The transfer portal has become a key offseason mechanic in college football, with talent movement that can shape markets. Today, the biggest domino of this offseason fell. Breakout Oklahoma freshman Caleb Williams announced his intent to follow his coach Lincoln Riley and transfer to USC.
How does the move affect the Trojans’ futures odds for 2022?
Follow along with TheLines for college football coverage and odds for the next National Championship all offseason long.
USC Futures Odds
USC already got a major boost from markets when they made the biggest splash hire in the coaching ranks. Riley packed his bags just hours after Oklahoma’s regular season finale and headed to Southern California in a move few saw coming.
Not only did he potentially turn USC into a contender overnight, but he sent the college football world spiraling and set off the biggest coaching carousel in years.
Opening odds for the 2022-23 National Championship appeared at sportsbooks after most of the major coaching moves were in place. However, they did open before many big transfers landed. USC had the new head guy and a host of new assistants, but they lacked a quarterback. Freshman Jaxson Dart announced his intent to transfer away from LA shortly after Williams announced that he would be transferring from Oklahoma.
Naturally, speculation mounted about a possible move for Williams to USC. The fit seemed natural.
USC’s opening odds at FanDuel Sportsbook for the title were nonetheless priced at +8000. That mark landed around other upstart teams like Tennessee and North Carolina as well as other more established ones like Notre Dame and Wisconsin.
Caleb Williams Transfer Launches USC Futures
Immediately following the news break on Tuesday morning, USC jumped from +8000 to +4000. Their current best price to win the National Championship is . At DraftKings Sportsbook, USC was listed as short as +2500.
Just a year after finishing with four wins, USC is officially at least a fringe contender, according to the market. They vaulted past the likes of Oklahoma and Michigan. Now, only Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, Clemson and Texas A&M have shorter odds.
Currently, the only college football futures available are for the national title. But, we can expect USC to open at or near the top of the odds board when PAC-12 conference futures hit the market.
Caleb Williams Transfer And Heisman Odds
Opening Heisman odds at FanDuel Sportsbook came out when Williams was in the transfer portal. Speculation surrounding his move left myriad options open. Would he follow Riley to USC? Were late rumblings around Wisconsin real? Was there any chance he’d stay put at OU?
His opening price for the Heisman was +2500, likely fueled behind the uncertainty of his landing spot.
Lincoln Riley produced two Heisman winners and another finalist during his time at Oklahoma. That trend of QB success informed a price change when the USC move became official. From +2500 at opening, Williams jumped to +1200 at FD. 2021 Heisman finalists Bryce Young and CJ Stroud are the only players with shorter odds.