Current College Football Heisman Odds
Last updated on April 5, 2020.
For the second straight season the quarterbacks from the teams with the best odds to win the National Championship find themselves as the favorites to win the Heisman.
Of course Burrow (+10,000) came out of nowhere to have one of the greatest college football seasons we have ever seen. Kyler Murray won from +2000 in 2018, Mayfield was the favorite at +550 the year before, and Lamar Jackson won from +10,000 in 2016.
Clearly this bet is wide open every year. Will a favorite win this season or will a longshot come out of nowhere to win the trophy. Here are the current odds followed by our favorite bets for the 2020 college football season:
|Justin Fields||QB||Ohio State||+175|
|Sam Howell||QB||North Carolina||+2500|
|Ian Book||QB||Notre Dame||+4000|
|Chuba Hubbard||RB||Oklahoma State||+5000|
|John Rhys Plumlee||QB||Ole Miss||+6000|
|Spencer Sanders||QB||Oklahoma State||+6000|
|Tylan Wallace||WR||Oklahoma State||+8000|
|Brock Purdy||QB||Iowa State||+10000|
|Hendon Hooker||QB||Va Tech||+15000|
Current odds via FanDuel Sportsbook.
Betting the 2020 Heisman Trophy
Let’s start by identifying who the public are on as of right now. According to William Hill, 11% of their bets are on Alabama RB Najee Harris, 10% of the bets are on Trevor Lawrence, and 9% of the bets are on Florida QB Kyle Trask.
When betting the Heisman, there are certain rules that hold true almost every year:
- Take all defensive players and WR’s off your board. 17 of the last 20 winners have been QB’s, with the other 3 being RB’s.
- Not all conferences are created equal. There have been zero winners outside of the Power 5, and the Pac 12 has only won 1 Heisman in the last 14 years.
- Stats matter. Burrow, Murray, Mayfield, Jackson all put up ridiculous numbers, and even Derrick Henry had the 2nd best RB season we had seen in 30 years in 2015. Sorry to the 9% of bettors with money on Trask, but 25 touchdowns in 12 games with only 8 yards rushing on the season will not cut it.
- No true freshman has ever won a Heisman. Manziel and Winston both won as redshirt freshman, but we are yet to see a true freshman win the award.
That being said, our picks buck two of these trends. First, we are including a Pac 12 player on this list… Kedon Slovis would be the first Trojan since Reggie Bush to win the award, and the first Pac 12 player since Marcus Mariota.
Second, we are including a true freshman in our picks. If Bryce Young were to win the award he would be the first true freshman to ever bring it home… but he has to win the starting job first.
Our Favorite Bets for the 2020 Heisman Trophy
Trevor Lawrence (+450)
The fact that Justin Fields has opened as a significant favorite over Lawrence to win the 2020 Heisman is an absolute joke. Lawrence is clearly the better passer, put up better numbers as a runner last season, returns Justyn Ross, Amari Rodgers, and Joe Ngata, and plays a significantly easier schedule.
While his numbers were impressive last season, let’s not forget he started the season slow with only 8 passing touchdowns in the first 5 games. He would go on to throw 26 touchdowns in his next 8. While the presence of Etienne (19 touchdowns in 2019) likely puts Burrow’s 60 TD season out of reach, if Lawrence gets out of the gates hot 50 passing TD’s and 10 rushing is certainly within the realm of possibility.
Sam Ehlinger (+2500)
Many experts think that with Oklahoma losing several key pieces this offseason, Texas is a dark-horse in the Big 12. In fact, most books opened Texas and Oklahoma with even odds to win the Big 12, and FanDuel currently has them at +2500 to win the National Championship, while Oklahoma is at +3000.
If we are up on Texas, why wouldn’t we hammer Ehlinger at +2500 to win the Heisman? His numbers have jumped significantly every year he’s been with Tom Herman and Heisman numbers are not too far out of reach:
The loss of Devin Duvernay hurts, but with Jake Smith, Brennan Eagles, Malcolm Epps, and Cade Brewer the Longhorns still have a loaded group of pass catchers here.
