7 underdog picks to win the Heisman this college football season

Get the Full StoryStephen Dunn Getty ImagesEvery year the Heisman Trophy is awarded to the most outstanding player in college football, and every year people are quick to deem one player the favorite to win the award before a snap of football has been played.

This year, the de facto favorite for the award is USC quarterback Sam Darnold. The distinction is well-deserved Darnold leads a potent offense with poise, and showed in the Rose Bowl last year that he has what it takes to perform his best under the brightest lights.

But there are other candidates for the award that should not go overlooked, as Heisman winners have a habit of coming out of nowhere to win the award.

For that reason, below we are taking a look at a few players with longer odds to win the Heisman that could potentially string together a special season that leaves them posing at the end of the year. Sam Darnold, Saquon Barkley, and Baker Mayfield are the three biggest favorites to take home the Heisman, but there's plenty of talented options further down the betting sheet as well.

Below are your best underdog bets to come home with the Heisman this year. All odds courtesy of the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.Deondre Francois, 15 1

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Who he is: Sophomore quarterback at Florida State coming off an extremely impressive freshman season.

Why he can win: Last season Francois showed a poise you don't normally expect out of a true freshman under center. As the Seminoles quarterback, he's likely to draw comparisons to Jameis Winston, but he also has some of the agility that helped Lamar Jackson take home the trophy last year. With an early test against Bama and a head-to-head matchup with Jackson due in October, Francois will have ample opportunity to show Heisman voters just what he is capable of.

Key games: Alabama 9 2 , Louisville 10 21 , Clemson 11 11

Jake Browning, 18 1

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Who he is: Washington's Junior quarterback entering his third year under center for the Huskies.

Why he can win: Washington made the playoff last year thanks to Browning's passing and a defense that could hang with the best of them. To compete in the Pac-12 again, the Huskies are going to have to be gunslingers, and Browning has all the tools necessary to light up the stat sheet. Last year he finished with 3,430 passing yards, 43 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions. If he can improve on those numbers and lead the Huskies to the Pac-12 title game, winning the Heisman doesn't seem like a stretch.

Key games: Colorado 9 23 , Oregon 11 4 , Stanford 11 11

Bo Scarbrough, 30 1

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Who he is: Junior running back at Alabama who ran for 270 yards and four touchdowns during the Crimson Tide's two games in the playoff last year.

Why he can win: Two basic aspects of becoming a Heisman finalist is getting on national television and looking good when you do. Alabama is a marquee game every week, and Scarbrough will be a feature of the Crimson Tide's pro-style offensive attack this year. Break enough big runs in the right spots and he'll be in the conversation.

Key games: Florida State 9 2 , LSU 11 4 , Auburn 11 25

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