The Heisman Trophy is college football’s most prestigious award. While quarterbacks historically dominate the award, players like DeVonta Smith and Desmond Howard have broken up the monotony from time to time. USC’s Caleb Williams took the award home in 2022 and returns as a strong contender for 2023. Michigan’s JJ McCarthy and Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. lead a crowded race through the back fourth of the season.
Check back for updated Heisman odds, player analysis, and longshot picks for the 2023 season.
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Heisman Trophy odds: 2023 Watch List
With one week left, we’re down to two top contenders. That’s not to say another player can’t rocket in, but the following are the most likely to win the trophy as of Nov. 21:
Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU: After dropping to as low as 65-1 following a loss to Alabama, LSU launched their Daniels-for-Heisman campaign. In Week 11, he became the first player to throw for 350 yards and rush for 200 more. In Week 12, Daniels totaled eight touchdowns. The historic performances vaulted the LSU Tiger to the odds-on favorite for the Heisman race. His biggest hurdle is missing out on the SEC Championship.
Bo Nix, QB, Oregon: Despite one loss to Washington on the season, Nix has been fantastic. He leads the nation in completion rate (77.9%!), has 35 passing touchdowns and just two interceptions, and sits second in QBR. Oregon notched a convincing wins over Utah and USC, and still has ranked Oregon State on tap, plus a potential Pac-12 Championship rematch with Washington.
Related: Betting Heisman Trophy longshots
How to bet Heisman Trophy futures
Most major books like Caesars Sportsbook and DraftKings 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, Georgia, and Ohio State. However, no preseason favorites have won the award and just four 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. Find the best odds on each player in the above table.