The Heisman Trophy is college football’s most prestigious award. While quarterbacks have historically dominated the award, players like DeVonta Smith and Desmond Howard have broken up the monotony from time to time. Alabama’s Bryce Young took the award home in 2021 and returns as a strong contender for 2022. Who leads Heisman odds boards and who are the contenders?
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Heisman Trophy odds: Favorites
CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State (): Stroud was a finalist for the Heisman last year, throwing for 4,400 yards and 44 touchdowns in his first year starting. Ohio State, despite losing two first-round receivers to the NFL, have the deepest weapons corps in the nation, headlined by Jaxon Smith-Njigba.
Caleb Williams, QB, USC (): After an electric freshman season at Oklahoma, Williams followed his head coach Lincoln Riley to USC. Williams looks the part early in the season, dropping his odds considerably, but those games are against Rice, Stanford, and Fresno State. He has remarkable chemistry with transfers Jordan Addison and Mario Williams.
Bryce Young, QB, Alabama (): Young had a tough Week 2 outing against Texas on the road. It’s far from a death knell on his Heisman campaign, but only one player ever has won two Heisman trophies. In order to win this year’s award, he’d have to one-up last year’s season– a tough ask for someone who threw 47 TDs.
Heisman Trophy odds: Longshots
Stetson Bennett, QB, Georgia (): We outlined criteria Bennett fits into for a possible Heisman longshot bet in August. He came out of the season opener firing on all cylinders, rising his Heisman stock considerably. If Georgia continues to put the game in Bennett’s hands this season, he’s going to be in the longterm conversation.
Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee (): The Vols star finished 2021 with a 31:3 touchdown-interception ratio and a 181.4 passer rating. For Hooker to get serious Heisman consideration, Tennessee would need to win at least 10 games. While far from impossible, their schedule ranks fifth-hardest in FPI in the nation, with stints against Alabama and Georgia left on the docket.
Heisman Trophy odds: Non-Quarterbacks
Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas (): We saw what Robinson is capable of last year as the full-time back at Texas– over 1,400 scrimmage yards and 15 combined touchdowns. With a more dangerous passing game, defenses are going to be stretched thin, giving Robinson lighter boxes and more alleys to work with.
Will Anderson, LB, Alabama (): Anderson was snubbed from being a Heisman finalist a season ago. As a sophomore, he recorded 17.5 sacks and 101 tackles– a ridiculous 30.5 of which went for a loss (second all-time)– both team-high marks. Just one true defensive player has ever won the award (Michigan’s Charles Woodson in 1997), but Anderson makes a strong case to be the second.
Players to fade
Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida (): Flashes of greatness interspersed with lapses in judgement lead to Richardson being one of this year’s most hotly anticipated young players. After an unset win and over 100 yards rushing in Week 1 against Utah, Richardson became an amplified sweetheart. Now after a miserable Week 2, it’s time to write him off. There’s no wiggle room in the Heisman race.
DJ Uiagalelei, QB, Clemson (): DJ U could very well be this year’s Spencer Rattler and could lose his job early on at Clemson to a more exciting Cade Klubnik. Despite an abysmal 2021 and losing his OC, he’s right back in the mix for on Heisman odds tables. Opposing coaches scouted DJ U saying, “I don’t think the QB is a great player… It’s not out of the question they change guys. They’re not as good around him.”
How to bet Heisman Trophy futures
Most major books like DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook carry Heisman odds all season long. Since college football has the shortest season and fewest number of games of the major sport leagues in the US, these odds change rapidly. One high-profile game can send a player from off the board to a top-three favorite in just a week.
Quarterbacks typically dominate the market like they do in the NFL MVP award. The contenders are usually on high-powered offenses and national powers like Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State. However, no preseason favorites have won the award and just three top-three favorites have won since 2008.
Identifying players with plenty of weapons around them, sound coaching, and superstar playmaking ability can help whittle down an often-overwhelming field.
How is the Heisman Trophy winner decided?
A total of 870 media members (sports journalists mostly covering college football) from six regions along with 59 former Heisman winners vote on the award. Voters can select three players on their ballot. A first place vote allots 3 points to the player selected, second place gets 2 points and third place gets 1 point.
The Heisman and the AP Player of the Year honor the most outstanding player. The award is given for outstanding performance which best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work. Since 2002, the award has been presented by the Heisman Trophy trust, and was first presented in 1935 by the Downtown Athletic Club in New York City.
Over the last 20 years, just two Heisman winners have played on teams that won fewer than 10 games – Florida’s Tim Tebow in 2007 and Louisville’s Lamar Jackson in 2016. But those two teams each won 9 games. So narrow your list to the projected top teams and review the schedules and players likelihood to put up strong stats with outstanding performances.
Heisman Trophy winner by year
|2013||Jameis Winston||QB||Florida State|
|2012||Johnny Manziel||QB||Texas A&M|
|2011||Robert Griffin III||QB||Baylor|
|2009||Mark Ingram Jr.||RB||Alabama|
|2006||Troy Smith||QB||Ohio State|
|2005||Reggie Bush (vacated)||RB||USC|
|2000||Chris Weinke||QB||Florida State|
Where can you bet on college football futures?
The Heisman Trophy futures markets are available at all legal, regulated sportsbooks. Heisman futures are located behind the college football tab in online sportsbook platforms, under a specific Futures tab. Players are listed along with their corresponding odds at that point in time.