All Heisman odds listed are as of 9/29/2021.
A month into the season and the Heisman betting odds already look completely different compared to preseason. Many of the original favorites have slid way down the board while several August dark horses now lead the pack heading into the thick of conference play.
If you haven’t gotten in on betting the Heisman race yet (or need to win back some of what you originally put on DJ Uiagalelei), here’s a primer for the remaining two-thirds of the season.
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Low-Risk, Low Reward
Matt Corral, Ole Miss (+155) Bryce Young, Alabama (+185)
Nobody is surprised to see Bryce Young here, the preseason’s number-three favorite (originally +900). He’s performed as expected through the first month, throwing 15 TDs to 1 INT and completing over 70% of his passes.
Who is surprising to see is Matt Corral, the Ole Miss gunslinger who began the season far down the board at +3500. He’s completing passes at a similar clip as Young, but has proven himself to be a true dual-threat QB by throwing for nine TDs and adding five more on the ground.
The two go head-to-head on October 2 in Tuscaloosa. If either has a poor performance and their odds drop, that could actually be a good time to get in—both have a good mix of softer opponents and showcase games to regain voters’ favor in the latter half of the season.
If X Then whY Not Bet Big
Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati +1600 J.T. Daniels, Georgia +2200
It’s something of an unwritten rule that for a non-Power 5 player to be invited to New York, they would need to a) play on a team that at least has an outside shot at playing for a National Title, and b) put on an absolute show in a nationally featured game.
Desmond Ridder and Cincinnati can be well on their way to checking both of those boxes against undefeated Notre Dame on October 2. Even if they can’t punch out the Irish, ridiculous passing numbers seem sure to follow—as of writing, the undefeated Bearcats don’t have a single ranked opponent remaining on their schedule.
Down south, J.T. Daniels hasn’t set the world afire just yet—which feels silly to say as only one QB in the entire country is currently besting his 76.1% completion rate.
But the junior will have ample opportunity to build on his 5 TDs (in three starts) in several nationally featured games—the Dawgs face Arkansas, Auburn, and Florida all in October. If he posts video game numbers throughout any part of that gauntlet, consider going in on Daniels before his odds shorten to triple digits.
Running Back to the Podium?
TreVeyon Henderson, Ohio State +3500
The Heisman has essentially become the Best-QB-on-a-National-Title-contender award, but each year several running backs still make their way onto the final ballot.
This year the best bet for a RB might be TreVeyon Henderson. Although he didn’t start the first week and was shut down early in the Buckeyes’ Week 4 blowout of Akron, through four games Henderson has still tallied 7 total touchdowns and leads the Big Ten by far with 9.7 YPC.
The schedule also abides for Henderson to become the first freshman since 2012 and the first running back since 2015 to win the award—Ohio State doesn’t face a single Top 25 rushing defense the rest of the regular season.
Or Somebody Else?
Like National Championship futures, Heisman odds can fluctuate rapidly week to week. This makes the best strategy to stay patient and consider teams’ schedules when trying to time your bet(s) to get a good price.
If you haven’t already noticed, betting on quarterbacks only is also usually a sound approach—three others worth keeping an eye on are Oregon’s Anthony Brown, Jr. (+4000); Penn State’s Sean Clifford (+4000), and Florida’s Emory Jones (+8000).