2018 Heisman Trophy Odds: Running Backs and Backup QB’s Favored

  • The Heisman Trophy is the most prestigious individual award in college football
  • It’s almost always awarded to a quarterback
  • Some surprising names are on the top of the odds sheet this year

With just under a month until the start of the college football season, the Heisman Trophy race is already in full swing. The players at the top of the odds sheet have hype, fantastic teams, and a chance of winning the most valuable statue in college football.

Odds to win the 2018 Heisman Trophy

These odds are from Bovada, as of 8/2/2018

Player Bovada Odds to Win Heisman Trophy
Tua Tagovailoa (QB Alabama) +700
Bryce Love (RB Stanford) +700
Jonathan Taylor (RB Wisconsin) +800
Dwayne Haskins (QB Ohio State) +1100
Jake Fromm (QB Georgia) +1500
Khalil Tate (QB Arizona) +1500
Will Grier (QB West Virginia) +1500
Trace McSorley (QB Penn State) +1500
Trevor Lawrence (QB Clemson) +1500
JK Dobbins (RB Ohio State) +1800

Some great players, and some players you might not have heard a lot about. Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm took the Bulldogs all the way to the National Championship game as a true freshman, and Tua Tagovailoa won the National Championship game as a true freshman. JK Dobbins and Jonathan Taylor are both otherworldly running backs on championship-contending teams, and Bryce Love set the world on fire last year with one of the most productive seasons ever.

Two Backups in the Top 10

Being a Heisman Trophy favorite usually requires an established spot on the field, but two (and maybe three) of the players on this odds sheet are (at best) engaged in a competition for a starting role.

Tua Tagovailoa is not (and never has been) the starting quarterback for the Alabama Crimson Tide. While most fans expect Nick Saban to play the quarterback who won him a national title game, Saban’s been very clear that the decision has yet to be made between Jalen Hurts and Tua. While Tagovailoa was absolutely what Alabama needed in the second half of the last game of the season, Jalen Hurts’ play style is more consistent with Alabama’s broader strategy. Tua has not, by any measure, secured the job he’d need to win the Heisman.

Trevor Lawrence is a true freshman expected to play back up for Kelly Bryant, the Clemson quarterback who did a decent job filling Deshaun Watson’s shoes last year and led Clemson to the Playoff. While he is perhaps the most hyped quarterback prospect of all time, Trevor Lawrence is not the starting quarterback at Clemson. Yet.

Running backs are a bad bet

You’ll notice a couple running backs in the top ten, which just isn’t good betting. College football has moved away from the running back position generally, and quarterbacks have won 15 of the last 18 Heisman trophies. Bryce Love did pretty much everything a running back could do last year, but thanks to his position and conference he wasn’t close to Baker Mayfield in final voting. Seeing him as a Heisman favorite once again is baffling.

If the above wasn’t enough to win Bryce Love a Heisman in 2017, what does he have to do in 2018? What more can he do?

Geoff Johnson

MTS co-founder Geoff Johnson is a lifelong Mets fan, something he can't do anything about. He has a great track record when it comes to wagering on baseball – largely because he's more than willing to bet against the Mets. His career profits are impressive, but not quite as good as his handsome friend Frank Lorenzo. He wishes he hadn't let Frank write his profile.