Heisman Trophy Contenders Odds: Quarterbacks Continue to Lead

Ohio State's Stroud, Reigning Honoree Bryce Young Lead the List of Heisman Contenders

Quarterbacks Once Again Dominate the Heisman Trophy Odds

When Alabama’s Bryce Young won the 2021 Heisman Trophy in his first season as a starter, he was the fifth quarterback to win the most prestigious award in college football over the last six seasons.

Looking at the current odds of the Heisman Trophy contenders, that seems to be a trend that won’t be changing.

Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud currently leads Young and Southern California’s Caleb Williams in the Heisman Trophy pecking order according to the college football predictions.

There was some hope for the defensive players when Michigan edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson finished second in the Heisman balloting, Alabama’s Will Anderson is representing the defense as he currently has the fifth-best odds behind the three aforementioned quarterbacks and Texas running back Bijan Robinson.

Pointspreads takes a look at the top Heisman contenders with the season set to get underway this weekend.

Strong-Armed Californians Lead the Way

If you are looking for a Heisman front-runner down the road, perhaps it might be wise to keep up on what is going on in California high school football circles when it comes to looking at future Heisman Trophy contender odds.

Current Heisman front-runner Stroud as well as Young, the winner of the 2021 Heisman Trophy, are from California. Clemson’s DJ Uiagalelei is another quarterback from California to keep an eye on.

Ohio State running back Archie Griffin is the only two-time winner of the Heisman Trophy. It would be quite the story if a player from Ohio State deprives Young of the chance to join him as a multiple-time winner of the Heisman.

Stroud had a better passer rating, a higher completion percentage, averaged more yards per passing attempt, and threw for more yards per game than Young a season ago only to finish fourth in the 2021 Heisman Trophy voting. Young picked up 684 first-place votes compared to just 12 for Stroud.

If there is a major difference between the two current front-runners it could be the presence of Jaxon Smith-Njigba for Stroud to throw to.

Smith-Njigba was second in the country in receiving yards per game in 2021. With Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson among the top receivers selected in the 2022 NFL Draft, there could be even more connections between Stroud and Smith-Njigba, who is listed by the college football picks at +2800 to become the second receiver since 1992 to win the Heisman.

Stroud will also have a showcase game to kick off the season when Ohio State plays host to Notre Dame on Sept. 3. For those who bet online, it is interesting to see that the Buckeyes are favored by 16 points against a top 10 Notre Dame team.

Alabama lost a pair of 1,000-yard receivers when Jameson Williams and John Metchie went to the NFL and there are questions about who will emerge as the go-to receiver or receivers for Young.

Stroud, who threw for 4,435 yards with 44 touchdown passes and six interceptions while completing 72% of his passes, is holding steady at +200 in the Heisman Trophy odds.

Young had 14 touchdown passes and four interceptions in five games against ranked teams in 2021 and currently is at +350 in the Heisman Trophy contender odds.

Anderson Looking to Make Heisman History

Young might have been the winner of the Heisman Trophy, but was he the best player on the 2021 Alabama team?

Anderson led the country in 33½ tackles for loss and 17½  sacks. He was the first player from a Football Bowl Subdivision team to record at least 30 tackles for loss in a decade. That incredible season earned him the third-most No. 1 votes in the Heisman voting as Anderson was fifth in the voting.

Many of the players he shared the field with have headed off to the NFL, but don’t be surprised to see Anderson make a living in the backfield once again. His current Heisman Trophy odds are +1800. With the Crimson Tide likely to be favored according to the NCAAF point spreads in 2022, there could be plenty of opportunities for Anderson to get after opposing quarterbacks.

You will be searching for a while to find the next defensive player on the list of Heisman candidates. A possible player to keep an eye on is Iowa State defensive end Will McDonald while former LSU cornerback Eli Ricks will get plenty of attention now that he is at Alabama.

A Change of Venue Doesn’t Hamper Heisman Odds

Baker Mayfield and Joe Burrow are among Heisman Trophy winners who began their college careers somewhere else. Is this going to be the year when another former transfer wins the Heisman?

With the college football landscape impacted by the transfer portal and the ability for players to be immediately eligible the first time they switch schools, it is only fitting that five of the top 13 players in the current Heisman odds will be playing at a different school in 2022 than the one they were at in 2021.

It starts with quarterback Caleb Williams as he followed head coach Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma to Southern California. Williams emerged as a Heisman candidate as a true freshman even though he didn’t start until midway through the season. With receiver Mario Williams also making the move from Oklahoma to USC and reigning Biletnikoff Award winner Jordan Addison leaving Pittsburgh to join the star-studded USC roster, it is no wonder that the college football betting lines list Williams at +550 in the Heisman Trophy odds.

When looking at the Heisman Trophy contender odds, quarterbacks Dillon Gabriel, who moved from UCF to Oklahoma, Quinn Ewers (Ohio State to Texas), and Jaxson Dart (USC to Ole Miss) come in at +2000, +2000, and +2800 according to the college football picks.

Will Levis is in his second season at Kentucky after beginning his career at Penn State and he is currently at +4000 while Spencer Rattler, who went from Oklahoma to South Carolina, has +3300 odds to win the Heisman. JT Daniels, who has moved from Georgia to West Virginia, isn’t far behind at +5000. Washington State quarterback Cameron Ward has +4000 Heisman odds.

Quarterbacks aren’t the only high-profile players finding a new location to shine.

Former Georgia Tech running back Jahmyr Gibbs is now at Alabama and at +2800 in the 2022 Heisman Trophy odds and that is second among the running backs. The top candidate among the receivers to transfer is USC’s Addison at +8000.

Robinson Moving Up in Heisman Pecking Order

The last two running backs to win the Heisman Trophy both played at Alabama. Mark Ingram won the award in 2009 when he ran for 1658 yards and 17 touchdowns. Six years later it was Derrick Henry, who was named the Heisman Trophy winner after running for 2219 yards and 28 touchdowns. While Gibbs is in the Heisman conversation, it is Bijan Robinson of Texas who has the best odds among the running backs for the top individual award in college football.

Robinson (+1600) didn’t put up gaudy numbers in 2021 with 1,127 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. However, he ran for more than 100 yards in six of the first seven games before being slowed by injury. Four of those 100-yard efforts came against ranked opponents. His supporting cast is better in 2022 than it was in 2021 so Robinson could be a factor in the Heisman race.

Ohio State’s TreVeyon Henderson (1,255 yards and 15 touchdown runs to go with  27 receptions as a freshman) is at +2000 while Wisconsin’s Braelon Allen (+3300) is another runner to keep an eye on.

Allen had 12 carries in the first four games of his freshman season before taking off. He finished with 1,268 yards and averaged 6.8 yards per carrying.

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