The college football season is two months away and there is already movement in who bettors believe will win the Heisman Trophy.
The award is given to the most outstanding athlete as voted by 870 media members, as well as former winners.
Quarterbacks have tended to dominate, winning 15 times since 2000. Running backs have won the other three years. The last time a defensive player won was cornerback Charles Woodson in 1997.
In a bit of a surprise Stanford running back Bryce Love is the early favorite to take home the hardware. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has him at 6/1. Internet sportsbook BetOnline has him at 5/1.
Two quarterbacks right behind him are Alabama’s quarterback Tua Tagovailoa at 7/1, and Wisconsin quarterback Jonathan Taylor at 8/1.
Bryce Love Getting Love
Love was a late dark horse candidate last year for the Heisman. The Stanford running back was at 100/1 at one point, before slowly moving up the board. By the time of the cutoff for wagering he had sprung to 8/1.
Bypassing a chance to leave early for the NFL, Love is coming back for his senior year. With most of the offensive line returning, Love decided so would he.
“It wasn’t really a tough decision to me,” Love said. “I had goals and wanted to do amazing things. Talking about them and actually doing them is something different. For me it was just having the opportunity to come back and play.”
Though Love is now the frontrunner, there was a lot of movement last year for the honor, and the same could happen again this year. in 2017, USC quarterback Sam Darnold was the opening odds favorite, but inconsistency, and the Trojans mediocre season, dropped him to 100/1.
Another player that started hot, but fell out of favor was Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson. He began close behind Darnold at 8/1, but faded to 40/1.
Injury can derail a candidate’s chances. Florida quarterback Deondre Francois was 12/1, but suffered a season-ending knee injury in the team’s first game.
Crowded Field of Contenders
Francois is 40/1 this year, as questions abound about how healthy he is, and how well the Seminoles will play this season. They are 45/1 to win the College Football Championship, and that might hurt his chances.
Same thing for Love. The Cardinal is 50/1, and if the team does not impress voters and move up the poll during the season, Love will not get much support.
Two quarterbacks playing for top-ranked teams that are getting attention are the Crimson Tide’s Tagovailoa, and Clemson signal caller Trevor Lawrence. It’s ironic because the two are embroiled in a fight with another player for the position.
That didn’t stop someone from walking into the Westgate and putting a sizable bet on Tagovailoa at 12/1. That necessitated oddsmakers to lower his odds to 7/1.
Lawrence jumped from 60/1 to 30/1 after a similar bet was made at the sportsbook. The incoming freshman now has the same odds as the man he is looking to replace. Returning starter Kelly Bryant has not been promised the starting job and the junior will compete with the top recruit in the nation for the starting role.