Heisman odds for the 2015-16 College Football season were released in late January, and the defending champion Ohio State Buckeyes dominated the top-15 with four candidates listed. This included the front runner in running back Ezekiel Elliott (+600) along with all three of their perspective starting quarterbacks: Cardale Jones (+1,400), J.T. Barrett (+1,600) and Braxton Miller (+1,800).
Jones, who was the Buckeyes starting quarterback in the National Championship game, opened as the favorite to start the first game of the regular season. However, since then the tides have changed and J.T. Barrett is now expected to re-claim the role.
#OhioState Starting QB (Current | April 21 | Feb 24)
Barrett -125 | -200 | +350
Jones +120 | +150 | +110
Miller +250 | +300 | +125
— Sports Insights (@SportsInsights) June 30, 2015
Several weeks after Bovada posted Heisman odds, the sharper oddsmakers at 5Dimes posted their own Heisman futures with a few notable changes. For starters, they listed TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin (+750) as a slight favorite over Elliott. They also posted odds for two players that did not appear on Bovada’s inital list: Arizona QB Jarrett Solomon and Tennessee QB Joshua Dobbs — both of whom opened at +2000.
The table below compares the Heisman odds at 5Dimes throughout the season. As always, we encourage all bettors to shop for the best line before placing any wagers.
|Dalvin Cook||Florida State||+2150||N/A||+10000||+2100||N/A||+2500||+4500||+4000||+4500||+3300||+3300|
|Ezekiel Elliott||Ohio State||+2800||+500||+1000||+1615||+900||+1000||+650||+925||+875||+800||+600|
|Connor Cook||Michigan State||N/A||N/A||+2000||+7500||+6000||+2200||+2750||+3000||+4000||+2000||+2000|
|C.J. Prosise||Notre Dame||N/A||N/A||N/A||+10000||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Justin Thomas||Georgia Tech||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+3500||+6500||+6600||+3300||+3300|
|Ryan Switzer||North Carolina||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+25000||+25000||+15000||N/A||N/A|
|Jacoby Brissett||North Carolina State||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+14000||+14000||+8000||+5000||+5000|
|Braxton Miller||Ohio State||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+1800||+5500||+2800||+2500||+1800|
|D.J. Foster||Arizona State||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+4500||+9000||+6000||+3300||+2500|
|Michael Brewer||Virginia Tech||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+25000||+25000||+15000||N/A||N/A|
|Cardale Jones||Ohio State||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+5000||+2000||+1100||+1900||+1600||+1500||+1400|
|J.T. Barrett||Ohio State||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+2500||+1500||+2300||+2500||+1600|
|Christian Hackenberg||Penn State||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+9000||+9000||+9000||N/A||N/A|
|Malik Zaire||Notre Dame||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+1500||+3500||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Pharoh Cooper||South Carolina||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+12000||+12000||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Mike Bercovici||Arizona State||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+12500||+12500||+15000||N/A||N/A|
|Kyle Allen||Texas A&M||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+3500||N/A||+6600||+6600||+9000||N/A||N/A|
|Marquise Williams||North Carolina||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+17500||+17500||+10000||+5000||+5000|
|Mason Rudolph||Oklahoma State||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+17500||+20000||+5500||+4000||+4000|
|Dak Prescott||Mississippi State||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+2000||+5000||+2000||+2000||+1425||+850||+700|
|Kyler Murray||Texas A&M||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+20000||+20000||+7500||N/A||N/A|
|Luke Falk||Washington St||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+20000||+20000||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Speedy Noil||Texas A&M||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+20000||+20000||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Jon Hilliman||Boston College||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+25000||+25000||+15000||N/A||N/A|
|Joey Bosa||Ohio State||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+25000||+25000||+10000||N/A||N/A|
|Brandon Doughty||Western Kentucky||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+25000||+25000||+15000||N/A||N/A|
|Storm Woods||Oregon State||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+25000||+25000||+15000||N/A||N/A|
|Kenneth Dixon||Louisiana Tech||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+35000||+35000||+20000||N/A||N/A|
|Rashard Higgins||Colorado State||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+30000||+30000||+15000||N/A||N/A|
|Chuckie Keeton||Utah State||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+25000||+25000||+15000||N/A||N/A|
|Dom Williams||Washington State||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+25000||+25000||+15000||N/A||N/A|
|Everett Golson||Florida State||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+5000||+5000||+5000||+3000||N/A||N/A|
|OSU Player||Ohio State||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+560||N/A||N/A|
|Myles Garrett||Texas A&M||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+15000||+20000||N/A||N/A||N/A|
It’s interesting to see Bovada listed a running back as the preseason favorite despite the fact that quarterbacks have been awarded the Heisman Trophy in each of the past five seasons. It may also interest bettors to know that Ohio State is tied with Notre Dame for the most Heisman wins all-time with seven.
