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Lawrence & Tagovailoa Getting Over 40% of 2019 Heisman Betting Handle at BookMaker.eu

Jay Berwanger's 1935 Heisman Trophy.
The Heisman Trophy betting trends show the two big favorites getting a huge chunk of the action. Photo by Cole Camplese (flickr) [CC License].
  • Tua Tagovailoa and Trevor Lawrence are both around +250 to win the 2019 Heisman Trophy
  • Last year, no player was shorter than +600 when the odds first opened
  • The two favorites are receiving by far the most money from early bettors

The 2019 Heisman Trophy odds show a rare dynamic. Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence are massive favorites to win college football’s most prestigious individual award. Averaging their odds across online sportsbooks, they are +250 co-favorites to win the 2019 Heisman come January 2020.

Last year, no player was shorter than +600 at the outset (though Tua quickly changed that with an electric September).

According to the powers-that-be at BookMaker.eu, Tagovailoa and Lawrence — who went head-to-head in last year’s National Championship game — have received 42% of all the money wagered on the site’s Heisman futures so far.

Lawrence leads the way at 23%, while Tua clocks in at 19%. No other player has received more than 10%.

Heisman Betting by Handle: Top-Five Players

Player (Pos/Team) Percentage of Betting Handle at BookMaker.eu
Trevor Lawrence (QB, Clemson) 23%
Tua Tagovailoa (QB, Alabama) 19%
Jake Fromm (QB, Georgia) 10%
Jalen Hurts (QB, Oklahoma) 8%
Justin Herbert (QB, Oregon) 7%

The hype around these two is warranted. While predicting who will win the Heisman before the season starts is incredibly tricky — the winner rarely goes wire-to-wire as the betting favorite — it’s incredibly easy to predict the resume that the eventual winner will have.

Three straight and eight of the last nine winners have been quarterbacks. They have also tended to be quarterbacks for teams that are in the national championship conversation.

Kyler Murray (2018) and Baker Mayfield (2017) both led Oklahoma to a CFP berth. Marcus Mariota (2014) did the same for Oregon, and Jameis Winston (2013) took Florida State to a title. Lamar Jackson (2016) is the outlier. His Louisville team tied Clemson at the top of the ACC Atlantic before late-season non-conference stumbles saw them finish the year ranked 21st in the AP Poll.

So it’s unsurprising that bettors are putting their money on Lawrence and Tua, even at odds this short.

Opening Heisman Odds vs Current Heisman Odds

Player (Pos/Team) Opening Odds Current Odds
Trevor Lawrence (QB, Clemson) +250 +285
Tua Tagovailoa (QB, Alabama) +300 +255
Jake Fromm (QB, Georgia) +1500 +1650
Jalen Hurts (QB, Oklahoma) +700 +925
Justin Herbert (QB, Oregon) +1800 +1900

Clemson and Alabama were at -540 and -360, respectively, to qualify for the four-team playoff as of mid-August. No other team was shorter than Georgia at +120.

And both quarterbacks have already proven their ability to put up huge numbers.

Tagovailoa racked up 3,966 yards (fifth-most), 43 touchdown passes (second-most), and just 6 interceptions last year.

Tagovailoa racked up 3,966 yards (fifth-most), 43 touchdown passes (second-most), and just 6 interceptions last year. That was while sitting on the bench in many fourth quarters. Only Kyler Murray averaged more yards per attempt (13.0 vs 12.8).

Lawrence had a few quiet games as a true freshman after taking over the starting job from Kelly Bryant mid-season, but he also threw for at least 295 yards in six of his last eight. That includes 347 yards and 3 TDs against Alabama in the title game, and 327 yards and 3 TDs in the semifinal against Notre Dame.

He didn’t throw a pick in either one, and he ended the year with 30 touchdown passes to just 4 INTs.

In other words, both are likely to put up huge stats on a potentially undefeated team. That’s the archetypal Heisman resume.

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