Heisman Trophy Report: Hunter, Sanders Stock Up; Milroe Down

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Written By Brett Gibbons | Last Updated
Heisman odds

Given the scarcity of college football games on the regular season schedule, 2023 Heisman Trophy odds are extremely volatile. One huge game or one dud effectively adds or removes a player entirely from the running, at least according to fluctuations at the best college football betting sites. Just two (and a half) weeks into the 2023 college football season, we’ve already seen a ton of shakeup in Heisman odds. The new hotness on the streets – Travis Hunter, Shedeur Sanders, and the Colorado Buffaloes – rocketed into the conversation. The old guard – Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State – now fail to have a player in the top 10 on odds boards.

This preseason, I laid out several criteria that tie all modern Heisman winners together. We’ll revisit and compare those qualifiers below. Click on odds anywhere in this article to bet on the Heisman Trophy.

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Week 3 Heisman Odds: Stock Up

Quinn Ewers, QB, Texas

Ewers Heisman odds

The Heisman Trophy is awarded on pop and storylines, rather than underlying metrics. Ewers walked into Tuscaloosa, threw for 350 yards and three touchdowns, and beat the Crimson Tide in the most high-profile game of the season. Texas has not had a Heisman winner since Ricky Williams in 1998 and with the Longhorns declared “back,” Ewers makes an excellent poster boy for the award. He still has the Big 12 ahead of him on the schedule, with enough high-profile games on the ledger to keep him in the finalist conversation.

According to KFord Ratings, Texas has a 97% chance to win at least nine games and a 58% chance to win at least 11. That kind of projection alone makes Ewers an intriguing frontrunner.

With just one high profile game on his schedule so far, Ewers lacks the touchdown totals seen by Caleb Williams and Sam Hartman. However, as the Longhorns play more Power Five teams, the necessity for him to collect stats grows. The ability for Ewers to account for at least 40 touchdowns still very much exists.

  • Opening odds: +2000
  • Best available odds:

Shedeur Sanders, QB, Colorado

Sanders’ Heisman odds exploded following his 500-yard opening weekend performance against TCU. Add in another nearly 400 yards against Nebraska’s frugal defense, and Shedeur Sanders is a name that’ll stay rooted to the Heisman conversation. The Buffs’ schedule only gets more difficult from here – with Oregon, USC, UCLA, Oregon State, and Utah still left – but many of the higher-profile Pac-12 teams don’t field the strongest defense.

Colorado should find themselves in plenty of track meets this year, and Sanders’ athleticism gives him a ceiling of 44+ touchdowns. He’s already attempting 11.5 yards per pass and his 903 yards are the most among QBs with two games under their belt.

Unlike Ewers, KFord Ratings project just a 3% chance Colorado wins 9+ games and less than a 1% chance that they win 11+. That’s Sanders’ biggest hurdle – the win requirement. Unless the Buffs continue to overshoot projections by multiple touchdowns, he’s likely coming up shy in his team record.

  • Opening odds: 200-1
  • Best available odds:

Travis Hunter, WR/CB, Colorado

Thanks to FOX’s TV deal, Colorado is the most visible team in college football this year. That matters for both Sanders and Travis Hunter. While the Heisman winner is typically a quarterback, Hunter being on national television every week as the promoted top billing, voters will see just how differently the former No. 1 recruit looks than everyone else. If there were a formula that gets a two-way player like Hunter in the finalist conversation, it’s this year’s.

Hunter may lack the true counting stats seen in prior Heisman winners. But his ability to play 90+ snaps per game and dominate on all of them will garner plenty of attention. Rather than being compared to, say, Desmond Howard, Hunter draws cross-sport comparisons to MLB star Shohei Ohtani. As the MLB MVP favorite, those comparisons only help connect the dots with Hunter.

However, his campaign is the most volatile of the group, as a couple of games without a touchdown – or being out-gained by Xavier Weaver and Jimmy Horn – Hunter may fall quickly. Plus, his teammate is also a strong early contender for the same award.

  • Opening odds: 400-1
  • Best available odds:

Week 3 Heisman Odds: Stock Down

Kyle McCord, QB, Ohio State

Kyle McCord heisman odds

McCord’s debut for the Buckeyes was underwhelming. Ohio State scored just 23 points and McCord failed to throw a touchdown pass. The following week, the Buckeyes beat up on a hapless Youngstown State, but the offensive fireworks again lacked. McCord has now been lapped by teammate Marvin Harrison Jr., the best offensive player on Ohio State’s roster.

McCord is attempting under 10 yards per pass and throwing a touchdown on just 5.7% of attempts – both far from Heisman-worthy numbers. Without the glitz and glam of prior Ohio State QBs like Justin Fields and CJ Stroud, McCord’s Heisman campaign is likely a losing one.

  • Opening odds: +2000
  • Best available odds:

Jalen Milroe, QB, Alabama

Milroe sat near the top of Heisman odds boards simply because he was the starting quarterback for Alabama. Preseason expectations put the Tide in the 11-win category and Milroe has shown a propensity to throw downfield. The problem is, he isn’t completing those passes. Through two games, Milroe is completing just 60% of his passes and has thrown some egregious interceptions. Though he’s primarily a runner, his decision-making has to improve to be considered a candidate for the award.

After being drubbed by Texas at home and out-shone by the opposing quarterback, Milroe fell to almost inconceivable numbers on odds boards. It’s fairly safe to say that he won’t be winning the Heisman trophy this year, even if Alabama wins 10 or more games.

  • Opening odds: 100-1
  • Best available odds:

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Current Heisman Trophy Odds

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