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Heisman Futures: Quarterbacks Leading the Charge Early

2019 Heisman Trophy Odds

The 2019-20 season is quickly approaching and the Heisman Trophy race looks to be an early battle between the two quarterbacks who faced off in the national championship game. Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence got the best of Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship Game, but Tagovailoa is a +250 favorite to win this coveted award with Lawrence just behind at +275.

Online sportsbook Bovada has Tagovailoa at +250 followed by Lawrence at +275, Justin Fields (Ohio State QB) at +900, Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma QB) at +1000, Adrian Martinez (Nebraska QB) at +1100, Jake Fromm (Georgia QB) at +1400, Sam Ehlinger (Texas QB) at +1500, and Jonathan Taylor (Wisconsin RB) and Justin Herbert (Oregon QB) at +2000 to round out the top candidates to win the 2019 Heisman Trophy.

Can Tagovailoa Get Over the Hump in 2019?

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had a monster year in his first season as a starter, resulting in him being the runner-up in the 2018 Heisman Trophy voting. Personally, I thought Tagovailoa should have won the award as he put up very impressive numbers and only played one fourth quarter all season, excluding the College Football Playoff.

The Hawaii native led a Crimson Tide offense that was third-best in the nation at 45.6 points per game and included the sixth-best pass attack with 323.6 passing yards per game. Overall, Tagovailoa threw for 3,966 yards to rank fifth in college football while adding 43 touchdown passes, the second-most, against only six interceptions. Look for the junior to take a step forward in what could be his final year before he plays on Sundays, and if he can find another gear, +250 is an absolute steal.

Lawrence has Reason to be One of Favorites

Heading into Week 5 of the 2018-19 college football season, I said that futures bettors should keep an eye on Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence as a potential Heisman winner but not being the starter for the first four weeks buried his chances and I was possibly a year off. Lawrence knocked off senior QB Kelly Bryant in his true freshman season and that decision by Dabo Swinney was the correct one as the Georgia native carried the Tigers to a national championship.

Clemson averaged 44.3 points per game, but that rose to 47.44 ppg in the nine games that Lawrence was the starting QB, excluding playoffs. On the year, he tossed 3,280 yards (ranked 21st) with 30 TDs (10th) and just four interceptions and, once again, he didn’t become the starter until Week 5. What could his numbers have been had he been at the helm all season? Coming off an impressive national championship game and with another year to mature and develop, Lawrence is definitely worthy enough to be considered one of the favorites to win the coveted award.

Here’s a look at the full odds to win the 2019 Heisman Trophy:

2019 Heisman Trophy Winner Odds
Tua Tagovailoa (QB Alabama)+250
Trevor Lawrence (QB Clemson)+275
Justin Fields (QB Ohio State)+900
Jalen Hurts (QB Oklahoma)+1000
Adrian Martinez (QB Nebraska)+1100
Jake Fromm (QB Georgia)+1400
Sam Ehlinger (QB Texas)+1500
Jonathan Taylor (RB Wisconsin)+2000
Justin Herbert (QB Oregon)+2000
Shea Patterson (QB Michigan)+2500
Najee Harris (RB Alabama)+2800
Travis Etienne (RB Clemson)+3000
Ian Book (QB Notre Dame)+3500
AJ Dillon (RB Boston College)+4000
D'Andre Swift (RB Georgia)+4500
Jerry Jeudy (WR Alabama)+4500
Austin Kendall (QB West Virginia)+5000
Rondale Moore (WR Purdue)+5000
Tee Higgins (WR Clemson)+6000
D'Eriq King (QB Houston)+6500
Tate Martell (QB Miami)+6600
Kelly Bryant (QB Missouri)+7500
Khalil Tate (QB Arizona)+7500
Eno Benjamin (RB Arizona State)+8000
K.J. Costello (QB Stanford)+8000
Tylan Wallace (WR Oklahoma State)+10000

Odds as of July 22 at Bovada

Archived Articles

The ballots have been cast and Saturday we will know who the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner will be. For the first time all season, we have a new favorite to win the coveted award as Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray has surpassed Tua Tagovailoa on the oddsboard at -190 with the Alabama QB coming back at +150. The third finalist vying for the trophy is Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins, who is in the rear-view mirror with +6000 odds.

