On Monday, January 26, Bovada became the first major sportsbook to release odds for the 2017 Heisman Trophy. Although we’re still more than seven months away from opening kickoff, it’s never too early to start handicapping the most prestigious individual award in college athletics.
Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, who opened as a 110/1 longshot to win the Heisman last season, is considered a strong contender to repeat in 2017. That would be quite the accomplishment considering that only one player, Ohio State’s Archie Griffin, has won the award twice.
It’s also worth noting the Heisman Trophy is typically awarded to a quarterback or running back with the exception of two tight ends (Larry Kelley, Leon Hart), two wide receivers (Desmond Howard, Tim Brown) and one defensive back (Charles Woodson).
The table below shows the recent winners of this award along with their odds and the first week that they were available as an option.
|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|
Jackson opened with the second-best odds of winning the Heisman Trophy, tied with Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett and USC’s Sam Darnold at +700. Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield, who established himself as one of the nation’s premier signal callers last season, opened as the favorite at +600. That places added significance on the September 9th matchup between the Sooners and Buckeyes.
On February 6th, William Hill posted a more inclusive list with odds for 38 different players. This is just the third year that Nevada sportsbooks are able to accept wagers on the Heisman Trophy. Last year’s winner, Lamar Jackson, had originally opened at 75/1 odds at William Hill sportsbooks in February 2016. Jackson (opened 7/1) enters the upcoming season as the co-favorite alongside Mayfield and Darnold.
The table below displays the latest odds at Bovada and William Hill. It will be updated throughout the season.
|Player||School||Position||William Hill (2/6)||Bovada (1/24)|
|JT Barrett||Ohio State||QB||+1000||+700|
|Deondre Francois||Florida State||QB||+1200||+1200|
|Saquon Barkley||Penn State||RB||+1500||+1000|
|Mason Rudolph||Oklahoma State||QB||+1500||+1200|
|Trace McSorley||Penn State||QB||+2000||+1000|
|Luke Falk||Washington State||QB||+3000||+3500|
|Nick Fitzgerald||Mississippi State||QB||+4000||+2200|
|Quinton Flowers||South Florida||QB||+4000||N/A|
|Mike Weber||Ohio State||RB||+5000||N/A|
|James Washington||Oklahoma State||WR||+6000||N/A|
|Derwin James||Florida State||S||+7500||N/A|
|Christian Kirk||Texas A&M||WR||+7500||N/A|
|Brandon Wimbush||Notre Dame||QB||+7500||N/A|
|Brett Rypien||Boise State||QB||+10000||N/A|
Personally, I think it’s worth waiting before placing a wager on the Heisman Trophy winner. This prop bet has a high theoretical hold percentage (28.5%) and the limits are very low. That means bettors would need to wait nearly 10 months for a minimal payout. It’s also worth pointing out that when Bovada first posted their Heisman odds last year, Lamar Jackson wasn’t even listed as an option.
While we wait for this story to develop, make sure to track the latest odds and public betting trends on our free college football odds page. Interested in following our winning picks? Sign up for a 4-day trial of our Pro subscription for just $49!
Who do you think will take home the Heisman Trophy next season? Will another quarterback or running back win the award? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below.