Betting News & Analysis

Best bets for 2022 Heisman Trophy odds

Gainesville, Florida, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Will Anderson Jr. (31) against the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It’s never too early to start talking about the Heisman Trophy.

There's plenty of preseason betting allure to the award, so why not examine the top Heisman Trophy contenders for 2022? The consensus favorites are Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud and Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, both with odds ranging between 2-to-1 and 4-to-1. They are the rightful favorites for the prestigious award, but that’s not to say someone with lesser preseason odds can’t swoop in and steal the show. In fact, that’s what has happened historically. 

There have been some common themes among Heisman winners as of late:

There’s not much value in betting on either Stroud or Young to win the award. Quarterbacks on contending teams have historically done exceptionally well, and they usually don’t start out as the favorites. Storylines are key and can sway the minds of voters, such as a player resurrecting a struggling program or turning their career around. There’s also such a thing as voter fatigue, hence why there's been just one repeat winner in the award’s history (Archie Griffin in 1974 and 1975).

With all of that in mind, here are some Heisman bets outside of Stroud and Young that I think have some value. 

(Note: All odds listed are courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook)

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USC is one of the biggest boom-or-bust teams of the 2022 college football season. Amid several major additions and losses via the transfer portal and a new coaching staff, this team is going to look completely different. Finding continuity will be key, but the biggest deciding factor in USC's Year 1 fate of the Lincoln Riley era is the performance of quarterback Caleb Williams. He is one of the most talented quarterbacks in the country, but the 2021 five-star recruit displayed a raw skill set during his true freshman campaign at Oklahoma.

Williams’ elite tools helped him record a 91.3 PFF grade in 2021, which broke Trevor Lawrence’s record for the highest single-season mark by a true freshman quarterback in the PFF College era. There were times when Williams made things more difficult than they needed to be, as he was always looking for the home run downfield. As such, he was often volatile, putting up four sub-70.0 passing grades since taking over for Spencer Rattler against Texas. Learning when to check down will be an area of emphasis in 2022. His 3.51-second average time to throw and 29.2% rate of quarterback-fault pressures were both among the three highest marks in the Power Five in 2021. 

Williams is still capable of producing at an elite level despite his lack of polish, but it could come with volatility. USC is going to be a dangerous team if he's an improved player in 2022. And if Williams is the driving force behind a resurrection of one of the most esteemed programs in college football, that’ll put him in the Heisman conversation.


The early reports out of the Longhorn state on star transfer quarterback Quinn Ewers have been what Texas fans were hoping for. 247Sports' Chris Hummer reported that one source says head coach Steve Sarkisian and company believe the 2021 five-star recruit is even better than advertised. While Ewers has yet to be named the starter, as he is in competition with Hudson Card, it’d be a shock if the Ohio State transfer wasn’t QB1. Card’s play last year included a tendency to hold onto the ball, panic under pressure and perform poorly in the intermediate-to-deep passing range en route to a 52.4 passing grade. 

Longhorns running back Bijan Robinson will also put his name in the Heisman conversation, but if Texas as a team officially comes “back” in 2022, it means Ewers lived up to expectations, which would make it hard for voters not to reward the star passer with Heisman consideration.


Although head coach Dabo Swinney says D.J. Uiagalelei is Clemson’s starting quarterback, the junior's job isn’t set in stone. That's especially true after his struggles from last season carried into the spring game while the five-star true freshman Cade Klubnik showed some promise. Klubnik looks far more mobile and accurate than Uiagalelei and has the arm to make throws to all levels of the field. There could be a Kelly Bryant-Trevor Lawrence kind of situation this season with Uiagalelei and Klubnik. And considering the chances of that happening, getting 150-to-1 odds for Klubnik to win the Heisman is too good to pass up.


While non-quarterbacks are instantly put behind the eight-ball in the Heisman race, Will Anderson Jr. has all the tools to be among the rare exceptions. Voter fatigue with Alabama quarterback Bryce Young and regrets of not having Anderson in the Heisman finalist pool last season could help propel the star edge defender into the conversation. And most importantly, Anderson has the ability to produce at rare, game-wrecking levels to help get him there.

There’s no more dominant player returning to college football. The 6-foot-4, 243-pound edge rusher is a high-level playmaker who ranked in the top five at his position this past season in tackles for loss or no gain against the run (15) and positively graded run play rate. His 81 quarterback pressures also led all players, regardless of position. The former five-star recruit earned a 79.1 PFF grade as a true freshman (2020) and an 89.8 mark as a sophomore (2021), which is rare to see at that age, especially in the SEC.