When we re-examined the odds months later, we noticed a number of changes. Not only was there significant line movement, but we also saw odds posted for a number of new players — perhaps most notable is new Florida State quarterback Everett Golson who opened at +3000.
With all of the indecision regarding the Ohio State starting quarterback, it was interesting to see 5Dimes post odds for any Ohio State player to win the Heisman (+560). This bet would include the QB’s (Barrett, Jones and Miller) in addition to running back Ezekiel Elliott (+875) and defensive end Joey Bosa (+10000).
Looking for a potentially undervalued player? How about Baylor QB Seth Russell at +5000? The rising Junior will finally emerge from the shadows after years of backing up perennial Heisman candidate Bryce Petty. The 6’3″ quarterback passed for 438 yards and 5 touchdowns in his loan start last season, and will benefit from the Bears prolific, speed-oriented, passer-friendly offense.
Baylor led all of FBS in scoring last season and will return leading rusher Shock Linwood (1252 rush yards in ’14), along with receivers Corey Coleman (64 receptions for 1,119 yards), KD Cannon (58 receptions for 1,030 yards) and Jay Lee (41 receptions for 633 yards). This team has the fourth best odds of winning the national title, but Russell is listed as a Heisman longshot at +3,300.
When we first posted this article, there were also a few peculiar differences between the Heisman odds at 5Dimes and Bovada. Clemson QB Deshaun Watson, who was injured for half of his freshman season, was listed at +3300 to win the award at Bovada but just +1500 at 5Dimes.
On the flip side there is the case of LSU running back Leonard Fournette, who rushed for over 1,000 and 10 touchdowns as a freshman. The nation’s top recruit in 2014, Fournette’s Heisman odds are +1150 at 5Dimes but just +700 at Bovada.
The table below shows the past winners of this award along with their odds and the first week that they were available as an option (via SportsOddsHistory.com).
|2013||Jameis Winston||Florida State||Week 2||+600|
|2012||Johnny Manziel||Texas A&M||Week 8||+1200|
|2011||Robert Griffin III||Baylor||Pre-Season||+2800|
|2010||Cam Newton||Auburn||Week 3||+2000|
|2009||Mark Ingram||Alabama||Week 4||+3300|
Still looking for a sleeper pick? Check out how oddsmakers view expectations for some of the top players in the nation.
We recommended betting on Baylor’s Seth Russell to win the Heisman when he was still listed at +5000. Before the start of the season he jumped to +2000 and, after posting 435 total yards and 6 total touchdowns in Week 1, Russell has leaped to +1200. That gives him the sixth-best odds in the Nation.
In another interesting Week 1 development, Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliot rushed for 122 yards on just 11 carries and saw his Heisman odds improve from +925 to +650. During that same time, TCU’s Trevone Boykin was mediocre in his season debut and dropped from +625 to +750.
