As we’re already in the thick of June and the temperature is rising, it means football is right around the corner. Now is the time to start doing your homework on all of these teams and players, and one way to make money on the college football side is betting Heisman futures. I like to be realistic with my future bets, but I also like to take chances and shoot for some dark horses. If my money is going to be tied up for a few months, I want some decent return. So, while these may not be popular picks, they’re players who have betting value before the season begins. They're also all quarterbacks considering the position has produced 16 of the last 19 Heisman winners.
So, here are five players I’m looking at who could make a Heisman run in 2019.
Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson (+325) - Trevor Lawrence completed 65.2 percent of his passes for 3,280 yards, 30 touchdowns and four interceptions, leading the Clemson Tigers to a national title. Oh, Lawrence was a freshman last season. We haven’t seen a quarterback this polished and ahead of the curve since Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck. Lawrence has all of the tools and a ridiculous football IQ, which is why I don’t see a sophomore slump in his future. Lawrence should be the Heisman favorite, and because he’s not currently, I have to bet him at these odds.
Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia (+2000) - You may not get better betting value than this, as Jake Fromm is easily a top-five quarterback in the country and you could argue he’s third behind Lawrence and Tua Tagovailoa. Fromm finished in the top-12 last season in touchdown passes, completion percentage and yards per attempt. Fromm also seemed to be getting stronger as the season went on, as he finished his final three games with 688 passing’s yards, 10 touchdown passes and one interception. With a favorable schedule for Georgia, the Bulldogs should make a playoff run this season and that’s going to put Fromm in the Heisman conversation. These odds won’t be there later in the year.
Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon (+2500) - Justin Herbert was probably a first round selection if he entered the NFL Draft, but now he’s a Heisman contender and somebody who can help the Oregon Ducks get back into the national spotlight. One of the most accomplished quarterbacks in the country with 65 career touchdown passes, Herbert has all of the tools to dominate this level if he can just improve his completion percentage. A monster season opener against the Auburn Tigers, if Herbert plays well and leads the Ducks to victory, he’s an early frontrunner to win this award. Take advantage of these odds while you still can.
Khalil Tate, QB, Arizona (+10000) - Khalil Tate was a popular pick to win last years Heisman after what he did towards the end of 2017, but he failed to fulfill expectations and was out of the race quickly after the Arizona Wildcats struggles as team. The good news is Tate no longer is battling injury issues and he has another season under Kevin Sumlin to get comfortable. Tate also showed signs of progress late in the year, finishing his last four games with 15 touchdown passes. The ability is still there and the highlight plays usually come in bulk with this kid. I’m not writing Tate off just yet.
Feleipe Franks, QB, Florida (+10000) - Feleipe Franks went from being another Florida quarterback fans dreaded since the Tim Tebow era to somebody who can lead the program to the SEC Championship. Franks limited his mistakes last season while throwing for 2,457 yards, rushing for 350 yards and scoring 31 total touchdowns. Dan Mullen really is the quarterback whisperer and it’s fair to expect those numbers to improve with another season under his wing. If the Florida Gators really are a dark horse playoff contender, Franks can play his way into the Heisman conversation and give these odds a run for its money.