Heisman Trophy - Understand The Selection Process Before Placing Heavy Money On These Candidates

Kevin Stott

Wednesday, August 24, 2016 6:29 PM UTC

Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016 6:29 PM UTC

The Heisman Trophy winner market has been around at Offshore sportsbooks for years, but last year the Nevada Gaming Commission approved sportsbooks in the Silver State to put up odds and book bets for this annual December award. Let’s look at the updated numbers from the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook along with the openers and offer up a couple of picks for our readers as the kickoff for College Football is now just two weeks away.

Remember Winner of Heisman Trophy is Selected By Sports Writers, Past Winners
The Heisman Trophy is an annual award handed out on an early Saturday in December before the NCAA College Football Bowl Games kick off and this prestigious award was created back in 1935 to honor “the most valuable football player in the East” by the Downtown Athletic Club in New York City. After the death of the club’s Athletic Director—John Heisman—the club broadened the parameters of the award to include candidates from the west of the Mississippi River. The Heisman Trophy itself is modeled after Ed Smith, a top player back in 1934 for the now-defunct New York University and was designed by sculptor Frank Eliscu.

The Selection Process is key to understanding for those making serious bets here in this market as this particular bet is actually decided by the combined vote of sportswriters, which means some degree of bias (intended or not) as many of the FBS Division I school skill position players who usually win this award are from east of the Mississippi River. The perceived bias? Many schools and players west of the Mississippi River just don’t get the kind of exposure and hype that athletes from the ACC, Big Ten, SEC and Big 12 do, although some schools in these ever-changing conferences are west of The Big Muddy as many who end up voting just don’t catch enough Pac-12, MWC games or other Western and Northwest region games because of the 3-hour Time Difference from EDT to PDT and the fact NCAA College Football games on a normal Saturday start at 12 p.m. EDT (9 a.m. PDT) and run well past Midnight and until around 1 a.m. EDT (10 p.m. PDT), meaning a grueling 13-hour day of watching football and most East and Southern sports writers probably falling asleep or disinterested when some better players out west are still playing.

Still, the Downtown Athletic Committee seems to get it right more often than not—if the best or most popular Offensive player is the end result. So the winner of the Heisman ends up being part semi-biased popularity poll, part Truth.

There is a total of 870 Media voters with 145 from each of the six regions (Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, South, Southwest and Far West). And previous Heisman Trophy winners also get a vote, so that’s 57 more votes you need to handicap and you know there will be some kind of individual bias from these past winners, but with each voter such a small part of the pie, whatever perceived bias there may be will evaporate in the weight of the total vote. And we, The Fans, have 1 vote which is done on a survey at Nissan Heisman House. Each voter has three selections which are given 3 points (1st place), 2 points (2nd place) and 1 point (3rd place) and then all added up. The accounting firm Deloitte handles all vote tabulation.

Last year (2015), the Nevada Gaming Commission approved Futures Book betting on the NCAA College Football’s Heisman Trophy winner and this year we have odds up for the prestigious annual award at the world’s largest sportsbook, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. Here are the freshest (and Opening odds in parentheses) odds (Wednesday morning) for the players from this new, and unique College Football Futures Book betting marketplace.