Did Murray’s Redemption win him the Heisman?

For nearly the entire season, junior quarterback Kyler Murray has been trailing Tua Tagovailoa on the oddsboard but has finally surpassed him when it matters, right when the votes are being cast. The biggest knock against the Texas native was his Week 6 loss in the Red River Showdown vs Texas, although it is hard to knock his performance in that game as he threw for 304 yards with four touchdowns while also rushing for 92 yards and one more touchdown.

However, Murray avenged that loss in the Big 12 championship on Saturday, as the Sooners topped the Longhorns 39-27 and with the win they grabbed the fourth spot in the College Football Playoff. Once again, Murray dazzled as he threw for 379 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Overall this season, the junior amassed the third-most passing yards in the nation (4,053) and the second-most touchdowns (40) and had the best quarterback rating (96) – definitely worthy of being named the 2018 Heisman Trophy recipient.

Tagovailoa’s stumble in the SEC championship game could be costly

Heisman Trophy voters like to see how players perform in big games to decide who wins the coveted award, and unfortunately for Tua Tagovailoa, he had his worst performance of the season in the SEC championship game. The sophomore QB completed just 40 percent of his passes for 164 yards with one touchdown and a career-high two interceptions before leaving the game with an ankle injury with 11 minutes remaining in the game. Jalen Hurts stepped in admirably, leading two touchdown drives for a 35-28 triumph.

Tagovailoa was the heavy favorite all season and rightfully so. He threw for the 14th-most passing yards (3,353), tied for the third-most touchdowns (37), threw just four interceptions and had the second-best quarterback rating (94.2). The Hawaii native put up all those numbers while only playing one complete game all year, against LSU. Outside of that game, he played only a handful of minutes in the fourth quarter all season. In my opinion, Tagovailoa deserves to win the Heisman Trophy, but not dominating in the SEC championship game may hurt his chances. This is the first time since Week 5 that he has been offered at plus-money and it’s still not a bad wager.

Haskins is on the outside looking in

Looking at the odds, you may ask yourself “+6000? Why is this guy even a finalist?” Well, if this were any other season, Dwayne Haskins would likely be the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy. The Ohio State quarterback threw for the most yards in the nation this season (4,580), completed 70.2 percent of his passes, threw for the most touchdowns in the nation (47, seven more than second-place Murray), only tossed eight interceptions and was fourth in quarterback rating (86.9).

Unfortunately for the sophomore, he is the victim of a bad loss to Purdue in Week 8 (49-20). However, it’s hard to place blame on the QB for that defeat as he completed 49 of 73 passes for 470 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in the loss. The Buckeyes had eight games in which a running back did not break 100 yards, forcing a lot of responsibility on the man under center, but that Purdue loss has virtually eliminated Haskins from having a shot at the 2018 Heisman Trophy.

Here’s a look at the oddsboard with the Heisman Trophy being awarded this Saturday:

2018 Heisman Trophy Winner Odds
Kyler Murray (QB Oklahoma)-190
Tua Tagovailoa (QB Alabama)+150
Dwayne Haskins (QB Ohio State)+6000

Odds as of December 4 at Bovada

Archived Articles

The conference championship games are set and now this is the final week for players to make their case for the 2018 Heisman Trophy. Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is still the favorite, as he has been all season, and he increased his odds from -400 last week to -500 this week. The only real threat to the Hawaii native is Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray, who is second on the oddsboard at +350.

Bovada has Tagovailoa as the leader on the oddsboard at -500 followed by Murray at +350, Will Grier at +2000 and Dwayne Haskins at +3300 to round out the four players in the mix for the Heisman Trophy.

Can the Big 12 Championship game shake things up for Murray?

