From Start to Finish: A Rundown of Heisman Odds

By Adam Kramer   Dec. 08, 2011

The oddsmakers (and pretty much everyone else) have spoken when it comes to the 2011 Heisman, and it’s clear Robert Griffin III is the man to beat.

Bodog finally opened up betting on the event on Wednesday and Griffin’s odds opened at a chalky 1/5. For those unfamiliar with betting, this means you’d have to bet $5 to win $1, aka a monster favorite. Those odds swiftly moved to 1/7 and finally 1/11 later on that day meaning the money of Griffin was absolutely pouring in.

And while I’d almost never bet $11 to win $1 profit, many have made the point that this is “free money.” From what the Heisman experts are saying, this is hard to argue. Still, at that price is it really worth the risk? Well, that’s up to you.

In terms of where these odds started, however, this year’s Heisman finalists are a combination of who we expected (aka early favorites) and a few wildcards.

Our current favorite, RG3, opened up in the summer at 20/1 and the 11th overall selection on the board. Oddsmakers loved his potential (uh, yea) and also saw his potential before the season began. Once Baylor beat TCU, it was easy to why.

The next two finalists, both of which are considered Griffin’s true competition to win the award, are Andrew Luck and Trent Richardson. How realistic are their chances? Well, not very but wither would likely be the one if the “experts” are wrong.

Luck opened up the Heisman favorite back in June and could’ve been bet at 9/2 odds. This fluctuated a great deal throughout the season and at one point Luck was a heavy chalk to win the award. Now he can be had for 11/2 to win on Saturday.

Richardson, who I would all hate to have to tackle, opened at 12/1 before the season began and the sixth selection on the board. He backed up his odds and then some but still will likely finish second or third. He’s currently the second overall selection on Bodog at 4/1 and can be yours if you’re feelin’ an upset.

Here’s where it gets interesting, well, kind of.

Wisconsin’s Montee Ball had a mammoth of a season, but his buzz for the award never really developed. A combination of Wisconsin’s losses and the play of Russell Wilson are likely the causes of this, but Ball gave his backers one hell of a ride. Ball opened at a 80/1, the same as Wisconsin running back James White, prior to games being played. Interestingly enough, he can now be had for 75/1 on Bodog and is likely only getting small bets on fans hoping for a miraculous upset.

And finally, there’s the Honey Badger.

Tyrann Mathieu did not have preseason Heisman odds but Bodog did take wagers on whether or not a defensive player would win the award. While it’s a unique bet, Bodog only offered 10/1 on the bet throughout much of the season. Honey Badger, outside of his suspension which may or may not cost him depending on who you talk to, did almost everything in his power on the field to win the award. Still, he can be had on Bodog for 150/1 at the moment, which says pretty much all you need to know about his chances AND how difficult it is for a defensive player to win the award.

With the buzz he has garnished, however, next year is likely the best chance a defensive player will have in quite a while to win the award.

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