2018 Heisman Trophy Winner Odds

The Heisman Trophy is awarded to the most outstanding player in college football each year.  Before the start of each season, oddsmakers set the odds for those players who are most likely to win the award.  Recently, being listed as the favorite in the preseason has been all but a guarantee not to win the Heisman (see our table at the bottom of the page for past results).

There isn’t much of a competition this year as Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa has continued to improve his odds throughout the season. He now has a better than 64% chance to win the award. It’s not very surprising. He is the most visible player on the most dominant team in the nation and the only way he gets knocked from the top spot is if he is injured or Alabama completely collapses late. While an injury isn’t out of the question – he has had knee problems this year – it’s not likely that the Crimson Tide finish this season poorly.

It’s crazy at this point to think that Bryce Love (now unlisted) was the favorite to win the trophy at the start of the year. Running backs have all but disappeared from the Heisman conversation, and I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a casual college football fan that could name the best running back in the country. In any case, the table below shows the odds on the remaining contenders for this year’s best player in college football from Bovada.

The Change column shows any movement in the odds since our last update (8/13).  The last column, titled “Hesiman” represents the implied odds each player has to win the award at the given market odds.

2018 Heisman Trophy: Updated Odds to Win

Player Class Pos School Odds Change Heisman
Tua Tagovailoa SO QB Alabama -450 +1210 64.23%
Kyler Murray JR QB Oklahoma +500 +350 13.08%
Will Grier SR QB West Virginia +700 +200 9.81%
Shea Patterson JR QB Michigan +2000 -400 3.74%
Travis Etienne SO RB Clemson +2500 -800 3.02%
Trevor Lawrence FR QB Clemson +2500 -400 3.02%
Gardner Minshew GRAD QB Washington State +5000 -2750 1.54%
Dwayne Haskins SO QB Ohio State +10000 -7600 0.78%
McKenzie Milton JR QB UCF +10000 -7500 0.78%

Past Heisman Winners & Preseason Favorites Odds

If you are thinking about placing a wager on a player to win the Heisman, you may want to consider picking someone other than the favorite.  Since we started archiving these odds in 2009, no favorite to win prior to the season has ended up taking home the award.  In fact, many of the players who ended up winning were not listed with odds to win in the preseason, we’ve marked those players with an asterisk (*).

Perhaps most notably, Johnny Manziel in 2012 wasn’t even available to bet in futures markets until the eight week of the season.  At that time he had the sixth-best odds on the board at +1200, with Geno Smith listed as the favorite at -250 (Braxton Miller +500, Collin Klein +700, Matt Barkley +800, and DeAnthony Thomas +800 were all listed ahead of him as well).

Given the past results, you’re better off taking a player in the +2000 range than hoping the preseason favorite pays off.

Year Winner Preseason Favorite Preseason
2017 Baker Mayfield +1000 Sam Darnold +500
2016 Lamar Jackson +10000 DeShaun Watson +500
2015 Derrick Henry +2500 Trevone Boykin +625
2014 Marcus Mariota +425 Jameis Winston +240
2013 Jameis Winston* +600 Braxton Miller/Johnny Manziel +350
2012 Johnny Manziel* +1200 Matt Barkley +300
2011 Robert Griffin III +2800 Andrew Luck +325
2010 Cam Newton* +2000 Mark Ingram +400
2009 Mark Ingram* +3300 Tim Tebow +225

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