Latest 2019 Heisman Trophy Odds: Can a Running Back Still Win College Football’s Top Honor?

  • Bovada has updated 2019 Heisman Trophy odds with college football season just months away
  • Georgia’s D’Andre Swift (+1700) and Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor (+1700) are the running backs with the best chance to win the award
  • Clemson’s Travis Etienne (+1900) and Alabama’s Najee Harris (+2800) are also in the running, but may be overshadowed by their quarterbacks

I’m not going to lie to you. The odds on who will win the 2019 Heisman Trophy have barely moved since we last checked in a month ago. Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence (+250) and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa (+250) are still prohibitive favorites to strike the Heisman pose at season’s end.

So, rather than discuss Tuscaloosa’s dual-threat QB, the Tigers’ young golden-haired Adonis, or the terrific transfers that are currently spectacular values — Justin Fields (+1100) and Jalen Hurts (+1200) -– I’ll instead focus my attention on the four running backs who are facing long odds to win the Heisman.

Let’s check the current odds at Bovada:

2019 NCAA Heisman Trophy

Winner Odds to Win 2019 Heisman Trophy at Bovada
Trevor Lawrence (QB Clemson) +250
Tua Tagovailoa (QB Alabama) +250
Justin Fields (QB Ohio State) +1100
Adrian Martinez (QB Nebraska) +1200
Jalen Hurts (QB Oklahoma) +1200
D’Andre Swift (RB Georgia) +1700
Jonathan Taylor (RB Wisconsin) +1700
Jake Fromm (QB Georgia) +1800
Ian Book (QB Notre Dame) +1900
Travis Etienne (RB Clemson) +1900
Justin Herbert (QB Oregon) +2200
Sam Ehlinger (QB Texas) +2300
Najee Harris (RB Alabama) +2800
Jerry Jeudy (WR Alabama) +3000
Shea Patterson (QB Michigan) +3000
Austin Kendall (QB West Virginia) +3500
Tee Higgins (WR Clemson) +3500

*Odds taken on 05/23/19

Najee Harris (+2800)

Before putting money down on any back, keep in mind that only three non-QBs have struck the Heisman pose since the year 2000: Reggie Bush (2005, since vacated), Mark Ingram (2009), and Derrick Henry (2015).

Considering the last two Heisman-winning RBs played for the Crimson Tide, Harris would seem to be in the pole position after averaging a team-leading 6.7 yards per carry last season. However, while his former backfield mates Josh Jacobs (Raiders) and Damien Harris (Patriots) are now in the NFL, the five-star athlete now has to fend off bulldozing Brian Robinson Jr. for carries.

Travis Etienne (+1900)

Already projected as a first rounder in Todd McShay’s way-too-early 2020 NFL mock draft, Etienne shattered Clemson records in rushing yards (1,658) and rushing touchdowns (24) in his sophomore year, but one would assume the reigning ACC Player of the Year might see less work as Lawrence continues to improve.

Jonathan Taylor (+1700)

Also squarely on the radar of NFL draftniks is Taylor, who followed up his freshman season (1,977 rushing yards) by leading the FBS in rushing (2,194 yards) and scoring 16 TDs. Entering his junior year, the Big Ten’s best back should hit the ground running after moonlighting on the Badgers’ track team this spring.

D’Andre Swift (+1700)

Swift has a few things going for him. First, he has an extremely on point name for a running back. Second, the Bulldogs have a history of producing stud NFL runners; the most recent two being the guys (Nick Chubb and Sony Michel) that he played behind as a freshman. And last but not least, Saquon Barkley is a big fan.

“That guy is special,” said the Giants star running back on ESPN. “He can do it all. He can catch it out of the backfield. He is strong, he is powerful, he has speed. He is going to be a top 5, top 10 pick in a couple years. I am telling you.”

Game knows game. If you feel like living dangerously and placing a Heisman bet on a RB, put your money on the 5-foot-9, 215-pound dynamo.

Steve Dominey

Steve has almost 15 years of experience in marketing, PR and sports television. After acquiring a Journalism degree from Carleton University, he assembled highlight packs for Canada's most-watched sports network (TSN) before transitioning to a career in communications. He describes himself as a good father, great dog owner, and mediocre gambler and husband.