Heisman Trophy Odds: The Top 5 Contenders, Week 17

Heisman Trophy Odds: The Top 5 Contenders, Week 17
Wed 23rd December 2020

Following a 52-46 win over the Florida State Gators, the No. 1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide earned another trip to the college football playoffs and bolted three of their offensive weapons into Heisman contention. 

Devonta Smith, wide receiver, Alabama Crimson Tide

Odds to win Heisman Trophy: -184 

Looking to become just the fourth non quarterback to lift the Heisman trophy since 2000, Alabama’s DeVonta Smith is the favourite to win the 2020 Heisman trophy heading into the college football playoffs. Smith closed out the season with 15 receptions, 184 yards and two touchdowns in Alabama’s 52-46 win over Florida in the SEC championship game. In Alabama’s 11-0 run this season Smith led the FBS in catches (98) and receiving yards (1,511) while also finishing second in touchdowns with 17. 

Michigan’s Desmond Howard was the last receiver to win the Heisman in 1991 and Dallas Cowboys star Amari Cooper the last receiver to finish in the top three for his 2014 season. In what has been one of the most electrifying seasons by a receiver in college football history, DeVonta Smith’s innate ability to consistently make big plays makes it hard to look past him as the best player in the country regardless of position. 

Mac Jones, quarterback, Alabama Crimson Tide

Odds to win Heisman Trophy: +161 

Given that Alabama are 11-0 and have earned the No. 1 ranking in the country, it is tough to look past quarterback Mac Jones in the 2020 Heisman race. Jones finished the season with 3,739 passing yards, 32 touchdowns and only four interceptions with a FBS-best 76.5 completion percentage after adding 418 yards and five touchdowns in Alabama’s SEC championship win over Florida.  

Given that Alabama’s offense is littered with talent, Heisman voters are likely to slightly look past Jones due to the help he’s had this season, with a Crimson Tide receiver and running back both top candidates themselves. However, Jones’ ability to perform in big games will likely keep him in contention for first place votes. In his four games against ranked opponents, Jones averaged 393 passing yards per game with 18 touchdowns and three interceptions. Looking to become Alabama’s first quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy, Jones is undoubtedly a more than worthy candidate. 

Trevor Lawrence, quarterback, Clemson Tigers

Odds to win Heisman Trophy:  +920 

The apparent consensus number one pick for the 2021 NFL draft, Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence is looking to cap off his historic run at the collegiate level with a Heisman trophy. Following Lawrence’s 322 passing yards, 90 rushing yards and three total touchdowns in the Tigers ACC championship victory against Notre Dame, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney gave an impassioned speech urging Heisman voters to understand that Lawrence is the best player in the nation. With 2,753 yards, 22 touchdowns, four interceptions and seven rushing touchdowns in his nine games as a starter this season, Swinney does have a point, Lawrence is a star. 

Given that Lawrence missed two starts after testing positive for COVID-19, his stats are not league leading or record breaking like some of the other candidates. However, if the Heisman voters can look past the statistics and judge Lawrence on his value and talent, he is undeniably a chance of winning the 2020 Heisman trophy. 

Najee Harris, running back, Alabama Crimson Tide

Odds to win Heisman Trophy:  +2820 

Alabama’s running back Najee Harris has mounted his own case for the Heisman trophy as one of the three offensive stars on the Crimson Tide’s offense. Harris rushed for 1,262 yards and 24 touchdowns this season, while also adding 32 catches for 316 yards and three touchdowns in the air. Heisman voters were put on notice in Alabama’s SEC championship game victory over Florida after Harris racked up 178 rushing yards, 67 receiving yards and five total touchdowns. 

Like Jones and Smith, it is going to be tough to split the votes between the Crimson’s Tide’s three stars. However, Harris has been a consistent beast throughout his college career scoring 2+ touchdowns in eight of Alabama’s 11 games this season while also becoming the Crimson Tide’s all-time rushing leader with 3,639 yards in his collegiate career. A deserved chance to become the fourth running back since 2000 to win the Heisman. 

Kyle Trask, quarterback, Florida Gators

Odds to win Heisman Trophy:  +3067 

Given that Trevor Lawrence missed two games this season and the three Alabama stars will be hard to split, Florida’s Kyle Trask present’s great value to win the Heisman trophy for his 2020 season. Trask has the statistical edge over fellow quarterbacks Lawrence and Jones, leading the FBS with 4,125 yards and 43 touchdowns this season, including 3+ touchdowns in 10 of the 11 games that he played. In the Gators SEC championship loss to Alabama, Trask threw for 408 yards and four total touchdowns, pushing the nation’s No. 1 ranked team in a 52-46 thriller.  

Statistically Trask is hard to look past in the Heismas race. Compared to Joe Burrow’s 2019 Heisman season (378.1 passing yards and 4 touchdowns per game), Trask has been putting up almost identical numbers, with 375 passing yards and 3.9 TD passes per game. However, even with Trask’s incredible season, Florida failed to make the college football playoffs with an 8-3 record, making it tougher to mount the case for Trask as the best player in the country. 

*Odds correct at the time of publishing.

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Image by: Matthew Tosh

Jesse is and always has been a lover of sports. No matter the league, no matter the game, Jesse is constantly keeping up to date with the latest odds, news, injuries and stats. He has a strong interest in the NBA and the NFL, and he will always strive to keep you up to date with the best news, odds, predictions and picks that the ever engaging sporting world has to offer.