Robert Griffin III and Cam Newton were the last two winners of the Heisman trophy. What do these two men have in common, other than their position? Neither were listed on any preseason Heisman Trophy shortlists.
When you look back over the last few years, the player listed as the preseason favorite to win the Heisman, went home empty. You could blame the changing offenses in college, how people believe the best NFL prospect should be the favorite (even though that doesn’t always translate into dominance in college) or the emergence of non-BCS schools that come out of nowhere.
Will one of the favorites win the award in 2012-13 or will a darkhorse win again? Which betting odds have the most value? We give you the current Heisman betting odds and help you handicap which player has the most value.
Before I get into the betting odds, let’s look back at the recent winners of the award. Over the past 13 seasons, only three running backs have won the award (if you count Reggie Bush whose award was vacated). Ron Dayne won in 1999 because he shattered rushing records. Bush won in 2005 because he was hands-down the most dominant college player in recent memory. Finally, Mark Ingram won in 2009 because the quarterback class was weak and his team (Alabama) was better than Tony Gerhart’s team (Stanford), even though Gerhart’s stats were better.
It takes a very special year for a running back or someone other than a quarterback to win the Heisman trophy it today’s era. That’s said, here are the betting odds and predictions for the 2012-13 Heisman Trophy winner.
QB Matt Barkley – USC – +300 – Barkley is the sexy pick going into the season. USC has been on probation and hasn’t had a chance to play in a bowl game since his freshman season. He could have been a first-round pick in last year’s NFL Draft, but opted to stay for his senior season. He will have a very good season at USC, but I see no value in this bet. If he struggles in his first three or four games and this line jumps up to +600, that’s when the value equals the risk.
Betting Odds Handicap – I don’t see any value…but if you like USC and think they will win the National Championship, you get better odds betting this than betting USC to win the National Championship (+250)
|Taking this picture pretty much jinxes him from winning the Heisman, right?|
RB Montee Ball – Wisconsin – +400 – Ball scored 33 touchdowns and ran for nearly 2,000 yards in 2011. Those totals were only good enough to place fourth in the 2011 Heisman award voting. I see him putting up similar numbers this season, but he splits carries with James White, who had 700+ rushing yards and six touchdowns himself. If Ball was the lone back in Madison, I would see value in this bet, but it’s not there.
Betting Odds Handicap – I don’t see any value.
QB Denard Robinson – Michigan – + 500 – Over the last two seasons, the public has wanted Robinson to run away with the Heisman trophy. He has gotten off to great starts, but has hit a wall as soon as the Big Ten schedule begins. The “sexy” may have worn off him some, but he still has a great shot. A few of the perennial Big Ten powerhouses are expected to have down years. His current odds of +500 could be the best value you’re going to get unless he falls completely out of the hunt.
Betting Odds Handicap – The value here could be worth a decent amount of units. You could hedge your bet later with a Big Ten Championship bet.
QB Landry Jones – Oklahoma – +600 – Jones has made people forget about Sam Bradford, but he lost his go-to receiver Ryan Broyles. He will benefit from RB Dominique Whaley in the backfield, but I don’t see the value. The Big 12 looks to be down this year and West Virginia arrives into the conference with a better offense. He will have head-to-head comparisons with WVU’s QB Geno Smith.
Betting Odds Handicap – I don’t see any value.
QB Geno Smith – West Virginia – +800 – ESPN currently has Smith as #3 in their “Heisman Watch” and I agree with the Mothership. The Mountaineers will have a nice running attack with Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, who are also nice pass-receiving backs. Smith could easily have a few of his short passes go for big plays. I like the value here at +800 and I think you should snatch it up while it’s at 8 to 1 odds.
Betting Odds Handicap – This is a smart play. Smith could be the non-risky, most realistic Heisman winner with the highest current odds.
RB Marcus Lattimore – South Carolina – +1000 – Lattimore was on the Heisman shortlist going into last season, but tore his ACL against Mississippi State. The reports on his recovery have all been positive, so in all likelihood, he’s back to his old self. I’m not as scared about betting Lattimore at +1000 as some of my fellow colleagues. He has a straight-ahead, power running style and doesn’t rely on making sharp cuts, which would rely on his knees more. The bet doesn’t go without its risks, but at 10 to 1, I see some value.
Betting Odds Handicap – The value is clear, but it is risky. I would only put a few units down. If you want to wait a few games to see how the knee fares for yourself, this line could dip.
QB Aaron Murray – Georgia – +1000 – I have not been an Aaron Murray fan. He came into Georgia with a lot of fanfare, but I haven’t seen what all the hype was about. He threw for over 3100 yards and had a TD/INT ratio of 35/14. He padded his stats against poor competition. If you take three games away (Coastal Carolina, New Mexico State, Auburn), his TD/INT line would be 23/14. I don’t see the value here at all, stay away.
Betting Odds Handicap – No value, stay away.
QB EJ Manuel – Florida State – +1000 – Manuel has all the tools in the world. He’s a big quarterback who has good mechanics…but who’s going to catch his passes? Rashad Greene, Rodney Smith and Kenny Shaw are all average wide receivers. Manuel is pretty mobile, but I don’t see his rushing yards increasing so much that it gets the Heisman voters’ attention. Florida State will have a good team this year, but I don’t see a lot of value here.
Betting Odds Handicap – Not a lot of value here, but there is some. The Seminoles will be good, so there is a chance that he’ll get some attention for that. He’s worth, at most, a couple units.
QB AJ McCarron – Alabama – +2000 – An Alabama-Michigan contest in Cowboys Stadium could be a nice launching pad for either McCarron or Robinson. Alabama only has 13 starters returning, but head coach Nick Saban recruits blue chip talent. McCarron is skilled, but no yet polished. He’s a year away from being a true contender for the Heisman. He has to leapfrog too many other quarterbacks on this list.
Betting Odds Handicap – I’d wait until 2013 before I’d lay a dime on McCarron.
WR Sammy Watkins – Clemson – +2000 – It’s really hard for a wide receiver to win the Heisman trophy. Larry Fitzgerald was probably the closest to win it in the last twenty years. Watkins will be a good NFL talent, but to be honest, I’d rather put a few units down on Clemson QB Tajh Boyd to win the award. He threw for 3,838 yards and had a TD/INT line of 33/12. Boyd slimmed down and is ready for the season.
Betting Odds Handicap – I don’t want to disrespect Watkins, but if you find Boyd on a board somewhere and the odds are +2500 or higher, it would be worth a few units. I’d stay away from a Watkins bet, too much of a long-shot.
RB Rex Burkhead – Nebraska – +2000 – Even though Nebraska has already started a Heisman campaign for the senior running back, he’s the second-best running back in his own conference (see: Ball). The odd thing is there are rumors that the Cornhuskers could lighten his load this season. If that happens, he stands little to no chance at winning the award. I don’t think Burkhead will be joining Eric Crouch as a Heisman winner.
Betting Odds Handicap – Zero value. Ball would be a better play with a little payoff, but less risk.
Betting odds courtesy of Sportsbook.ag. These betting odds and information are for entertainment purposes only.