Each year you can pretty much pencil in a quarterback winning the Heisman Trophy, the most prestigious award in college football. Alabama WR DeVonta Smith broke that trend in 2020, however, becoming the first non-QB to win the award since Alabama RB Derrick Henry in 2015. Since 2010, QBs have won the Heisman nine times – with Smith and Henry being the only exceptions. Sportsbooks have already posted 2021 Heisman odds, with Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler and Alabama QB Bryce Young the favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Non-QBs in the mix for 2021 are Texas RB Bijan Robinson (+2500 at DK) and Alabama WR John Metchie (+8000).
Heisman odds 2021
Lincoln Riley is looking to build on his resume of two Heisman winners and three Heisman finalists with sophomore Spencer Rattler. Rattler leads early odds tables thanks to a late season explosion and due in part to Riley’s success. In his first year as a starting quarterback, he scored 34 total touchdowns and secured a Big 12 title, Peach Bowl victory, and a win over arch rival Texas. Oklahoma’s system maximizes a quarterback’s potential and emphasizes efficiency (Oklahoma has been in the top three in offensive efficiency every year under Riley).
Following Rattler is Alabama sophomore Bryce Young, who finished as the second overall recruit (top dual-threat) in the 2020 recruiting class. Young has an array of weapons readily available at Alabama that includes rising star John Metchie III. Thanks to surrounding talent and Nick Saban, whoever starts at quarterback is immediately in the running for the Heisman Trophy.
Sophomores continue the list with Clemson’s D.J. Uiagalelei, who led the Tigers in two games this season– a 47-40 overtime loss to top-five Notre Dame and a victory over Boston College. Uiagalelei averaged nearly 400 passing yards in his two starts and vaulted himself into future Heisman consideration. Dabo Swinney has produced three Heisman finalists (no winners) since 2015, and Uiagalelei could end up being number four.
After tearing his ACL in the Cheez-It Bowl against Oklahoma State, Miami’s D’Eriq King announced he would be returning for a sixth season as a graduate transfer. He was considered a Heisman favorite going into the 2020 season, but fell short amid outstanding seasons from other players. Should King be back in time for the 2021 season, he will be near the top of odds tables for most of the season.
Kedon Slovis is returning to USC after a majorly disappointing 2020. Slovis was among the short list for the Heisman Trophy going into the season, but the Trojans’ season was mostly derailed by COVID-19. It culminated in a Pac-12 Championship loss to Oregon, and Slovis decided he would be back. He loses top target Amon-Ra St. Brown to the NFL this season, but USC is never far off the top of recruiting rankings.
Texas sophomore running back Bijan Robinson is the highest non-quarterback on most odds tables after averaging a staggering 8.2 yards per carry in his freshman year. Robinson dazzled in the Alamo Bowl against Colorado, averaging 18.3 yards per carry on 10 carries. With Sam Ehlinger leaving for the NFL and under new head coach Steve Sarkisian, Robinson should see his lion’s share of work this coming season.
How to bet Heisman Trophy futures
By their very nature, odds on futures wagers are subject to varying degree of fluctuation. In the case of player-level futures like the Heisman Trophy, a number of different factors can influence the trajectory of his futures odds as the games unfold week to week. That includes not only performance, results and stats, but also injuries.
Take the example of the 2019 pre-season pacesetter at both FanDuel and DraftKings sportsbooks — Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. The sophomore took a lot of money and his odds dropped all the way to +200 at FanDuel and +175 on DraftKings at one point in 2019. Clemson was projected to be at least a 13-point favorite in all regular-season games, and bettors believed Lawrence would lead the Tigers offense to even greater heights after capturing the National Championship in 2018 while averaging 44.3 points per game.
Lawrence fell out of the 2019 race early, though, and his odds to win plummeted. He ultimately finished seventh in the voting as Joe Burrow grabbed the coveted Trophy.
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.
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.