According to the odds listed at sportsbooks, the Heisman Trophy race is down to two guys—CJ Stroud and Caleb Williams.
Yes, Bryce Young’s not far behind, but his Heisman Trophy odds are trending in the wrong direction.
Stroud and Williams have yet to play anyone of consequence, but will finally get tested with conference play getting underway. Should either slip and have a lackluster game, several players could leapfrog both to the top of Heisman Trophy betting boards.
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2022 Heisman Trophy Odds
Odds for the top 10 players at DraftKings (with corresponding odds at BetMGM, Caesars, and PointsBet) are current as of September 19:
|2022 Heisman Trophy Winner||Position||School||DraftKings||BetMGM||PointsBet||Caesars|
|C.J. Stroud||QB||Ohio State||+200||+250||+200||+275|
CJ Stroud looked the part of a Heisman Trophy frontrunner against Toledo with a 367-yards, five-touchdown day. But he should play that well against a team like the Rockets. For him to win the Heisman, he’ll need to have similar days against teams like Wisconsin—who the Buckeyes play on Saturday.
Caleb Williams entered the season in prove-it mode since he was at a new school with new teammates. But, like Stroud, he needs to play just as well against the better teams on USC’s schedule as he has against the weaker teams.
Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy is the lone newcomer to the top ten of the DraftKings Heisman Trophy oddsboard. As the quarterback of the No. 4 team in the country, it is not shocking to see him in the Heisman race. But, while he has played efficient, effective football so far, Michigan’s schedule has been the definition of weak.
Heisman Odds for Notable Week 1 Performances: QBs
The big difference between the players in this table and any of the Heisman Trophy frontrunners is simply notoriety. They have played and produced just as well as Bryce Young, CJ Stroud, and Caleb Williams—but no one knows who they are. So, since they are not household names, they must prove themselves before they will be taken seriously as contenders.
But in the coming weeks, several of them will get their shot. Odds current as of September 19:
|Player||Team||Week 1 Game Stats||Odds (viaDraftKings)|
|Spencer Sanders||Oklahoma State||13-16 for 242 yards and 4 TDs||+5000|
|Will Levis||Kentucky||27-35 for 377 yards, 3 TDs (1 rushing), 2 INTs||+6000|
|KJ Jefferson||Arkansas||19-31 for 385 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT; nine carries for 40 yards, 1 TD||+7000|
|Michael Penix Jr.||Washington||24-40 for 397 yards, 4 TDs||+4500|
|Sam Hartman||Wake Forest||26-44 for 325 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs||+5000|
|Connor Bazelak||Indiana||33-55 for 364 yards, 2 TDs||Not Listed|
|Will Rogers||Miss. State||24-42 for 214 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT||+7000|
|Tua Tagovailoa||Maryland||17-23 for 214 yards, 2 TDs; 13 carries for 51 yards||+9000|
|John Rhys Plumlee||Central Florida||25-36 for 339 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; 20 carries for 121 yards, 2 TDs||Not Listed|
Sam Hartman has quietly had a good season for Wake Forest. But he needs to lead the Demon Deacons to a win over Wake Forest to become a contender. KJ Jefferson needs to lead Arkansas to a win over Texas A&M. Spencer Sanders needs to beat Baylor this weekend. Will Levis already has a marquee win on his resume (vs. Florida), but he’ll get a chance for another against Ole Miss in a couple of weeks.
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Heisman Odds For Notable Week 1 Performances: RBs and WRs
Quarterbacks get the bulk of the attention when it comes to the Heisman, but that does not mean you should overlook running backs and wide receivers. After all, a receiver did win a couple of years ago (Devonta Smith), and there have been more winners at running back than in any other position.
The following table contains the Heisman odds for some of the notable Week 1 performances for running backs and wide receivers:
|Player||Team||Position||Week 3 Game Stats||Odds (viaDraftKings)|
|Blake Corum||Michigan||RB||12 carries for 71 yards. 5 TDs||+8000|
|Will Shipley||Clemson||RB||12 carries for 139 yards. 2 TDs||+9000|
|Raheim Sanders||Arkansas||RB||22 carries for 167 yards, 1 TD; 2 receptions for 75 yards, 1 TD||Not Listed|
|Richard Reese||Baylor||RB||19 carries for 156 yards, 3 TDs||Not Listed|
|Mohamed Ibrahim||Minnesota||RB||23 carries for 202 yards, 3 TDs||+10000|
|Dewayne McBride||UAB||RB||28 carries for 223 yards, 4 TDs||Not Listed|
|Aidan Robbins||UNLV||RB||29 carries for 227 yards, 3 TDs||Not Listed|
|Ja'Lynn Polk||Washington||WR||6 receptions for 153 yards, 3 TDs||Not Listed|
|Rashee Rice||SMU||WR||11 receptions for 193 yards||Not Listed|
|Marvin Harrison Jr.||Ohio State||WR||6 receptions for 102 yards, 2 TDs||+5500|
Playing well is not enough for running backs and wide receivers to win the Heisman. They need to be why their team wins a big game to have a shot. Voters may overlook their contribution if their quarterback also has a big game.