Other significant moves other the past ten days include Cardale Jones (+1900 to +1100) who was named as Ohio State’s starting quarterback over J.T. Barrett (who dropped from +1500 to +2500). It was also great to see Braxton Miller thrive in his first game since being converted to wide receiver. The 6’2″ senior tallied 78 receiving yards, 62 rushing yards and one highlight reel spin move en route to a touchdown. This impressive debut moved Miller from +5500 to +1800.
BYU’s Taysom Hill (Foot) and Pittsburgh’s James Conner (Knee) both suffered season ending injuries in their first game of the season, which is why their odds are no longer being displayed.
Last week LSU running back Leonard Fournette carried the ball 19 times for 228 yards and 3 touchdowns in a victory over Auburn. This impressive performance moved Fournette’s odds from +1300 to +475, making him the new Heisman front-runner.
My preseason value pick, Baylor QB Seth Russell, now has the third shortest odds at +1000. That ties him with TCU QB Trevone Boykin, who entered the season as the favorite at +625.
Since our last update, Leonard Fournette has continued his dominance with a combined 477 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns in back-to-back wins over Syracuse and Eastern Michigan.
Will #LSU running back Leonard Fournette win the Heisman Trophy? (via 5Dimes)
Implied Probability 40.82%
— Sports Insights (@SportsInsights) September 30, 2015
Will #LSU RB Leonard Fournette win the Heisman this season? (via 5Dimes)
Implied Probability 68.75%
— Sports Insights (@SportsInsights) October 6, 2015
Fournette is now favored over the field, which is incredible to see after just four games. This seems to be a massive overreaction, especially since LSU hasn’t gotten into the heart of their schedule yet. I would highly suggest taking the field at +190 and, if Fournette struggles in the near future, potentially waiting until Fournette is available as plus money and taking the arbitrage opportunity.
Other major risers include Jared Goff (from N/A to +2000) and Dak Prescott (+5000 to +200) while the major droppers include Nick Chubb (+750 to +1600) and Cardale Jones (+2000 to +5000).
In the past two weeks Leonard Fournette has maintained his status as the Heisman front runner as his odds have barely moved from -250 to -242. In wins against South Carolina and Florida, Fournette rushed for a combined 338 yards and 3 touchdowns. LSU has another cakewalk this weekend against Western Kentucky before facing Alabama. A loss in Tuscaloosa could finally cause Fournette’s odds to drop.
We should also note that Nick Chubb suffered a season-ending injury, which is why his odds have been taken off the board. It’s also interesting that Florida State running back Dalvin Cook was not listed two weeks ago, but is now available at +2100. The speedy sophomore has racked up 492 total yards over the past two games and has 955 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on the season.
Checking in with my preseason pick, Seth Russell continues to impress and has moved from +800 to +610. The junior quarterback dazzled last week with 380 passing yards, 160 rushing yards, and 6 total touchdowns in a win over West Virginia.
While Russell has impressed, TCU’s Trevone Boykin appears to be Fournette’s toughest competition. The athletic quarterback has piled up 737 passing yards and 198 rushing yards over his last two games and should post another monster game this week against West Virginia.
In the past two weeks, we have seen a lot of shake-up to the Heisman odds. Baylor’s Seth Russell suffered a season-ending injury and has been taken off the board while his number one target, Corey Coleman, has jumped from +3300 to +800.
It’s also been a rough stretch for Trevone Boykin who threw four interceptions in Saturday’s loss to Oklahoma State. Although his numbers are still fantastic on the season (3,373 passing yards, 597 rushing yards, 37 total touchdowns), Heisman winners need to perform well in high-pressure, nationally televised games.
One player who’s stock has skyrocketed is Alabama running back Derrick Henry. The junior has rushed for 353 yards and five touchdowns in his past two games, causing his Heisman odds to jump from +1615 to +215. In fact, Henry is actually the favorite to win the Heisman at Bovada (+150) with Leonard Fournette (+200) right on his heels.
Who do you think will take home the Heisman Trophy this season? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below.