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. This year on Heisman odds boards, Williams tops the list, ahead of Florida State’s Jordan Travis, UNC’s Drake Maye, and Washington’s Michael Penix Jr.
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
Caleb Williams, QB, USCThe 2022 winner returns for at least one more season. As a true sophomore, Williams threw for over 4,000 yards, 37 touchdowns, and only four interceptions and added another 10 scores on the ground. He is one of the most sought-after QBs for NFL teams in recent memory, likely creating a race to the top of the 2024 board.
Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina: Maye fizzled out at the end of the season – no thanks in part to a crumbling offensive line – but as a redshirt freshman he threw over 4,100 yards and 35 TDs. He also rushed in another seven scores as UNC was one of the top scoring offenses in the nation.
Joe Milton, QB, Tennessee: His predecessor was well on his way to being a Heisman finalist before a knee injury derailed that. Milton has a rocket arm and already showed the ability to shine in the Vols offense. Despite losing a chunk of his top targets and OC Alex Golesh, Milton should have no problem replicating Hooker’s gaudy numbers if he can take care of the football.
Jordan Travis, QB, Florida State: Travis took a huge step forward in 2022, leading Florida State to a 9-3 regular season record and a top-15 rank. He announced his return in 2023, a surprising move to many.
Michael Penix, QB, Washington: Penix finished ninth in Heisman voting this past season and returns to Washington in 2023. The Huskies fielded one of the nation’s most efficient and effective offenses, a trend that’ll continue into next season.
Other names include:
- Quinn Ewers, QB, Texas
- Kyle McCord, QB, Ohio State
- Blake Corum/Donovan Edwards, RBs, Michigan
- Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State
- Quinshon Judkins, RB, Ole Miss
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.