Heisman Trophy Betting Odds, History and Trends

Updated: 371 American Football

The Heisman Memorial Award is the oldest annual college football award in existence and now with the advent of online sports betting, you may find an opportunity to predict and wager on who will win the award this year.

Heisman Trophy Betting Odds, History and Trends

Photo credit: Heisman.com

Michael Calabrese US Content Manager

Experienced sports journalist, College sports expert and broadcaster, hailing from Pennsylvania

The Heisman Trophy is widely considered to be one of the most prestigious awards an athlete can receive. Ohio State’s famed running back Archie Griffin spoke of how much the honor changed his life. “My name is not only Archie Griffin, it’s two-time Heisman trophy winner Archie Griffin.” 

Given its 86-year history and the notoriety it bestows to its annual winner, it remains one of the most bet on honors in all of sports. 

Betting sites can provide odds throughout the year, beginning with the day after The Heisman Trophy Trust awards its annual winner. During the season they update these odds on a weekly basis. 

The horseracing nature of the “Race of the Heisman” explains why equine terminology is often used in relation to the trophy. Dark horse candidates, jockeying for position, and neck-and-neck finishes that come down to the wire, are just a few phrases tied to the Heisman Trophy that are borrowed from horse racing culture. 

Bettors can place wagers on the outright Heisman winner, which players will be selected as finalists, which position the winner player plays, which conference the winner plays for and bettors can parlay the Heisman winner with other events such as the national championship. 

These odds can change at a moment's notice, so please check with your sportsbook as to the current odds.

Player Moneyline Probability
CJ Stroud (QB, Ohio State) 150 40%
Hendon Hooker (QB, Tennessee) 400 20%
Blake Corum (RB, Michigan) 500 16.70%
Drake Maye (QB, UNC) 500 16.70%
Caleb Williams (QB, USC) 1200 7.70%
Stetson Bennett IV (QB, Georgia) 1400 6.70%
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Heisman Award Key Dates

Knowing when the key dates in the process of arriving at the winner of the Heisman award can help with your betting as these dates are around when the betting markets will be most fluid with odds changing to reflect the time within the process.

Heisman Award Key Dates for 2022

The most betting activity on the Heisman award in 2022 will come between December 5th when the finalists are announced and the 10th December when the award is made on ESPN

  • Nov. 28, 2022: Heisman Ballots Distributed.
  • Dec 5, 2022: Heisman Voting Deadline.
  • Dec. 5, 2022: Heisman Finalists Announced.
  • Dec. 10, 2022, 8 pm ET: Heisman Ceremony on ESPN.

Heisman Award key Dates for 2023

As soon as we are aware of the key dates for 2023, we will add them here

What is Betting on the Heisman Trophy?

There is a myriad of ways to bet on the Heisman Trophy. You can wager on the outright winner, which player or players will be selected as finalists, the exact order of the finalists, or which primary position the winner plays. These long-term future markets are updated nearly year-round at sportsbooks. 

3 Popular Heisman Trophy Betting Markets

There are a few different ways to bet on the Heisman Trophy. In addition to betting on the outright winner of the award, you can also bet on who will be invited to New York as a finalist, and which position the eventual winner primarily plays. Finalist and positional bets are generally offered in the offseason and early in the season before coming off of the board in late September at most sportsbooks. 

Heisman Trophy bets are placed most-often in the summer prior to the start of the season. The reason for this is that odds tighten considerably in-season around the leading candidates. For example, Hendon Hooker, a presumptive finalist in 2022, was listed at 75:1 to win the award during the summer and is now listed at just 4:1 odds. As a result, niche and prop bets markets continue to grow around the award to keep bettors interested as we inch closer to the end of the season. 

1. Outright Winner

Photo credit: Heisman.com

Bettors can select individual players to win the Heisman Trophy nearly year round, with sportsbooks cutting off futures betting just days prior to The Heisman Trophy Trust selecting their annual winner. Odds are offered for upwards of 200 players in the offseason. Players are added and removed from oddsmakers lists throughout the season. They also adjusted those prices according to player performance throughout the season.

2. Finalists

The Heisman generally invites between three and five players to attend their trophy ceremony in person in New York. These players are referred to as Heisman Finalists. Some sportsbooks in the U.S. offer odds on simply becoming a finalist. 

3. Winner’s Position

The Heisman Trophy is generally awarded to a quarterback. Since 2000, 18 of the 22 Heisman winners have played quarterback. As a result, some sportsbooks offer QB vs. “The Field” odds. If bettors select “The Field” a winning player who primarily plays any position other than quarterback would pay out anywhere between +400 and +1000. In 2021, three of the six top vote-getters were not quarterbacks, including the runner-up Aidan Hutchinson (Michigan, DE), pictured below.

By All-Pro Reels - https://www.flickr.com/photos/joeglo/52377910282/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=123321376

How to bet on the Heisman Trophy

The process of betting on the Heisman Trophy is as straightforward as betting on any other sporting event. 

Betting apps and websites provide an American Football section in the menu. Once you’ve arrived you can select “College Football” from a host of other American Football leagues and events. Once you’ve selected futures, you’ll see “Heisman Trophy” where you’ll be able to place wagers on individual player futures. 

If you do not have an active online betting account, you’ll need to set one up. You can head over to our sportsbooks where you will see a list of bookmakers available in the US, arranged by state.

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We have in-depth sportsbook reviews so you can see what other users think of them before deciding, or you can access a list of Sportsbook promos currently available from all US betting sites. 

