NCAAF Heisman Trophy Betting Odds

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The Heisman Trophy is one of the most recognizable accolades across all sports. It’s handed out annually to the most outstanding player in college football.

Simply put, Heisman Trophy winners are remembered forever. While winning a Heisman is no guarantee of future NFL success, it is a guaranteed life highlight. Winners come from schools of all sizes, and it’s not a trophy dominated by any one team. The many players vying for the trophy often yields plenty of excitement and a close race.

So is the Heisman Trophy betting market one that can be exploited for profit? Are the lines so sharp that amateur bettors stand no chance? Below we’ll answer those questions (and more) plus provide current Heisman betting odds as posted at legal online sportsbooks in Arizona.

Odds to win Heisman Trophy

See below for the latest Heisman odds for the top 15 players as posted at AZ online sportsbooks. Click on any odds to go directly to the sportsbook, claim the listed bonus and start getting your Heisman bets in.

How to bet on the Heisman Trophy winner

First, you must understand how the odds work in this market. Odds are set far before the college football season begins.

The largest sportsbooks in the world take the time necessary to make their lines as accurate as possible. Since the first offering is so far in advance of the actual opening games, even their best efforts can be susceptible to canny gamblers. However, that early stage is also a difficult time for gamblers to predict the winner. That’s a tradeoff some gamblers accept.

Once the Heisman Trophy betting odds are released, you must be able to read them to make a good selection. Odds for the Heisman Trophy will be displayed in a default American format at every sportsbook across the United States, including in Arizona.

When reading American odds, look for whether the odds are listed with a plus (+) sign or a negative (-) sign in front of them. Most of the time, Heisman odds will be positive. That’s because any given player has a low implied probability of winning the trophy. However, as we move closer to the announcement and potential winners become clearer, you might see a player creep into the negative odds.

A positive set of odds represents how much money can be won by a $100 bet. For example, at Unibet Arizona, if you bet on the quarterback from UArizona to win the Heisman and he had odds of +300, you could bet $100 to win $300, equaling a total return of $400. Positive numbers are used whenever the implied probability for a selection is 50 percent or below. When the implied probability for a selection is above 50 percent, the odds will be shown with a negative sign in front of them. This shows how much money needs to be gambled to win $100.

Before gambling on the Heisman Trophy, be aware of the specific rules at your Arizona online sportsbook that determine when a bet is void. If something were to happen, like the COVID-19 pandemic that forced many sports leagues to alter their seasons, how would that affect the grading of your bet?

Such information is freely available from every sportsbook. Each company will list its policy, and it’s crucial to know before placing a bet. If not, you might find yourself with a void winner that returns no money.

Heisman Trophy betting trends & past winners

When we look at the past winners of the Heisman Trophy, two position groups stand out: quarterbacks and running backs. These players get large portions of most team’s touchdowns, helping their offensive stats look great on paper.

These positions also garner the most media attention. This is always a positive for any Heisman Trophy candidate. Good publicity will help them gain more votes. Thus, when looking at who to bet on, it’s a good idea to pick a player from an offensive skill position.

There has only ever been one primarily defensive player to win the award, Charles Woodson, and he also had a large impact on special teams. That helped him secure the victory. Thus, picking players that only play on the defensive side of the ball is usually a mistake. Defensive players will likely have very high Heisman Trophy odds to reflect their poor chances of winning the award.

When looking at who might win a Heisman, consider both the individual player as well as his team. Offensive players who produce great stats are always a good bet to win the award. In addition to producing video game-like numbers, they also must play for a good team.

This is why looking at the skill position players on the best teams is often a good way to find suitable candidates. While the occasional star freshman can win the award, most of the time it’s upperclassmen that dominate the field. Looking at who performed well in the previous season and using that data to extrapolate predictions for the upcoming season is always a good start. That said, there has only ever been one back-to-back winner. Thus, the repeat isn’t a historically smart bet.

Finally, advanced stats and analytics have changed college football betting. These numbers have helped people better quantify the impact of players. When it comes to Heisman betting, though, traditional box-score stats might still have more significance than advanced ones. This is changing slowly, as knowledge grows around new metrics.