Betting Analysis: The Word Of The Day Is Long
Bet on Young, Stroud, or Williams if you must. All three will play better as the season progresses, making them strong candidates. However, their odds will probably not change drastically from now until then. For now, the better play is to go with someone with longer odds.
The following are some of our favorites:
Dillon Gabriel, QB, Oklahoma
He’s thriving with the Sooners. As soon as he guides the team to a win on national television in prime time, the whole country will be talking about him—and betting on him, too.
K.J. Jefferson, QB, Arkansas
He had another solid outing last week, but Arkansas should have crushed Missouri State. The next two weeks will be telling for Jefferson’s chance of winning. Arkansas has Texas A&M this week and Alabama the week after.
Sam Hartman, QB, Wake Forest
He had a solid game against Liberty last week, but whether he has a shot at winning the Heisman will hinge on whether he can beat Clemson this weekend.
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Heisman Trophy Odds: Sleepers/Longshots
Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
Other than Florida, Kentucky’s opponents have been pretty soft, but Levis is the real deal. His odds will be long until he gets his first big win (which will be in two weeks against No. 16 Ole Miss).
Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington
The former Indiana QB has been throwing up some impressive numbers for Washington and did so last weekend when the Huskies took down a ranked Michigan State team. But the Pac-12 is not particularly strong this year; the only ranked team on their schedule is No. 15 Oregon (Nov. 12).
Taulia Tagoviola, QB, Maryland
Turnovers and inconsistent play plagued Tagoviola early in his career, but he has done a solid job of protecting the ball this year and has been pretty consistent. But to have a shot, he’ll need to guide the Terrapins to a win over No. 4 Michigan this weekend (Maryland is a 17-point underdog).
Heisman Trophy Winners History
Here’s a look back at the odds of Heisman winners via SportsOddsHistory.com:
Year Heisman Winner Position School Odds Prior To Week 1
2021 Bryce Young QB Alabama +800
2020 Devonta Smith WR Alabama +10000
2019 Joe Burrow QB LSU +4000
2018 Kyler Murray QB Oklahoma +3000
2017 Baker Mayfield QB Oklahoma +1000
2016 Lamar Jackson QB Louisville +10000
2015 Derrick Henry RB Alabama +2500
2014 Marcus Mariota QB Oregon +425
2013 Jameis Winston QB FSU Not Listed
2012 Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M Not Listed
2011 Robert Griffin III QB Baylor +2800
2010 Cam Newton QB Auburn Not Listed
2009 Mark Ingram RB Alabama Not Listed
2008 Sam Bradford QB Oklahoma NA
2007 Tim Tebow QB Florida NA
2006 Troy Smith QB Ohio State NA
2005 Reggie Brush RB USC NA
2004 Matt Leinart QB USC NA
2003 Jason White QB Oklahoma NA
2002 Carson Palmer QB USC NA
2001 Eric Crouch QB/WR Nebraska NA
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More NCAAF Futures
Along with the Heisman Trophy, bettors have a range of additional college football futures to wager on. The following are some we have covered:
- You can Roll with the Tide if you want, but there are better options in CFB National Championship odds.
- Big Ten Odds: The Ohio State Buckeyes want to regain their perch atop the Big Ten, but will they?
- Pac-12 Odds: One last conference title for USC?
- ACC Odds: Clemson favored (again), but there’s value elsewhere.
- SEC Odds: You’ll never guess who the favorite is…
- Big 12 Odds: One more time for the Sooners?
- MAC Odds: A longshot won the conference last year. Could it happen again?
- AAC Odds: One more time for Cincinnati?
- CFB Win Totals
College Football Betting 101
Jumping into the wide world of sports betting can be a little tricky. While making mistakes can help you learn, mistakes when betting often result in losing money— no one wants to do that! So, before you get started on your sports betting journey, or if you have questions along the way, these pages may help you find answers:
- Can you legally place a bet in your state?
- Sports betting laws vary from state to state; what are the rules about betting on college football in your state?
- It may seem like a simple task, but you’ll wish you reviewed how to place a bet after you accidentally bet on the wrong team.
- Not all sports betting apps are the same.
- The right welcome bonus can boost your bankroll.
- Line shopping is something every bettor needs to understand.
- Questions about betting odds? Wonder what causes them to change?
- It helps to know what implied probability is and how to calculate it.
- Our Tools page contains a lot of helpful information about several things.