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Don't bet on the Heisman, but here are the 2016 odds favorites anyway

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Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Well, looks like they're gonna do the Heisman Trophy again this year. There are many lists of which players might be in the running for it in December, including ones you can bet money on, so let's look at one of those.

LSU's Leonard Fournette is the favorite here, meaning we're back to October 2015:

See a good bet on there? That's almost impossible at this point, as Bud Elliott explained about Heisman odds last year:

Using a house advantage calculator, we find these odds are designed to have the house net a profit of 37.4 percent of all monies wagered. A price like that means the oddsmakers are hoping people don't know how to identify a ripoff.

Let's put 37.4 percent in perspective. Blackjack is 0.5 percent. A typical sports betting rake on a football game is 4.5 percent. Roulette is higher, at 5.3 percent. Progressive slot machines are anywhere from 5 to 17 percent. Keno is closer to 30 percent. Heck, some lotteries do not have that big of a rake.

Know any professional slots, Keno or lottery players? No, you do not, because those are games of chance, not skill. Games of chance punish bettors. Betting on the Heisman is worse than betting on a game of chance.

There is another reason it's a bad idea. Unless you have a credit account, your money is tied up for months. You can't use it to make money on other wagers in the meantime. And if you're a good enough bettor to pick the Heisman winner, you're good enough to make money on some other wagers.

What about late in the season, when your money might be tied up for only a couple of weeks? Well, at that point, the Heisman winner will often be so obvious that you'll barely be making any money with a winning bet. Last October, Marcus Mariota's odds were down to even money.

Hypothetically, let's say you find a book that offers you both fair odds (as in, nowhere near 37.4 percent house edge) and a credit account. What then?

Then all you have to do is figure out which quarterback or maybe running back will stay healthy, put up a huge performance in a marquee game, have great stats and be on a team in position for the College Football Playoff.

Oh, and make sure somebody like Johnny Manziel, who wasn't even on the board in August, doesn't win.


Bud and Alex Kirshner are repping SB Nation in Oregon for The Opening, where Wednesday’s activities showed the smaller roster of QBs was a wise choice.

Jake Fromm, the quarterback who flipped from Bama to Georgia, says Kirby Smart’s similar move was key to his decision and offers pregame meal advice.

Elsewhere in gambling, here are how the conferences will stack up, if one oddsmaker’s offerings can for some reason be taken as standings.

Bill C team of the day is a hot one: Washington, the sudden offseason hype darling. What’s that all about, and can the Huskies live up?

2017 commits of the day: yet another four-star to Maryland (?!) and a four-star lineman commits to Michigan by way of a lengthy Walking Dead parody video. You folks complained about hat dances, and now look what you’ve done.


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An even bigger commit could be TCU taking four-star defensive end Brandon Bowen from rival Baylor’s 2016 class.

And even worse for Baylor could be backup QB Jarrett Stidham contemplating a transfer. (This makes Stidham appearing in those Heisman odds above even weirder.)

Syracuse up and hired an ESPN exec as its new AD, and ... that’s probably a pretty good idea.

Michigan and Notre Dame might resume their series very soon, you say?

Miami stadium construction could impact Hurricanes home games, with one (criticized) report suggesting games could be moved.

PREVIOUS: a high-level glance at The Opening rosters shows Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Alabama have the most committed players at the event.

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