Perhaps the only knock people can have on Kyler Murray to not win the Heisman Trophy this season is Oklahoma’s 48-45 loss to Texas in Week 6 in the Red River Showdown. However, the Big 12 championship game offers a rematch and would redemption change the way the voters look at Murray? In that loss, the Texas native did everything he could to earn the victory, throwing for 304 yards, four touchdowns and one interception, while also rushing for 92 yards and another touchdown, but his defense let him down.

Statistically, the junior quarterback has thrown for 3,674 yards (seventh-most in the nation) and 37 touchdowns (second in the nation) and has a quarterback rating of 96.1 (best in the nation). Additionally, he has rushed for 853 yards and has 11 touchdowns on the ground. So, the big question is, should he be faulted for his team’s poor defense losing that game, and could winning the Big 12 change the voters’ minds?

Tagovailoa deserves to remain the favorite

Although there is a strong case for Murray to claim the 2018 Heisman Trophy, Tagovailoa definitely should be the favorite heading into the conference championships. He has thrown for 3,189 yards (15th in college football), 36 TDs (fourth in the NCAA) and a 95.9 quarterback rating (second-best) and while the sophomore quarterback doesn’t have the rushing stats that Murray has, he has ran for 211 yards with five touchdowns.

However, this is the eye-popping stat for the Hawaii native and why he is the favorite and rightfully so: only once all season has Tagovailoa played an entire game. He played the full four quarters en route to a 29-0 triumph in Death Valley over LSU in Week 10, and he did finish off a drive that ended the third and spilled into the first 30 seconds of the fourth quarter last week in the Iron Bowl. Alabama went 12-0 in the regular season with its starting quarterback playing just one full fourth quarter, and he still ranks in the top five in touchdowns thrown and top 20 in passing yards.

Here’s a look at the odds for the Heisman Trophy heading into the conference championships:

2018 Heisman Trophy Winner Odds
Tua Tagovailoa (QB Alabama)-500
Kyler Murray (QB Oklahoma)+350
Will Grier (QB West Virginia)+2000
Dwayne Haskins (QB Ohio State)+3300
Gardiner Minshew (QB Washington State)+5000
Travis Etienne (RB Clemson)+10000
Trevor Lawrence (QB Clemson)+10000

Odds as of November 27 at Bovada

Archived Articles

We have reached the final week of the college football schedule with conference championship games coming up next week and it appears to be a two-horse race for the 2018 Heisman Trophy. As it has been for the majority of the season, Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa continues to sit atop the oddsboard at -400, but Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray still looms close by at +450.

Bovada has Tagovailoa as the favorite at -400 followed by Murray at +450, Will Grier at +1200 and Gardner Minshew at +3300 to round out the top four on the oddsboard.

Could this weekend secure the Heisman Trophy for Tagovailoa?

Tua Tagovailoa put in one of his better performances of the season in Week 12, albeit against FCS side The Citadel, a game that could have hurt the sophomore quarterback’s Heisman hopes had he underperformed. Instead, he threw his second-most passing yards in a game this year, tossing 340 yards for three touchdowns, completing 81.8 percent of his 22 pass attempts and rushing another touchdown in.

Alabama still has two tough games remaining, at home to Auburn this weekend in the Iron Bowl and in the SEC championship game next weekend vs No. 5 Georgia. I think Tagovailoa needs to take care of business in the Iron Bowl to clinch the 2018 Heisman Trophy. If he were to falter against Georgia in the SEC championship game, voters will look at it as a tough game and he still went wire-to-wire in the regular season and was dominant all along the way.

Would redemption change the voters’ opinion on Murray?

The only real blemish on Kyler Murray’s resume this season is a narrow 48-45 defeat to then-No. 19 Texas in the Red River Showdown in Week 6. In that defeat, the junior quarterback did everything he could to earn a victory, completing 73.1 percent of his passes for 304 yards, four touchdowns and one interception, while also rushing for 92 yards and another touchdown. Oklahoma collides with West Virginia this weekend and if it can earn the victory and Texas can take care of business against Kansas, we will get a rematch of the Red River Showdown in the Big 12 championship game.

