Heisman betting in Vegas a popular option

Oct 27, 2015 3:00 AM

Heisman Trophy hype is something I’ve never bought into because quite often the winner comes down to politics, injuries and the record of that player’s team.

If the vote were to be held today, LSU tailback Leonard Fournette and TCU quarterback Treyvon Boykin would be your leading candidates. Both teams are currently undefeated. That. of course. can change week to week as Florida State and Utah were the latest to find out as first time losers.

However, there is a new twist to the Heisman that makes all the ranting suddenly relevant as Station Casinos became the first sportsbook in Las Vegas to have odds you can legally bet on and not just created for entertainment purposes. William Hill quickly followed in posting Heisman odds and others likely will join in.

So now we’re not just dealing in overblown rhetoric when we say Fournette is the favorite at -250. There is actual validity now to the spoken word – a way to put your money where your mouth is.

“Obviously there are things we will push for, now that this barrier has been crossed, like Cy Young and the Oscars,” said Jason McCormick, director of race and sports at Red Rock in Summerlin, the hub for all Station Casinos properties. “For us, first was sporting events. Fun and interesting bets the public will gravitate to. The Olympics have been approved.”

The Heisman is a major breakthrough for Nevada bettors, but also points out the frustrations of change. It took three tries before Gaming Control gave the OK. Nationally and worldwide where 99 percent of sports betting goes on, it is of course illegal, unregulated and not taxed. And in the UK where Will Hill resides, betting on anything has been going on for years.

“We’ve been taking bets (on the Heisman) since Oct. 5,” McCormick said. “Anything to glorify the premium award in college football lends more to it.”

As far as the Heisman is concerned, there are 929 voters who determine the winner each year when the award is presented in downtown Manhattan. A quarterback has won 13 of the last 14 years. The lone running back to win in that span was Mark Ingram in 2009.

“Gaming Control put the stipulation that nobody can bet it after the 929 voters did,” McCormick said. “Our wagering is up to Nov. 15. Ballots go Nov. 22.”

Station crashed the party in midstream this year, but in 2016 they can put up odds from the start and create a far larger futures pool with many more potential candidates getting separate odds and not falling into the “field” designation.

“It will be a cool wager you can develop week after week,” McCormick said. “We will likely put Heisman voting up again next July or August.”

Also expect to see voting for Super Bowl MVP next. Give John Avello at Wynn credit for pioneering the nonsports betting idea, having posted Academy Awards odds in the past “for entertainment purposes only.”

No longer the case. And the winner is… us.

Now on to this week’s football selections.

College football

Troy +22 at App. State: Troy was blown out by ASU last year. Apps off emotional win over Georgia Southern. TROY.

Illinois +7 at Penn State: The Happy Valley crowd of 100,000 plus worth a touchdown. Hackenberg isn’t facing Ohio State. PENN ST.

W. Kentucky -24 at Old Dominion: The Hilltoppers hung around for a while at Baton Rouge. ODU won’t hold up to the scoring barrage. W. KENTUCKY.

Georgia Tech -4 at Virginia: It would be just like GT to mess up after their incredible win over Florida State. VIRGINIA.

Marshall -20 at Charlotte: The Herd should enjoy their first trip to the Queen City. MARSHALL.

Tennessee -7.5 at Kentucky: The Wildcats keep knocking on the door and Tennessee is prone to blowing leads. KENTUCKY.

Oregon State +23.5 at Utah: The Utes played a bad game at USC. Now they host a bad team. UTAH.

CFB Last Week: 4-3-0

CFB Season: 28-27-0


Seahawks -6 at Cowboys: Dallas looked much better with Cassel at QB and gets Dez Bryant back. COWBOYS.

49ers at Rams (39): San Francisco will be hard-pressed to put many points on the board, but the defense is still formidable. UNDER.

Packers -2.5 at Broncos: Both teams 6-0 and coming off byes. Aaron Rodgers vs. Peyton Manning. State Farm vs. Nationwide. Like a good neighbor. PACKERS.

NFL Last Week: 2-0-0(not including MNF)

NFL Season: 10-12-0

Encore: The U has become P-U. Miami stunk up the joint last Saturday against Clemson. It’s not that they lost, but how. The 58-0 b-slap came after the usual pregame pushing and shoving histrionics that used to fire up the Canes during the glory years. But this is the “Golden Age” …or it was. Al was fired.

Mark Mayer has over 35 years covering sports events and is the sports editor at GT. Twitter: @MarkMayerGT Email: [email protected]