You can make a pretty compelling argument that the Heisman Trophy is the most prestigious individual award in all of American college sports. College football, in particular, hands out an array of individual honors every year, but none carry the gravitas of the Heisman Trophy.
Of course, some of the most legendary figures in the sport’s history have won the award over the years. Tim Tebow, Reggie Bush, Charles Woodson, Barry Sanders, and Lamar Jackson are just a few of the stars to have claimed the honor in recent years. Of course, not every Heisman winner goes on to enjoy an outstanding pro career. For every Joe Burrow that wins the Heisman, there is a Troy Smith, Chris Weinke, or Johnny Manziel.
Last year, quarterback Bryce Young won the Heisman, becoming the second consecutive Alabama player to do so. The Crimson Tide have actually produced four Heisman winners since 2009, but Young is the first Bama QB to earn the honor.
After such a smashing debut, it’s easy to see why the Alabama signal-caller is among the early favorites to win the 2022-23 Heisman. However, Young doesn’t have the best Heisman Trophy odds, according to NCAA football betting sites.
2022 Heisman Trophy Odds
|Tyler Van Dyke||+3500|
|50% up to $1,000|
|125% up to $2,500|
|100% up to $500|
|50% up to $1,000|
|100% up to $1,000|
|100% up to $1,000|
CJ Stroud (+250)
You can pretty easily argue CJ Stroud got robbed in last year’s Heisman race. The Ohio State QB finished a distant fourth in the final voting behind Young, Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson, and Pitt’s Kenny Pickett.
All he did was complete 71.9 percent of his throws for 4,435 yards with 44 touchdowns and six interceptions. He isn’t a huge rushing threat, but with passing numbers like those, he doesn’t have to be.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba is back, but the losses of Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave to the NFL mean Stroud’s weaponry won’t be quite as good in 2022-23. If his numbers dip across the board, will Heisman voters punish him? That said, Smith-Njigba did lead the Buckeyes in catches and receiving yards last season. Marvin Harrison Jr. will likely step into a bigger role, as will Julian Fleming and Emeka Egbuka.
Let’s also not forget young players typically improve as they gain more experience. With most of the Heisman pressure focused on Young to repeat, Stroud can likely still garner some Heisman buzz even if his numbers aren’t quite as prolific as they were a season ago.
Bryce Young (+350)
What will Bryce Young do for an encore in his season year as the starter? The Tide came up short in their quest for a national title last season, but Alabama is once again listed as the favorite to get back to the top of the mountain in 2022-23.
In his first year as the starter after serving as Mac Jones’ backup the year prior, Young accounted for 50 total touchdowns with just seven interceptions. His 59.1 percent completion percentage paled in comparison to Stroud’s, and he’ll likely have to improve on that accuracy in order to have a great shot at repeating.
The next 12 months for CJ Stroud should be very special 💯 pic.twitter.com/ptYayKB8QD
— PFF College (@PFF_College) May 10, 2022
In fact, it’s worth wondering whether Young will have a great chance to win another Heisman if he doesn’t improve his numbers across the board. Much like Stroud at Ohio State, Young will also be without a few of last season’s primary weapons. John Metchie, Brian Robinson Jr., and Jameson Williams are all now in the NFL.
Given last year’s performance, however, he might just do that. Young’s +350 Heisman Trophy betting odds are still worth a gamble.
Caleb Williams (+900)
Remember when Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler entered last season as the Heisman favorite? Pepperidge Farm remembers. And so does Caleb Williams.
Rattler was benched in favor of Caleb Williams in the Red River Showdown loss to Texas after the Longhorns leaped out to an early 28-7 lead. All Williams did after taking over was lead the Sooners to an epic 55-48 comeback victory. As a freshman, Williams would go on to complete 64.5 percent of his passes for 1,912 yards with 21 touchdowns to four interceptions. For good measure, he added another 442 yards with six scores on the ground.
Caleb Williams opens up on his time as Oklahoma's backup QB, before he got a chance to replace Spencer Rattler as the Sooners' starter:
— 247Sports (@247Sports) May 10, 2022
During the offseason, Williams followed Lincoln Riley to USC, where he’s expected to take over as the new QB1. Williams and Riley will have their work cut out for them with a team that finished a dismal 4-8 last season, but oddsmakers do expect a quick turnaround for the Trojans in 2022.
Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield won it in consecutive years under Riley in Norman, while Jalen Hurts was a finalist for the award shortly thereafter. If Williams can quickly adapt to his new surroundings and help restore the vaunted USC program to some respectability in his first year in Los Angeles, the Heisman hype will soon follow.
Bijan Robinson (+2000)
Unlike with the NFL MVP Award, which is dominated by quarterbacks, we have seen several non-QBs win the Heisman Trophy in recent years. Alabama wideout DeVonta Smith won it two years ago. Derrick Henry was the most recent running back to win it back in 2016.
But Bijan Robinson was certainly a bright spot last term. In his first year as the full-time starter, Robinson totaled 1,127 yards on just 195 carries, which came out to a healthy average of 5.8 yards per tote. Robinson also scored 11 rushing touchdowns along with four more in the receiving game.
This run by Bijan Robinson will never stop being insane
— Ian Cummings (@ian_cummings_9) May 13, 2022
Robinson likely has a bright NFL future ahead of him, but he’ll once again be the focal point of the Texas offense in 2022-23. Robinson led the nation in forced missed tackles by a running back, and he was top-10 in the nation in yards after the catch.
Robinson’s talent alone should put him in the Heisman mix if he can stay healthy. There is certainly some profit potential in his +2000 Heisman Trophy betting odds, as well. Running backs do carry more injury risk, however, but the risk is already baked into the long odds.
DJ Uigalelei (+2800)
With the possible exception of Spencer Rattler, you won’t find a player in America whose stock tanked more heavily than DJ Uigalelei’s did in 2021. Clemson fans expected Uigalelei to become the program’s third consecutive standout quarterback after he took the reins from Trevor Lawrence last season.
In the end, though, he didn’t at all live up to expectations. Uigalelei finished with more interceptions (10) than touchdown passes (nine) as the Tigers’ offense cratered. Uigalelei completed a paltry 55.6 percent of his throws despite averaging just six yards per attempt, as well. Clemson’s offense was downright conservative, and Uigalelei looked scared to take chances downfield.
At this point, there is no guarantee that Uigalelei will be the first-choice QB for Dabo Swinney to begin the year. The junior will have competition in camp from Northwestern transfer Hunter Johnson and Westlake High School product Cade Klubnik. If Uigalelei fails to win the starting job in the preseason, he can go ahead and kiss his fleeting Heisman hopes goodbye.
Who Will Win the Heisman Trophy in 2022-23?
Based on the Heisman Trophy odds and his outstanding numbers from a season ago, I can’t look past CJ Stroud at +250. The Buckeyes have been among America’s most explosive offensive teams on an annual basis under Ryan Day. With Stroud back for another go-round, I’m not expecting much of a drop-off, if any, this year.
Young faces similar question marks with regard to his weaponry that Stroud does, and he will have to deal with the weight of expectations as the defending Heisman winner. Young certainly isn’t a bad value at all at the current +350 Heisman Trophy odds, but I do prefer Stroud given the small gap between them at the top.
The top long-shot value here is Williams at +900. Riley has always gotten the best out of his quarterbacks, and the familiarity between the two should do wonders for the Trojans’ offense later this fall.