed for 1,049 yards last season with 10 touchdowns on the ground. He also made 32 catches for 297 yards and three scores. This year he becomes the top dog in the backfield and should have an opportunity to increase his numbers to a 1,500-yard campaign. If Georgia goes undefeated all the way to the SEC title game and Fromm’s numbers are solid but not spectacular, Swift may steal this award.
Ian Book, QB, Notre Dame (+6000)
Ya, ya, we get it. You think that just because the junior attends Notre Dame he is included in this list. Well, you are right. That is the reason he is included in this list, but not just because of the name of the school. He will put up big numbers for the Fighting Irish and will have primetime exposure each and every week.
Book took over the starting quarterback spot last season and led the Irish to the national playoffs. He threw for 2,628 yards and 19 touchdowns, completing 68.2% of his passes, and wasn’t even the starting quarterback when the season began.
Notre Dame is the kind of school that people either love or hate, and a quarterback who helps to restore some of the luster to college football’s most important program will always get some consideration for this award.