In Iowa, All 2021 Heisman Trophy Odds Are Off

Written By Russ Mitchell on December 9, 2021 - Last Updated on July 22, 2022
Heisman Trophy

The Heisman Trophy Trust on Monday named four finalists for the 87th annual award. The nation’s top college football player earns the honor.

Alabama QB Bryce Young is the overwhelming favorite at Caesars Sportsbook to lift the trophy. But that’s not a bet you can place in Iowa. Sportsbooks also can’t take Cy Young award wagers or post Super Bowl MVP odds, according to Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) administrator Brian Ohorilko.

“Basically any type of market where there is a voting interest and not necessarily an element of competition on the field, those markets are currently not permitted to be wagered on in the state. It is something that I heard that the sports wagering industry is going to try to get modified in this next legislative session. I believe they attempted to do that in 2021 and it did not pass.”

The Iowa restriction also applies to professional sports drafts as well. Fans can’t bet on the NFL’s top draft pick or the third player taken in the NBA Draft. Off-the-field opinions guide those situations so, for now, they’re off the board.

How to watch the Heisman Trophy presentation

What: The Heisman Trophy Ceremony

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11

Where: The Appel Room — Part of the Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City

Heisman Trophy odds for the finalists

Bryce Young — Alabama QB (-4000)

The first-year starter is Alabama’s 11th Heisman finalist and the ninth Crimson Tide finalist since 2009. Teammate DeVonta Smith won the award last year and last year’s QB Mac Jones was among the finalists.

Young earned his trip to New York City with 4,322 yards passing and 43 touchdowns in 2021. He completed 314-of-462 passes for a 68% success rate and threw for five touchdowns in three different games.

Aidan Hutchinson — Michigan DE (+2000)

Hutchinson is the sixth Wolverine finalist for the Heisman Trophy and the first Michigan player to claim a spot on the list since 2016. The senior team captain is the 2021 Woodson-Nagurski Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and Smith-Brown Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year.

He had 14 sacks and another 15 hurries while hounding quarterbacks this season. Hutchinson has 15.5 tackles for loss heading into the College Football Playoff as well.

CJ Stroud — Ohio State QB (+3000)

Three of Hutchinson’s sacks came at the expense of Stroud in the regular-season finale. Including Dwayne Haskins (2018) and Justin Fields (2019), Stroud is the third consecutive Buckeyes starting QB to be a Heisman finalist.

He completed  280 of 395 passes for 3,862 yards with 38 touchdowns in 2021. At 551.4 yards per game, Stroud directed the top offense in the nation this season.

Kenny Pickett — Pitt QB (+3000)

Preseason odds favored Clemson to win the ACC but Pickett and the Pitt Panthers have the crown this season. The ACC named the fourth-year starter Overall and Offensive Player of the Year. Pickett set school records in passing yards (4,319), completions (334) and touchdown passes (42).

Pickett enters the Peach Bowl as Pitt’s all-time leader with 13,112 yards of total offense, including 12,303 passing yards on 1,045 pass completions. He threw 81 touchdown passes to go with 20 rushing TDs.

Heisman Trophy bets weren’t always banned

Ohorilko said either an IRGC member or a sports betting operator asked about player awards as a grey area when Iowa sports bets were in their infancy.

“Eventually, the matter went over to the Attorney General’s Office for review,” he said.

Tom Miller’s office gave the IRGC informal guidance that player awards do not fit within Iowa’s sports wagering chapter.

“So those markets had to be taken off the board, and there has not been any additional player that year markets since that time.”

CFB betting options beyond the Heisman Trophy

Sportsbooks have other options for football bets this weekend including the historic Army vs. Navy rivalry.

The FCS Playoffs have reached the quarterfinal round starting with Montana (+7) at James Madison on Friday.

Saturday’s games are:

  • East Tennessee State (+24) at North Dakota State
  • South Dakota State (-7) at Villanova and
  • Montana State (+6) at Sam Houston State.
Photo by Jason Szenes / AP Photo
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Russ Mitchell

Russ Mitchell has been covering news and sports in northwest Iowa since 1997, including 11 years as managing editor for one of the most acclaimed community newspapers in the state. He looks forward to keeping readers up to date on the growing sportsbook industry in Iowa.

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