Van Dyke has sky-high expectations for 2022 after shining as a starter last year in D'Eriq King’s stead. The 2020 four-star recruit earned a 75.5 PFF grade across nine starts in 2021. He recorded multiple big-time throws in all but one ACC start and tied for second in the Power Five in big-time throw rate (7.1%). The 6-foot-4, 224-pounder throws with excellent touch and can hit the big play downfield. At the same time, his down-to-down accuracy is errant. 

The sheer amount of talent around Van Dyke could also help his cause. Remember, this is still somewhat of a team award. If the Hurricanes can knock off the Texas A&M Aggies in College Station during Week 3, Van Dyke’s Heisman campaign will take off. That's a big “if,” and there’s still plenty he has to clean up in his game that could prevent a double-digit wins season. 



A big bounceback from Rattler and a South Carolina team that exceeds expectations (i.e., wins at least nine games amid a schedule that could have six ranked opponents) might be enough for the Oklahoma transfer to win the honor. The storyline, in particular, would be the driving force behind a potential victory — from Heisman favorite to benched to finally taking home the trophy. It’s a stretch scenario, but these are stretch odds. Considering Rattler’s talent, it’s worth a small wager. 

His arm talent is still special. The former Sooner is still college football's highest-graded passer since 2020. He struggled to hit on his deep attempts in 2021 while the offense focused on more intermediate concepts. He ended up with a lowly 45.5 passing grade on 20-plus yard throws after a 98.1 passing grade on such passes in 2020. Still, Rattler shined on nearly every other throw. His No. 1 ranking in negatively graded throw rate and completion percentage over expectation (CPOE) for the 2021 season back that up. 

Rattler isn’t perfect, but his ceiling is as high as any other quarterback in the country, which is why he received so much fanfare ahead of the 2021 campaign. 


Hartman led Wake Forest to one of its best seasons in program history last year, spearheading a 10-2 regular-season record and an ACC Championship appearance.

The senior quarterback has a chance to do that again and then some in 2022.

Hartman ran the Demon Deacons' patented long-mesh run-pass option (RPO) offense with high-level efficiency. Because college football's illegal man downfield rules are more generous than the NFL's, RPOs can be longer developing and attack downfield. A number of those plays were built into Wake Forest's offense, which helped Hartman to an FBS-leading 20 deep passing touchdowns, eight of which came from an RPO. 

Overall, Hartman earned an elite 91.8 PFF grade for the 2021 season and led the Demon Deacons to score 35 or more points in all but two of their 14 games. The defense is going to have to do their part, though. 


McCarthy had a realistic chance of prying the Michigan starting job away from incumbent Cade McNamara this spring, but a lingering shoulder injury prevented the 2020 five-star recruit from partaking in practices fully. McNamara remains the starter as a result, but that’s not to say McCarthy doesn’t have a shot of taking over in fall camp or if the veteran undergoes early-season struggles. 

If McCarthy does become the starter, there’s a lot to like about his chances of contending for the Heisman Trophy, given his dual-threat ability and the slew of weapons at his disposal.

McCarthy played 165 snaps in his 2021 true freshman campaign and displayed the elite arm talent and athleticism that made him a highly regarded recruit in the first place. He earned an 84.0 PFF grade across those reps. McCarthy tossed six big-time throws and produced only one turnover-worthy play on 66 dropbacks. On the ground, the 6-foot-3, 197-pound quarterback picked up seven explosive runs of 10 or more yards on 25 attempts, most of which were from designed attempts.

While risky at 100-to-1 odds, this is a worthwhile bet.


This is not because I am higher on Stetson Bennett than the consensus. It's because he is going to be the starting quarterback for a College Football Playoff contender, and his odds are outrageously high. Not to mention, Bennett — also known as “The Mailman” — has a story voters can fall in love with. 

He earned an 83.8 PFF grade and averaged 9.9 yards per attempt in 2021 thanks to never having to win with his arm in the true dropback passing game. Offensive coordinator Todd Monken integrated a lot of heavy-personnel, play-action concepts to help the Georgia quarterback, and he executed the offense the way it was designed. With play action, Bennett averaged a Power Five-leading 12.8 yards per attempt. 

The Georgia supporting cast could be enough to prop him up into a Heisman contender in 2022, but in order to close it out as the winner, Bennett can’t be a game manager. He’ll need to have high-level quarterbacking moments and step up in tense situations. Bennett can’t put the ball in harm’s way on those non-play-action/RPO/screen attempts like he did last season (5.2% turnover-worthy play rate on such plays in 2021, 60th in the Power Five). 

Is the super senior going to be able to change significantly? Probably not, but at these odds, it’s worth taking a chance on.

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