College Football: Best Bets For Heisman Trophy (Preseason Edition)
The College football season is quickly approaching with Week 0 games slated for August 27. Like all preseason awards the contenders for the 2022 Heisman Trophy are plentiful.
The Heisman Trophy annually goes to the most outstanding player in college football. Named for former Downtown Athletic Club Athletic Director John Heisman, it is the oldest award given out by the sport with Jay Berwanger being the first recipient in 1935. The Heisman Trophy is voted on by three groups, sports writers, former award winners, and fans.
Before I dive into the best bets to win the 2022 Heisman Trophy, there are some key things to keep in mind. For starters, 2021 award winner Bryce Young was the 16th quarterback in the past 20 years to be voted the most outstanding player. Reggie Bush, Mark Ingram, Derrick Henry, and De’Vonte Smith are the only non -quarterbacks to win the award this century with Smith being the only non- running back.
Other essential requirements include being a member of a Power 5 Conference or Norte Dame. Be on a team that wins at least 10 games, score touchdowns and put up solid numbers across the board. Odds will vary depending on Sportsbook, but they will be similar.
C.J. Stroud (+250), Ohio State
If bettors are going to get on Stroud, now is the time. The Buckeyes are expected to compete for a national championship and Stroud’s odds have already dropped since the first line came out (+350).
Stroud closed out a terrific first collegiate season in fantastic form, saving his best game for last in a 48-45 come from behind victory over Utah in the Rose Bowl, setting career bests with six touchdowns and 573 passing yards. Overall, he completed nearly 72% of his passes and threw for 4,435 yards along with 44 touchdowns and just six interceptions. Stroud passed for more than 350 yards in a game five times.
Bryce Young (+350), Alabama
Young is trying to do something that only Archie Griffin has ever done, which is to win the Heisman Trophy twice. However, there have been a few players that have came close to accomplishing the feat.
Saying that I would pass on Young, although Bama, as usual, is expected to be in the national title hunt. So, throwing a few dollars his way makes sense especially since his odds are 150 points higher than they were in February (+200)
Young had a great season as a first-time starter directing the Crimson Tide to the College Football Playoffs and an appearance in the championship game. He threw for over 4,800 yards and 47 scores — both of which ranked second best in the nation — with just seven picks a year ago.
Caleb Williams, USC (+700)
Williams is an interesting case as he has seen his odds dip after opening at +900. The dual-threat quarterback followed head coach Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma after showing flashes of brilliance in his freshman campaign.. He threw for 1,912 yards, on 211 attempts, along with 21 touchdowns and accumulated 442 yards and six scores on the ground.
I would take a wait and see approach with Williams. The Trojans have increased their offensive talent significantly, but there are still questions surrounding the trenches on both sides of the ball. Plus, Utah and Oregon are still Pac-12 title contenders.
DJ Uiagalelei (+5000)
Uiagalelei has seen his odds rise since opening at +3500 as there is some belief that freshman Cade Klubnik, the No. 1 rated quarterback in 2022 recruiting class, will eventually take over the starting job for Clemson at some point. There is no question that Uiagalelei will have to improve dramatically following a disappointing first season as a starter where he was very erratic and threw more interceptions (10) than touchdowns (9).
However, Uiagalelei is extremely talented and he looked good this spring. Plus, Clemson is supposed to once again win the ACC. Bottom line is if you believe in the Tigers and Uiagalelei to realize his potential, there may not be a better time than now to throw some money on him.
Dillon Gabriel, Oklahoma (+3000)
The UCF transfer is getting his first shot in a power 5 conference. While it was a huge surprise that Reilly bolted for USC, he by no means left the cupboards bare as the Sooners are expected to battle Oklahoma State for Big 12 supremacy. Gabriel, who was injured in Week 1 last year, is very accurate and has demonstrated poise as well as the ability to perform in clutch situations with the Knights.
Will Anderson Jr., Alabama (+2000)
While defensive players don’t usually get much love from the Heisman Trophy voters, there are occasions that they receive invitations to New York— like Aidan Hutchinson last year though Anderson arguably could have gone instead. The outside linebacker, an excellent pass rusher, is unquestionably the top defensive player in college football and could be the top pick in the 2023 NFL draft. Anderson registered a NCAA-best 34.5 tackles for losses and 17.5 sacks last year.
Other Players To Watch
Anthony Richardson, Florida (+4000)
Tyler Van Dyke, Miami (+3500)
Bijan Robinson, Texas (+2000)
Treyvon Henderson, Miami (+3500)
Jaxson Smith-Njigba, Ohio State (+2500)
Hendin Hooker, Tennessee (+4000)
Devin Leary, North Carolina State (+5000)
Jaxson Dart, Ole Miss (+6000)
Quin Ewers, Texas (+3500)
Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama (+4000)
Kedon Skavis, Pittsburgh (+6000)
Sam Hartman, Wake Forest (+6000)