The key stat to keep an eye on is Ehlinger’s rushing touchdowns. They dipped from 16 in 2018 to 7 in 2019. I think he has to get to Kyler Murray’s numbers from 2018 (5,000 total yards and 50 touchdowns) to have a shot this season. If Texas finally takes that next step forward, Ehlinger clearly has the talent and is in the right system to win the Heisman in 2020.
At +2500, there is some value built into the line here, as Ehlinger is +2000 or better on other books and is currently +2000 on the DraftKings sportsbook.
Kedon Slovis (+2500)
The Pac 12 is going to be wide open next season and while it may be a stretch to think USC can run the table with a brutal schedule that opens against Alabama at AT&T stadium and closes with Notre Dame, if they can win the Pac 12 Kedon Slovis should be in the Heisman discussion at the end of the season.
A true freshman playing in Graham Harrell’s pass-heavy system, Slovis averaged over 350 passing YPG in his 10 starts last season, and returns this year with the third highest QB rating (167.6) in the nation amongst returning starters.
While the loss of Michael Pittman and Austin Jackson hurts, the Trojans return 4 starting offensive linemen as well as a loaded group of pass catchers. Amon-Ra St. Brown and Tyler Vaughns are drawing a lot of attention nationally, but fellow freshman Drake London closed 2019 on a tear with 25/358/5 in his last 5 games.
The Trojans should be a much improved football team overall in 2020. They return 82% of their total production (5th in nation), including 87% of their defensive production from last season. With Herbert, Hundley, Moss, and Eason all leaving this offseason, Slovis is arguably the Pac 12’s top returning player and an intriguing Heisman bet at +2500
Bryce Young (+5000)
Apologies to Mac Jones (+2500), but FanDuel has the wrong Alabama quarterback favorited to win the Heisman. There is no way Jones can hold off Young, who is one of the top QB prospects we have seen in years and currently the number two overall player in 247’s 2020 rankings.
Can Young become the first true freshman to win the award? Seems highly unlikely but there are two things to keep in mind here. The first, is the built in value you get (+2500) with FanDuel assuming Mac Jones is going to win the job. The second is Devonta Smith, Jaylon Waddle, John Metchie, Najee Harris, and four returning starters on the offensive line.
This Alabama offense is going to be loaded and could put up even bigger numbers than they did last season. If Young wins the job, and Alabama ends up winning the SEC, you are getting unbelievable value with him at +5000 right now. It’s worth noting here that QB’s have won 17 of the last 20 Heisman trophies, and the SEC has won more Heisman trophies over that span than any other conference in football.
It is also worth noting that Young is +3300 on DraftKings right now, so you are still getting a great price on FanDuel at +5000.
Hendon Hooker (+15000)
Looking for a deep sleeper to come out of nowhere to win the award? No player has come from +15000 to win the award since we started tracking Heisman odds nearly a decade ago. So why do we like Hooker’s chances in 2020?
Similar to Ehlinger and Slovis, this is a player in a great system (Justin Fuente), with a ton of talent returning around him. Virginia Tech and Hendon Hooker finished 2019 on fire and return 82% of their total production this season.
They also play one of the softest power 5 schedules in the country, opening with Liberty, getting Penn State at home, then round out their out of conference schedule with Middle Tennessee and North Alabama. In ACC play, they avoid Clemson and Florida State, get both Miami and Virginia at home, and the toughest road test appears to be North Carolina sandwiched between Georgia Tech and Boston College.
Hooker will be the focal point of the Hokies offense in 2020, and should take a major step forward in year 2 in Fuente’s system. He flashed ability both through the air (13:2 TD/INT ratio) and on the ground (15 carries per game). Virginia Tech’s scoring also jumped from 31 PPG to 36 PPG in Hooker’s 8 starts, and given the schedule, we would expect that number to jump to near 40 PPG in 2020.