Statistically speaking, Murray definitely has a case to be the 2018 Heisman Trophy recipient. He has completed 70.3 percent of his passes, which is the sixth-highest percentage in the nation, has thrown for 3,310 yards (eighth) and 34 touchdowns (fourth), and has a 95.5 quarterback rating which is 0.2 lower than Tagovailoa as the only two QBs with a QBR higher than 90. Additionally, the Texas native has rushed for 739 yards and added 10 rushing touchdowns. If Oklahoma were to avenge its Week 6 defeat to Texas in the Big 12 championship game, Murray may give Tagovailoa a run for his money.

Here’s a look at the odds for the Heisman Trophy heading into Week 13:

2018 Heisman Trophy Winner Odds
Tua Tagovailoa (QB Alabama)-400
Kyler Murray (QB Oklahoma)+450
Will Grier (QB West Virginia)+1200
Gardner Minshew (QB Washington State)+3300
Dwayne Haskins (QB Ohio State)+5000
McKenzie Milton (QB UCF)+5000
Trevor Lawrence (QB Clemson)+5000
Travis Etienne (RB Clemson)+6000
Shea Patterson (QB Michigan)+10000

Odds as of November 20 at Bovada

Archived Articles

There was a shift on the oddsboard as Heisman Trophy favorite Tua Tagovailoa was removed from Alabama’s Week 11 game against Mississippi State with a right knee injury and fell from -1000 to -450. He does remain the favorite heading into Week 12 and head coach Nick Saban says he will be good to go this Saturday, but this definitely opens the door for Kyler Murray (+500), who is second to Tagovailoa.

Bovada has Tagovailoa leading the pack at -450 followed by Murray at +500, Will Grier at +700, Shea Patterson at +2000 and Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne at +2500 to round out the top hopefuls on the oddsboard.

How significant is Tagovailoa’s injury?

For the ninth time through Alabama’s 10 games this year, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa didn’t take a snap in the fourth, but this time it wasn’t because of a lopsided score, but rather for the protection of its standout player. Tagovailoa has been dealing with a knee injury over the last few weeks and it came to a head when he took a low hit against Mississippi State that ended his night, leaving many holding their breath as their Heisman futures bet quickly was in jeopardy. Head coach Nick Saban says the sophomore will be under center this weekend against The Citadel, so perhaps the injury isn’t as bad as it may have appeared at first.

It’ll be interesting to see how long the Hawaii native plays against a weaker FCS side in The Citadel as Alabama will be able to score at will, but it is a good tune-up game prior to the Iron Bowl next week against No. 24 Auburn. The Week 11 match against Mississippi State was Tagovailoa’s worst performance of the year, as he threw for just 164 yards with one touchdown and – for the second straight week – one interception while having a quarterback rating of 37.9. On the season, he has now thrown for 2,525 yards with 28 touchdowns and two interceptions, while leading the nation with a 95.8 QBR.

Murray and Grier continue to put pressure on Tagovailoa

Second and third on the oddsboard are a pair of Big 12 quarterbacks in Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray (+500) and West Virginia’s Will Grier (+700). Both schools have had a hiccup this season with Oklahoma falling in the Red River Showdown in a 48-45 shootout vs Texas, while West Virginia was held down in a 30-14 loss at Iowa State. These two QBs will face off at the end of the season at Milan Puskar Stadium, which will surely dash one of their hopes at lifting the coveted award.

Murray is eighth in the nation with 3,038 passing yards and Grier is right behind him in ninth with 2,961 yards. Meanwhile, the Oklahoma signal-caller has thrown 32 touchdowns and the West Virginia QB has thrown 31. The one edge that Murray has over Grier is on the ground. The Mountaineers QB has rushed just 34 times this year, mostly in victory formation, for a total of -63 yards. The Sooners starter has rushed 96 times for 640 yards with seven touchdowns. All eyes will be on their meeting in Week 13 to be the front-runner behind Tagovailoa if he struggles in the Iron Bowl or the SEC championship game.

