We're roughly 11 months away from the awarding of the 2020 Heisman Trophy, but that doesn't mean there aren't already odds available for it. Hell, there were odds for the 2020 Heisman winner before they'd finished engraving Joe Burrow's name on the 2019 award. While Heisman talk has taken a backseat to College Football Playoff discussion, betting on it is still prevalent.
The Westgate Superbook released its odds for the award on Monday, and it should come as no surprise that Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields are the co-favorites at 4-1. Fields was a finalist for the award in 2019, finishing in third behind Burrow and Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts. Lawrence wasn't a finalist, finishing seventh in the voting, but will enter 2020 as the assumed No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft while playing for a Clemson team many expect to compete for another national title.
Before I get to the full list (you can skip to the bottom to see it if you're impatient), I'd like to share a few thoughts on the odds listed.
1. Lawrence is a better bet than Fields. Both enter the 2020 season in familiar positions as the most important players on two of the best teams in the country. There's a strong possibility that they will meet again in a College Football Playoff game. Still, I think Lawrence is the better bet just because he'll have the additional NFL Draft hype. I'm not saying that it should affect his Heisman chances, but it does.
2. I wouldn't bet on Spencer Rattler at these odds. It's somewhat surprising to see the Oklahoma QB with the third-best odds, isn't it? In fact, I'm willing to bet that for a lot of people currently reading this, it's the first time you've heard of Rattler. It's understandable seeing as how he's never started a game for Oklahoma, nor is he a big-name transfer from somewhere else. No, it appears that in 2020, Lincoln Riley plans to mold a player he recruited to Norman.
Now, while it's a surprise to see Rattler this high, it does make sense. Since Riley took over at Oklahoma, he has had two QBs win the Heisman (Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray) and a third finish second (Jalen Hurts). Rattler might be a new face, but he was a highly ranked recruit (he was a five-star who was rated the No. 1 pro-style QB in the 2019 class) who will be playing in an offense that puts up ridiculous numbers. Still, at 12-1, there's better value available. I was hoping that Rattler would be closer to 20-1 than 10-1. That would have been good value.
3. I don't like the odds on any of the running backs. The Heisman has become more of a QB award than anything, and given the explosion of passing offenses in college football, I wouldn't expect that to change any time soon. In fact, I would bet that a wide receiver will win the award before another running back does, and they might not even have to contribute on special teams to do so.
As for this season, the two favorites at running back are Clemson's Travis Etienne and Oklahoma State's Chuba Hubbard. Both were expected to leave for the NFL after 2019, and both surprised by returning. That's great for college football! Still, I'm not too fond of either of their odds. Etienne is a terrific player capable of having another outstanding season, but everything he does will be in the shadow of Trevor Lawrence. As for Hubbard, he's capable of having the kind of season that gets Heisman attention, too. I know this because he just did. He finished 2019 with 2,094 yards and 21 touchdowns with another 198 yards receiving. That season was good enough to finish eighth in Heisman voting. Hubbard would need to have a better season while Oklahoma State was competing for a playoff spot to have a realistic shot.
4. Jamie Newman is an interesting option. A lot of people aren't familiar with Newman because, while he put up great numbers at Wake Forest, he put up great numbers at Wake Forest. There weren't a whole lot of people paying attention. Well, now he's stepping into the starting role at Georgia. A team that, despite losing a lot of players, is still one of the most talented teams in the country, and is a team that will compete for an SEC title in 2020. If you're competing for an SEC title, you're competing for a playoff berth.
Plus, with the hiring of Todd Monken to run the offense, the Georgia attack will look a lot different than what it looked like in 2019. Monken is going to open things up in a way that won't be all that dissimilar from what LSU did in 2019. I'm not saying that Georgia will be 2020's version of LSU, but I do believe Newman is going to put up the kind of numbers that get Heisman consideration. If he does all that while Georgia is competing for a playoff bid, 14-1 is a reasonable price.
5. Kellen Mond is a lottery ticket. It's not the kind of bet you'd make expecting it to win, but it is a long shot that could pay off. If Texas A&M takes a step forward to compete in the SEC West in 2020, it would only make sense that Kellen Mond is having a big season. That would launch him into the Heisman conversation, so at 50-1, it's not a bad punt.
Here's the full list:
Justin Fields, Ohio State: 4-1
Trevor Lawrence, Clemson: 4-1
Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma: 12-1
Sam Ehlinger, Texas: 14-1
Jamie Newman, Georgia: 14-1
Travis Etienne, Clemson: 20-1
Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State: 20-1
Ian Book, Notre Dame: 20-1
Kedon Slovis, USC: 25-1
Myles Brennan, LSU: 25-1
Mac Jones, Alabama: 25-1
Bo Nix, Auburn: 25-1
D'Eriq King, Miami: 25-1
Adrian Martinez, Nebraska: 30-1
Sean Clifford, Penn State: 40-1
Najee Harris, Alabama, 40-1
Kellen Mond, Texas A&M: 50-1
Master Teague, Ohio State: 60-1
Tyler Shough, Oregon: 60-1
Brock Purdy, Iowa State: 60-1
C.J. Verdell, Oregon: 60-1
Kyle Trask, Florida: 60-1
Charlie Brewer, Baylor: 60-1
Sam Howell, North Carolina: 60-1
Zamir White, Georgia: 80-1
Michael Penix, Indiana: 100-1
JaMarr Chase, LSU: 100-1
Dylan McCaffrey, Michigan: 100-1
Rondale Moore, Purdue: 100-1
Spencer Sanders, Oklahoma State: 100-1
Devonta Smith, Alabama: 100-1
Jaylen Waddle, Alabama: 100-1
Chubba Purdy, Florida State: 100-1
Michael Warren, Cincinnati: 100-1
Penei Sewell, Oregon: 100-1
Dillon Gabriel, UCF: 100-1
Brady White, Memphis: 100-1
Kenneth Gainwell, Memphis: 100-1
Justyn Ross, Clemson: 100-1
Micale Cunningham, Louisville: 100-1
Hendon Hooker, Virginia Tech: 100-1
Alan Bowman, Texas Tech: 100-1
Dorian Thompson, UCLA: 100-1
Jayden Daniels, Arizona State: 100-1
George Pickens, Georgia: 100-1
Terrace Marshall, LSU: 100-1
Isaiah Spiller, Texas A&M: 100-1
John Rhys Plumlee, Ole Miss: 100-1
Micah Parsons, Penn State: 100-1
Tanner Morgan, Minnesota: 100-1
Wan'dale Robinson, Nebraska: 100-1