Joe Burrow’s Heisman Odds & Why His Coronation Will Be a Big Loser for Sportsbooks
Jason Getz, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Joe Burrow
- Joe Burrow's odds to win the 2019 Heisman opened as high as 200-1, with 28 players having better odds to win than him back in February 2019.
- As Burrow's season heated up, bettors flocked to bet on the LSU quarterback at long odds. One bettor at the DraftKings Sportsbook wagered $1,000 on Burrow at 50-1 odds.
- After beating Alabama on Nov. 11, Burrow became the prohibitive favorite to win the Heisman at -1000 odds.
On Feb. 26, the SuperBook in Vegas posted their odds for the 2019 Heisman Trophy Winner.
Four well-regarded quarterbacks were at the top of the board — Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa (+250), Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence (+300), Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts (+600) and Ohio State’s Justin Fields (+600).
To find LSU quarterback Joe Burrow on the list, you’d have to scroll through 28 names, past Syracuse freshman quarterback David Summers (100-1), who didn’t wind up playing a game this season.
There at 200-1 was the relatively unknown, at least compared to now, Burrow. The Ohio State-to-LSU transfer was ranked as the 15th-best draft eligible quarterback coming into the season by prognosticator Phil Steele.
Even if Burrow was any good, would he even be able to shine in LSU’s offense? The Tigers were known as a plodding, run-heavy offense that took the ball out of the quarterback’s hands.
That’s why there wasn’t that much betting interest in Burrow, who will claim the Heisman this weekend in New York City.
Before the season, the SuperBook wrote 11 tickets on Burrow at 200-to-1. One bettor took it for $150 back in February. That ticket will be worth $30,000 on Saturday night.
“The Heisman is a five-figure loser for us,” John Murray, Director of Race & Sports at the SuperBook, said.
The Westgate isn’t alone.
“There was no value in the beginning to take Tua or Trevor Lawrence,” said DraftKings‘ Johnny Avello. “And Burrow didn’t drop fast enough.”
DraftKings, Avello said, opened Burrow at 65-1, but only dropped it to 50-1 after one week.
“He did what he had to do against Georgia Southern,” Avello said. “People were kind of expecting that.”
That week, at 50-1, DraftKings took what appears to the biggest win in the market when a bettor put down $1,000 to net $50,000.
Burrow, of course, never stopped dominating. LSU finished undefeated and No. 1 in the country on the shoulders of Burrow — 48 TD passes (1), 4,715 passing yards (2) and a .779 completion percentage.
The biggest bet FanDuel took was a $50 wager the week before the season started at 40-1, which would net $2,000. They took a $10,000 bet last week which would net $714.29.
Burrow isn’t the only longshot in recent years to win the Heisman. Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson opened at 100-1 in 2016. Jackson, ironically, is killing sportsbooks this year with his longshot MVP odds.