  • Once you’ve signed up, simply click on the player future you wish to bet on. 

  • This will open up the bet slip, at which point you will see confirmation of the betting odds being offered.

  • Now you choose your stake - most betting sites will show you how much you can expect to have returned if your prediction is correct.

  • If you are satisfied, hit PLACE BET, to confirm your selection, stake, and bet.

  • You will be given a receipt for your bet and it will appear in your open bets in your account details.

  • Then it's just a matter of waiting for Heisman Trophy Trust to announce the winner.

Heisman Contenders

During the summer, oddsmakers provide hundreds of Heisman futures. Some of the players are established All-Americans while others have yet to take the field in college.   

The key is identifying Heisman trends that seemingly rule out a large percentage of candidates right off the bat. For instance, in the past 21 years only two Heisman winners played for teams that had no chance of winning of the national championship by November (Tebow in ‘07, Griffin III in ‘11). Then there’s positional bias. Eighteen of the past 22 winners have played quarterback and there has only been one defensive player to win the award in the modern era (Charles Woodson, Michigan ‘97 pictured below). 

Jeffrey Beall, CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

With just a few weeks left in the season, we’ve seen these trends play out again. All six of the realistic candidates are playing for teams still alive in the national championship race. Five of the six candidates play quarterback and zero play defense. 

Heisman Trophy Betting Odds

Player Moneyline Probability
CJ Stroud (QB, Ohio State) 150 40%
Hendon Hooker (QB, Tennessee) 400 20%
Blake Corum (RB, Michigan) 500 16.70%
Drake Maye (QB, UNC) 500 16.70%
Caleb Williams (QB, USC) 1200 7.70%
Stetson Bennett IV (QB, Georgia) 1400 6.70%
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CJ Stroud (QB, Ohio State)

Already a finalist for the Heisman Trophy in 2021, Coleridge 'C.J" Bernard Stroud is quarterback for the Ohio State Buckeyes. He played high school ball at Rancho Cucamonga High School in California, where he holds many records including most passing yards in a single game at 573!

Hendon Hooker (QB, Tennessee)


Blake Corum (RB, Michigan)


Drake Maye (QB, UNC)


Caleb Williams (QB, USC)


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Things to Consider When Betting on the Heisman Trophy

Correctly predicting the Heisman winner before the season starts is a highly difficult proposition, but if you’re able to strike paydirt the payouts are very large. The key is investing in a handful of candidates so that you have a diversified portfolio. Case in point, of the six likely finalists in mid-November this year, three could be found with odds longer than 125:1 to during the summer (Bennett IV, Corum, Maye). Hendon Hooker was also available out in the market at north of 75:1 this summer. 

Holding a handful of longshots, also provides ample hedging opportunities. Online sportsbooks like FanDuel offer cashout options as odds change throughout the season. So even if you don’t think that your 150:1 longshot can go the distance, there is a chance that these sportsbook will offer you cashout options as they move up the leaderboard throughout the fall. 

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And finally, because the college football season is relatively short, you can also hedge by betting against your player futures in individual games. An appearance in the College Football Playoff goes a long way in persuading Heisman Voters, so betting against your candidate’s teams late in the season is one way to hedge against your ticket going up in smoke. Hendon Hooker and Tennessee’s disastrous loss to Georgia is a good example of this. Hooker entered as the odds-on favorite to win, but a 14-point loss moved him into second-place overnight. A win would have all but sealed up the race for Hooker, which made a bet on Georgia the perfect hedge. 

Heisman Trophy History and Previous Winners List

Each year, the outstanding college football player of the season is awarded the Heisman Trophy as has been the case since the inception of the award in 1935.

Whilst it is just one of many college football awards it is one of a  quartet including The Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Award, and the AP Player of the Year. The Heisman Memorial Trophy, also known as the Heisman Trophy or Heisman Award remains the oldest annual college football award available.

Let's take a look at some of the names that have the honor of lifting this award.

History of Heisman Winners

Notable winners of the Heisman memorial trophy include 7 Football Hall of Famers, including Paul Hornung (1956), O.J. Simpson (1968), and Earl Campbell (1977), who have the dual honor of also having been 1st Overall Draft Pick

PAUL HORNUNG - 1956

Photo Credit: http://www.elviskennedy.com/

OJ SIMPSON - 1968

photo by Alan Light, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons


EARL CAMPBELL - 1977

Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports


FAQ's

What does it mean to win a Heisman Trophy?

Why is it called the Heisman?

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Article Authors

We are fortunate to have NFL expertise on either side of the Atlantic, where Luke Bradshaw-Lee is a keen UK-based NFL fan attending London games and burning the midnight oil to catch all the weekend action, Whilst in the US, Michael Calabrese [@EastBreese] is an Action Network correspondent and College sports podcaster with the deepest football knowledge we have ever come across. They combine to create the best football content on OLBG US

Michael Calabrese

Michael Calabrese

Us content manager

Michael Calabrese has covered college and professional sports in the US since 2007. He has been featured in print for publications including Fox Sports, The Action Network, Yardbarker, MSN, Saturday Down South, NumberFire, and JetMag.com. He also regularly appears on ESPN Radio, Fox Sports Radio, and VSIN
Luke Bradshaw Lee

Luke Bradshaw Lee

Commercial content manager

🏈 Luke is a more than keen follower of the NFL taking in as many games as he can over the weekend and always trying to attend the London NFL games each year. American football remains his main personal betting focus and he creates and contributes to our NFL Articles

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