2022 Heisman Trophy Odds: Caleb Williams a Heavy Favorite Leading Up To Award Ceremony

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After a crazy weekend, there was potential for upheaval in Heisman Trophy odds. But, instead, they look a lot like they did last week. But when the Heisman Trust announced the four finalists Monday, there were no surprises.

Caleb Williams, Max Duggan, C.J. Stroud, and Stetson Bennett will head to New York for the award ceremony this weekend. Despite losing to Utah in the Pac-12 title game, Williams remains a heavy favorite at the sportsbooks that still have Heisman odds posted.

But that doesn’t mean the award is his—yet.

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2022 Heisman Trophy Odds 

Odds are current as of December 5 (the market has closed at several sportsbooks):

PlayerPositionTeamFanDuelBetMGM: Promo Code TODAY
Caleb WilliamsQBUSC-2200-2500
Max DugganQBTCU+2000+2000
CJ StroudQBOhio State+3000+3000
Stetson Bennett IVQBGeorgia+5000+5000

Conference championship weekend is typically when the frontrunner puts a stamp on his resume and makes it a no-brainer for Heisman voters. But that didn’t happen. Instead, Caleb Williams failed to lead his team to a win over Utah in the Pac-12 title game. However, he still threw for 363 yards and three touchdowns despite playing with an injury.

But a good portion of his yardage came in garbage time, as did his only touchdown in the second half. He also threw an interception in the fourth quarter that led to the USC touchdown that put the game out of reach.

That opened the door for Max Duggan to become the frontrunner, but then he failed to lead TCU to a win over K-State in the Big 12 title game. He did account for 361 total yards (251 passing and 110 rushing) and two touchdowns (one rushing and one receiving). His interception came in the endzone and led to a K-State touchdown.

However, Duggan’s play is the only reason the Horned Frogs took the game to overtime. He got them to the goal line. But rather than let Duggan finish the job, the coaches called for him to hand the ball off on third and fourth down (rather than kick a field goal).

The other active Heisman candidate, Stetson Bennett, had another great day (23-29 for 274 yards and four touchdowns) in Georgia’s win over LSU in the SEC title game. It was another excellent outing for the Bulldogs QB.

But his Heisman candidacy never really gained much steam this season.

Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams waves to fans after USC defeated Notre Dame 38-27 an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

2022 Heisman Trophy Odds: Tale of the Tape

The following table contains an overview of the season each of the four Heisman finalists had:

CategoriesMax DugganCaleb WilliamsC.J. StroudStetson Bennett
Passing Stats239-368 (64.9%) for 3,321 yds, 30 TDs, 4 INTs296-448 (66.1%) for 4,075 yds, 37 TDs, 4 INTs235-355 (66.2%) for 3,340 yds, 37 TDs, 6 INTs269-395 (68.1%) for 3,425 yds, 20 TDs, 6 INTs
Rushing Stats112 carries for 404 yds and 6 TDs109 carries for 372 yds and 10 TDs35 carries for 74 yds47 carries for 184 yds and 7 TDs
QB Rating165.5167.9176.2154.6
Team Record12-111-211-113-0
Wins Over Ranked Teams5 (vs. No. 18 Oklahoma, No. 19 Kansas, No. 8 Oklahoma State, No. 17 Kansas State, and No. 18 Texas)2 (vs. No. 16 UCLA, No. 15 Notre Dame2 (No. 5 Notre Dame, No. 13 Penn State)3 (No. 11 Oregon, No. 1 Tennessee, and No. 14 LSU)
Losses to Ranked Teams1 (No. 10 Kansas State)2 (No. 20 Utah and No. 11 Utah)1 (No. 3 Michigan)
Conference Title?NoNoNoYes
CFP Berth?YesNoYesYes

According to the mission statement of the Heisman Trust, the Heisman Trophy is supposed to be “awarded annually to the most outstanding player in college football whose performance epitomizes great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work.”

What that means is left up to the individual voters, but it typically involves playing at a high level and winning games. Losing games does not necessarily disqualify candidates, but losses are frowned upon.

Winners can come from any FBS program, but they often come from one of the marque programs in the country. Over a third of the winners have come from  Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, USC, or Alabama (31 of 85; 32 of 86 if you count Reggie Bush’s vacated Heisman).

Betting Analysis

With the Heisman odds listed for Williams giving him a 95-96% chance of winning the Heisman, is it even worth thinking about betting on someone else? Historically, the player favored at sportsbooks in the week leading up to the announcement has won (dating back to 2009 via SportsOddsHistory.com).

If it were simply a matter of athleticism and talent, the answer would be a resounding “yes.” But results are supposed to matter along with the stats. Anyone can generate insane stats against weak opponents. But those stats mean more when they lead to winning games, especially against formidable opponents.

Williams only faced four ranked opponents and lost to two; every other finalist fared better against quality competition. Max Duggan went 5-1 against ranked teams, and had he been given the ball on 3rd and goal or on 4th and goal, the Big 12 title game may have ended differently.

Stetson Bennett never failed in that regard, while the other three have at least once (twice in Williams’ case). But Bennett isn’t perceived as a potential winner because Georgia’s defense gets most of the credit for the team’s success.

Our Pick: Duggan deserves to win the Heisman more than Williams. To go from the bench to lead his team to a 12-1 record and a spot in the CFP is more outstanding than leading a team created via the transfer portal, like an NFL team using free agency to an 11-2 record.

But Williams will probably win.

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Heisman Trophy Winners History

Here’s a look back at the odds of Heisman winners via SportsOddsHistory.com:

YearHeisman WinnerPositionSchoolOdds Prior To Week 1
2022Caleb WilliamsQBUSC+600
2021Bryce YoungQBAlabama+800
2020Devonta SmithWRAlabama+10000
2019Joe BurrowQBLSU+4000
2018Kyler MurrayQBOklahoma+3000
2017Baker MayfieldQBOklahoma+1000
2016Lamar JacksonQBLouisville+10000
2015Derrick HenryRBAlabama+2500
2014Marcus MariotaQBOregon+425
2013Jameis WinstonQBFSUNot Listed
2012Johnny ManzielQBTexas A&MNot Listed
2011Robert Griffin IIIQBBaylor+2800
2010Cam NewtonQBAuburnNot Listed
2009Mark IngramRBAlabamaNot Listed
2008Sam BradfordQBOklahomaNA
2007Tim TebowQBFloridaNA
2006Troy SmithQBOhio StateNA
2005Reggie BrushRBUSCNA
2004Matt LeinartQBUSCNA
2003Jason WhiteQBOklahomaNA
2002Carson PalmerQBUSCNA
2001Eric Crouch QB/WRNebraskaNA

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About the Author
Travis Pulver

Travis Pulver

Senior Writer
Travis Pulver is a senior writer for Gaming Today and a lifelong football fan, something he says comes naturally having been born in the football-crazy state of Texas. Through the years, Pulver's love of sports has extended into baseball, basketball, golf, and rugby. Life currently finds him in Indiana with his wife and two kids.

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