Heisman Trophy Award Winner Odds—Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook (Aug. 17, 2016)
DeShaun Watson 9/2 (Clemson, QB) (Opening odds, March 2: 5/1)
Leonard Fournette 5/1 (LSU, RB) (6/1)
Christian McCaffrey 5/1 (Stanford, RB) (7/1)
Baker Mayfield 12/1 (Oklahoma, QB) (12/1)
Dalvin Cook 12/1 (Florida State, RB) (12/1)
JT Barrett 12/1 (Ohio State, QB) (12/1)
Nick Chubb 20/1 (Georgia, RB) (12/1)
Samaje Perine 20/1 (Oklahoma, RB) (20/1)
Josh Rosen 20/1 (UCLA, QB) (15/1)
Bo Scarbrough 25/1 (Alabama, RB) (20/1)
Damien Harris 30/1 (Alabama, RB) (25/1)
Royce Freeman 30/1 (Oregon, RB) (20/1)
Calvin Ridley 30/1 (Alabama, WR) (30/1)
Chad Kelly 30/1 (Mississippi, QB) (12/1)
Patrick Mahomes 30/1 (Texas Tech, QB) (30/1)
Dakota Prukop 30/1 (Oregon, QB) (40/1)
Joshua Dobbs 40/1 (Tennessee, QB) (40/1)
DeShone Kizer 40/1 (Notre Dame, QB) (30/1)
Seth Russell 40/1 (Baylor, QB) (12/1)
Brad Kaaya 40/1 (Miami-Florida, QB) (40/1)
Luke Falk 40/1 (Washington St., QB) (40/1)
Jalen Hurd 40/1 (Tennessee, RB) (50/1)
Corey Clement 50/1 (Wisconsin, RB) (50/1)
Greg Ward Jr. 50/1 (Houston, QB) (50/1)
Mason Rudolph 50/1 (Oklahoma State, QB) (50/1)
Saquon Barkley 80/1 (Penn State, RB) (80/1)
Juju Smith-Schuster 80/1 (USC, WR) (80/1)
Elijah Hood 80/1 (North Carolina, RB) (50/1)
Jabrill Peppers 80/1 (Michigan, S) (60/1)
Christian Kirk 100/1 (Texas A&M, WR) (80/1)
Antonio Callaway 100/1 (Florida, WR) (100/1)
Myles Garrett 100/1 (Texas A&M, DE) (100/1)
Lamar Jackson 100/1 (Louisville, QB) (100/1)
James Conner 100/1 (Pittsburgh, RB) (100/1)
Taysom Hill 100/1 (1001/1) (BYU, QB) (100/1)


Speedy LSU RB Leonard Fournette Should Rack Up the Yards, SEC Presence Makes RB Worth Shot

The race for the 2016 Heisman Trophy again seems to be is primary between Offensive Skill Position players—mostly QBs, RBs, and WRs—although two Defensive players, the University of Michigan Safety Jabrill Peppers (80/1 to win Heisman Trophy, Opened 60/1, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) and University of Louisville DE Lamar Jackson (100/1 to win Heisman Trophy, Opened 100/1, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook). But don’t expect either Peppers or Jackson to have a shot with the college football odds so high and the Wolverines and Cardinals likely having decent seasons, but not spurned by a Defensive reality through these two collegiate Defensive stars. And remember that only one Defensive player (CB Charles Woodson of Michigan in 1997) has actually been awarded the Heisman Trophy in the L20 years.
It seems a logical short-shot type college football pick in this market to back RB Leonard Fournette (5/1 to win Heisman Trophy,Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) of LSU who could have another breakout season, probably—barring Injury (wink, wink)—eclipse the 2,000-yard mark and maybe make a run at 2,500 yards or more if the Tigers are in a groove and he has some big games and long runs early. The speedy Fournette (300 rushes, 1,953 yards, 22 TDs in 2015)—he had a mind-boggling, in-pads, in-game 40-yard Dash time of 3.9 seconds last season—is the pick here despite Tuesday’s news and the reality that the Tigers and the 6-1, 230-pound Junior will face some tough tests, per usual, playing in the best FBS conference.

On Tuesday, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate reported that Fournette suffered a minor, low Ankle Sprain during the scrimmage and that Fournette was in a Walking Boot for precaution. Twelfth-year Tigers Head Coach Les Miles (64-65-8 ATS) said, “Leonard Fournette got a slight sprain,” adding “He’s in a boot,” and "It’s not terrible". LSU travels to Lambeau Field and Green Bay on Sept. 3 to take on the Big Ten’s Wisconsin in a big opener for both teams (LSU -9½, YouWager), so Fournette will have 16 days to heal.

Stanford star RB Christian McCaffrey (5/1 to win Heisman Trophy, Opened 7/1, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) and odds favorite, Clemson QB Deshaun Watson (9/2 to win Heisman Trophy, Opened 5/1, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) have also already received heavy wagering in this new and entertaining market at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook in which betting closes on Sunday, Nov. 20.


NCAAF Heisman Trophy Winner Futures Book Pick: Leonard Fournette, LSU 5/1 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)
NCAAF Heisman Trophy Winner Futures Book Longshot Pick: Greg Ward, Jr., Houston 50/1 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)

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