NCAA Football

College football odds Week 10: Hendon Hooker new favorite to win Heisman

College football odds Week 10: Hendon Hooker new favorite to win Heisman

When the Heisman Trophy odds first hit the betting tables of sportsbooks across the country, the talk centered mostly on Alabama quarterback Bryce Young i Ohio State QB CJ Stroud.

Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker it was a long shot, with odds of +6600 (66-1) and beyond, depending on where you bet.

Fast forward two months into the college football season, however, and it’s a different story with Heisman Trophy odds as Hooker is now the favorite to win the award.

new leader

Yes, Stroud is still very much in the mix, at a short price of +175 at BetMGM. But Young, who opened as a +250 favourite, has since extended to +3300, the eighth choice. That’s largely due to Hooker and the Vols: Tennessee beat visiting Alabama 52-49 in overtime in Week 7.

Now, after Kentucky’s Week 9 drubbing of the Vols 44-6, Hooker is the favorite in the Heisman odds market. BetMGM has him at +100, an even money bet, meaning a $100 bet would win $100 if Hooker lands the annual prize.

An important note: Hooker opened at +6600.

“There’s been plenty of action in Hooker across the country, but it’s hotter in SEC country, among our [mobile] applications in Tennessee and Mississippi,” said BetMGM trader Seamus Magee. “The biggest payout I see is a bet on Hooker at 12-1 to win around $6,000. Someone beat him $100 at 50-1 to win $5,000. But there aren’t many huge entries.”

Hooker is #1 in ticket count at BetMGM, #3 in money wagered, and is the second largest liability in the book market. The only worse outcome is Kansas QB Jaylon Daniels, who is the No. 1 pick in the money but is no longer on the odds board after missing the last few weeks with a shoulder injury.

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Probability progression

As noted above, Hooker opened +6600 at BetMGM’s future Heisman odds, which first increased after last season’s College Football Playoff championship game. BetMGM trader Seamus Magee said the book moved Hooker to +5000 soon after and he didn’t touch his odds again until the season started.

“The big leap came after the Florida game when he went from 40-1 to 16-1,” Magee said. “Then after the ‘Bama game, he went to the runs with tackles on Hooker.”

After the win over Alabama, Hooker landed the second choice at +600, behind Stroud’s -110 price, and now sits in the even-money favorite seat.

FOX Bet opened Hooker as an even longer shot, at +8000, and like BetMGM, it quickly adjusted to +5000. Right before the Vols beat Alabama, Hooker hit +1100, and he jumped to +550 after that big home win. FOX Bet now has Hooker at +110 and Stroud at +200.

But this week could make or break Hooker’s Heisman hopes: No. 2 Tennessee travels to No. 1 Georgia in a game that will also change the odds of the College Football Playoff.

“It’s hard to give any QB an edge based on his stats or team success,” said Dylan Brossman, senior director of business operations at FOX Bet. “If Hooker can knock off No. 1 Georgia this weekend as a 9-point underdog, I expect him to have his Heisman moment and further secure his spot as the favorite. If Hooker plays well, but Tennessee loses, the Hooker … The Stroud Heisman battle may seem closer to a coin toss.”

A smaller victory, but not a loser

For both FOX Bet and BetMGM, Hooker is a worse outcome than Stroud in what is practically a two-man race in the Heisman Trophy odds market. However, neither book actually loses on any score: it’s just a matter of winning less.

“We’ve managed the market well and as things stand, both Hooker and Stroud would be a positive result for our book,” Brossman said.

Magee noted that Hooker is a small winner for BetMGM.

“We were pretty aggressive in moving their prices as we’ve tracked Tennessee every Saturday,” Magee said. “We were pretty much ahead of everyone else, so luckily we still have one to go [profitable] book for Hooker. Stroud would be a much better result.

“If Hooker goes into Athens and beats Georgia while playing well, you’ll definitely see a big change in his odds going forward.”

Patrick Everson is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and a senior reporter for VegasInsider.com. He is a distinguished journalist in the national sports betting space. He is based in Las Vegas, where he enjoys playing golf in 110-degree heat. Follow him on Twitter: @PatrickE_Vegas.


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