Here’s a look at the odds for the Heisman Trophy heading into Week 12:

2018 Heisman Trophy Winner Odds
Tua Tagovailoa (QB Alabama)-450
Kyler Murray (QB Oklahoma)+500
Will Grier (QB West Virginia)+700
Shea Patterson (QB Michigan)+2000
Travis Etienne (RB Clemson)+2500
Trevor Lawrence (QB Clemson)+2500
Gardner Minshew (QB Washington State)+5000
Dwayne Haskins (QB Ohio State)+10000
McKenzie Milton (QB UCF)+10000

Odds as of November 13 at Bovada

Archived Articles

The college football schedule is on its final stretch of the season with most teams having just three games remaining and the Heisman Trophy appears to be heading back to Alabama. Sophomore quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is a runaway train with the top odds at -1000 to win the coveted award, coming off an impressive victory in Week 10.

Bovada has Tagovailoa leading the pack at -1000 followed by Kyler Murray at +600, Dwayne Haskins at +1400, Shea Patterson at +1400 and Will Grier at +1800 to round out the top five players on the oddsboard.

Tagovailoa exceeded expectations in Death Valley

This article is becoming more and more difficult as the season goes on as Tagovailoa is running away on the oddsboard, but my manager says I have to write this article so I must continue on. The game that many people had circled on their calendar was Alabama’s Week 10 contest on the road against then-No. 3 LSU. The Crimson Tide were getting a lot of criticism on their somewhat light schedule, with some suggestions that perhaps their numbers were inflated. Well, they put those doubts to rest when they dominated all facets of the game against the Tigers, blanking them 29-0, and Tagovailoa shined.

For the first time all season, the Hawaii native played all four quarters. He completed 59.5 percent of his passes, throwing for 295 yards with two touchdowns, and rushed for 49 yards and another score. Tagovailoa also showed that he is, in fact, human as he threw his first interception of the year, ending his streak of 28 touchdowns with no interceptions dating back to the fourth quarter of last year’s national championship game. Looking ahead, ’Bama has a meeting with No. 18 Mississippi State this weekend and doesn’t face another ranked opponent until No. 6 Georgia in the SEC championship game.

Murray and Haskins are having fantastic seasons in their own right

If it were any other year, we would have a terrific race for the Heisman between Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (+600) and Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins (+1400). I was a broken record for most of the season that these two signal-callers were just waiting in the wings for Tagovailoa to stumble. That game for him to struggle was against LSU and that has come and gone.

Murray has thrown the third-most touchdowns this season with 31 and the seventh-most passing yards with 2,689. However, his squad had that hiccup in the Red River Showdown vs then-No. 19 Texas, falling 48-45, even though the junior did everything he could to win that game. He threw for 304 yards with four touchdowns and one interception, while adding 92 rushing yards and another TD.

A similar story can be written for Haskins. The sophomore has thrown for 3,053 yards, which is the third-most in the nation, and 32 touchdowns, ranking in a tie for best in the NCAA. But much like the Sooners, the Buckeyes had a rough go in Week 8, losing 49-20 to Purdue. Similar to Murray in his defeat, Haskins completed 67.1 percent of his 73 pass attempts, throwing for 470 yards but just two touchdowns.

Here’s a look at the odds for the Heisman Trophy heading into Week 11:

2018 Heisman Trophy Winner Odds
Tua Tagovailoa (QB Alabama)-1000
Kyler Murray (QB Oklahoma)+600
Dwayne Haskins (QB Ohio State)+1400
Shea Patterson (QB Michigan)+1400
Will Grier (QB West Virginia)+1800
Gardner Minshew (QB Washington State)+5000
Trevor Lawrence (QB Clemson)+6600
Travis Etienne (RB Clemson)+10000
McKenzie Milton (QB UCF)+10000

Odds as of November 6 at Bovada