Past 10 Heisman Trophy winners

2020DeVonta SmithWide Receiver
2019Joe BurrowQuarterback
2018Kyler MurrayQuarterback
2017Baker MayfieldQuarterback
2016Lamar JacksonQuarterback
2015Derrick HenryRunning Back
2014Marcus MariotaQuarterback
2013Jameis WinstonQuarterback
2012Johnny ManzielQuarterback
2011Robert Griffin IIIQuarterback

Other college football futures bets to consider

The Heisman market is far from the only college football futures bet. Gamblers can place wagers on a large variety of markets. Futures are one of the most popular bet types because the odds are usually quite high. That means high returns are very possible.

While the Heisman Trophy market involves betting on individual players, other futures market bets hinge on teams or even conferences. Some other futures bets you should consider are:

  • College Football Playoffs berth
  • Bowl Game berth
  • National Championship reached
  • National Championship win
  • Conference win

Heisman Trophy FAQ

Let’s answer some common questions about betting on the Heisman Trophy.

Who votes for the Heisman Trophy winner?

There are three groups that vote for the Heisman Trophy through its online point system, which has voters rank their top three selections. The first group of voters includes journalists. These are accredited journalists that span the country. We should note their geographical diversity is an attempt to eliminate biases.

The next group of votes comes from former Heisman winners. If you win the trophy, you receive a vote for life. No matter how often past winners choose to use it, it will never disappear. Crazy though it might seem, this can result in players eligible for the award (a senior who won last year, for instance) having a vote.

The last group of voters is the fans. The fans get only one vote through an online poll.

When is the Heisman Trophy awarded?

The Heisman Trophy is awarded annually during a large December event before the major bowl games. It is a much-publicized ceremony broadcasted on television for people around the world. Gamblers with Heisman Trophy futures watch carefully as the winner is announced and their ticket is graded.

The television special has been aired by several different companies over its history. Nowadays, there is an entire one-hour special filled with commentary on the trophy before it is awarded.

Who won the Heisman and didn’t play in the NFL?

Charlie Ward won the 1993 Heisman, along with a slew of other awards, as the quarterback for Florida State. He was the best quarterback in the nation and led the team to the National Championship game where they proved victorious.

Then, Ward opted not to play in the NFL, as he was a multi-sport athlete. Instead, he went on to play in the NBA. Ward played for the New York Knicks for the majority of his career, though he moved to San Antonio and Houston near the end. He was never a star in the league, though he did enjoy a solid 12-season NBA career. He’s certainly the only Heisman winner who can say that.

Who is the youngest Heisman Trophy winner?

That was Lamar Jackson in 2016. He was only a sophomore at the time and young for his class. Jackson, of course, starred as a dual-threat quarterback at Louisville.

Johnny Manziel was the first-ever freshman to win the Heisman. Despite being a freshman, Manziel was still older than Jackson as a sophomore.

Has anyone won two Heisman trophies?

Archie Griffin is the only person who can claim that feat. He won them in back-to-back years as a running back with Ohio State. Griffin was a dominant force on the football field and is widely considered to be one of the greatest college football players of all time.

Though Griffin stands alone, we could start seeing more players win the award multiple times these days. That’s because underclassmen are winning more frequently. Assuming they stay in school, they have more bites at the apple.

Do Heisman winners keep the trophy?

Yes, they do. Each ceremony features two actual trophies. The first goes to the winner. It’s theirs to keep. The other copy of the trophy goes belongs to that player’s school for display.

This is a relatively unique practice among major sports trophies. Athletes rarely keep the physical award. It’s even rarer for there to be two different trophies made every single year.

Do Heisman winners get paid?

That’s a negative. This would go against the amateur status these athletes need to compete at the collegiate level. There is no monetary compensation directly associated with winning the award.

Even so, it’s been said that winning the award is worth almost one million dollars in the long term. Endorsements and opportunities flood in. Winners become part of the Heisman family and are forever remembered for their achievements.

Has anyone from Arizona ever won the Heisman?

Sadly, no. Despite multiple strong football programs calling the state home. No player born in the state of Arizona has ever won the award either.

This isn’t that surprising when you think of the massive competition for the award. Don’t discount the sheer number of football-crazed locales in the United States.