The Heisman Trophy is the most prestigious award in sports and gambling is a huge part of the game of football.
Put them together and you get preseason odds for the coveted stiff-armed trophy.
Bovada recently released an updated list of Heisman Trophy front-runners for 2015 and, for entertainment purposes only, we’ve offered up our unsolicited gambling advice.
Remember, last year Marcus Mariota was the first wire-to-wire preseason front-runner to win the award in more than a decade.
The Betting Favorites:
1. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State (6/1)
The Buckeyes running back gets the nod because Ohio State is the surest bet to win its conference title and make the playoff. He plays a stat-friendly position in a stat-friendly offense.
2. Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State (7/1)
The best quarterback in the best league is returning to an offense that is perfectly suited for his skills. However, his supporting cast won’t be as good this year and his schedule is downright nasty.
3. Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU (15/2)
Possibly the most physically gifted runner in the nation should be the focal point of LSU’s offense. Like Prescott, however, he plays a brutal schedule and will get no support from the passing game.
4. Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU (15/2)
Running the new-look spread offense in Fort Worth reaped huge numbers and a near playoff berth last year. There are holes to plug on the offense but Boykin should post huge numbers and a bunch of wins once again — if he stays healthy.
5. Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia (9/1)
The “Beast Mode” of college football hails from Athens. The rocked-up tailback plays in a runner-friendly offense and proved in one year that he is capable of carrying the load.
The Ohio State Conundrum:
According to the Vegas odds, Ohio State has three quarterbacks ranked in the top 12. Common sense tells us that three signal-callers can’t possibly be smart bets. Cardale Jones (10/1) is sixth, J.T. Barrett (16/1) is 11th, and Braxton Miller (20/1) is 12th. If I was dropping cash on a name? I’d take Barrett at 16/1.
The Best Bets:
Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State (33/1)
The speedster is poised for a huge season in the ACC. Cook will likely be the focal point of the best team in the league against a schedule that is very manageable. At 33-1, the odds are too juicy to pass up.
Seth Russell, QB, Baylor (33/1)
Russell established himself this spring as THE guy in Waco. This is a unit that has proven to be capable of producing Heisman candidates. With a great offensive line, elite-level wideouts and one of the best coaches in the nation, give me Russell please.
Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson (20/1)
The odds aren’t as good on Watson but his talent is too good to ignore. Should he stay healthy, he’s capable of leading Clemson to an unexpected ACC title. His dual-threat numbers and highlight-reel plays could be extremely impressive.
Names to Avoid:
Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama (14/1)
Part of this is a function of the odds. Henry is a beast but he plays in an offense that has shifted slightly since Lane Kiffin took over and for a head coach who likes to use lots of ball carriers.
Jeremy Johnson, QB, Auburn (20/1)
Like Henry, I love Johnson the player and the Auburn offense. But he’s not a runner and won’t post Nick Marshall-like dual-threat stats. He could chuck it around for a bunch of yards but this is still his first season as a starter and 20-1 isn’t enough for my blood.
Paul Perkins, RB, UCLA (14/1)
No Brett Hundley, brutal schedule in the Pac-12 South and questions along the offensive line. Perkins is a nice player but isn’t overly special and the odds are way too short.
Anu Solomon, QB, Arizona (N/A)
As just a freshman, Solomon led his team to a Pac-12 South title and compiled 4,084 yards of total offense. His O-line is rebuilt but he has plenty of talent around him and a great offensive system.
Shock Linwood, RB, Baylor (N/A)
The Baylor offense is going to be nearly unstoppable. The offensive line is great, there is little defense in the Big 12, and Art Briles likes to post big numbers.
DeVontae Booker, RB, Utah (N/A)
Utah's offensive line is in good shape and it showed with Booker’s big numbers last year. He is the focal point of the offense and should once again carry the load for a quality team.