Betting the Heisman Trophy in 2021; Here Are 10 Contenders

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Betting the Heisman Trophy in 2021 Here Are 10 Contenders

The Heisman Trophy is the most prestigious award in college football. Maybe you’ve heard of it? Or seen every contending college baller striking the Heisman Trophy pose every time they score a touchdown.

Just like attractive coeds, the committee tends to favor quarterbacks, especially on title contenders; however, running backs and wide receivers occasionally find themselves in the conversation.

Take DeVonta Smith for example. The Alabama WR was handed the Heisman Trophy last year despite having long odds (+8000) prior to the season. He was only the fourth wide receiver to win the award.

The following list has plenty of quarterbacks with legitimate Heisman Trophy campaigns. However, we’ll also pick out a few longshot running backs and even a defensive player (spoiler alert!) who will try to make a longshot claim to this esteemed award.

1. Spencer Rattler – QB – Oklahoma Sooners

Odds To Win Heisman Trophy: +800 on FanDuel Sportsbook

The Oklahoma Sooners are a perennial powerhouse Rattler is their next great hope. He’s already drawing comparisons to Baker Mayfield (trash talk included), but it remains to be seen whether he’ll live up to that hype in 2021. 

Rattler is the first five-star QB recruit to attend Oklahoma in over 15 years. Take a moment to think about that. It’s pretty crazy, as the Sooners cheered on eventual NFL superstars Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray in recent campaigns.

While Rattler was shaky at times last season, he really found his groove down the stretch. That includes a 73% completion rate with a 10:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio in the last four games.

He also has his own IMDB page after being featured on Netflix’s “QB1” series a few years back. Not to mention the name, Spencer Rattler. Yes, he sounds like a QB. Or a pro wrestler.

2. DJ Uiagalelei – QB – Clemson Tigers

Odds To Win Heisman Trophy: +1100 on FanDuel Sportsbook

Some people would argue that Uiagalelei should be favored to win the Heisman Trophy. I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with that. If you are of that mindset, then perhaps placing a wager on his odds (+1100) at FanDuel Sportsbook would be of interest to you. 

There’s no doubt that Clemson will be a National Championship contender once again. Uiagalelei now has the keys to that sports car. He was brilliant in two starts last season, throwing for 781 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions over that span. There’s reason to believe that he’ll continue to thrive in 2021.

Uiagalelei has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the NCAA’s new NIL policy: as he recently inked an ad campaign with Dr. Pepper. Also, his dad was a bodyguard for Rihanna. No word if they got it on like Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner in The Bodyguard. Either way, 99% chance his dad has a cooler job than your dad.

3. JT Daniels – QB – Georgia Bulldogs

Odds To Win Heisman Trophy: +1200 on FanDuel Sportsbook

The Georgia Bulldogs will be a powerhouse for years to come with Daniels at the helm, as that’s assuming he’ll stay in school beyond the 2021 season. He’s a legitimate NFL prospect who can make all the throws. There’s reason to believe that he’ll leap into the NFL after this season, especially if he’s as good as advertised. 

Daniels threw for 1,291 yards and 10 touchdowns (2 INT) in just four games last season. That includes a brilliant 400+ yard and four TD showing against Mississippi State. If Georgia presents themselves as legitimate title contenders, then Daniels could find himself firmly in the Heisman conversation. 

It never hurts to be in the SEC for Heisman watching attention. Lots and lots of nationally televised big games.

4. Bryce Young – QB – Alabama Crimson Tide

Odds To Win Heisman Trophy: +1200 on FanDuel Sportsbook

The Alabama Crimson Tide has a lot of talent returning this year. Alabama has a lot of talent returning every year. And incoming. And outgoing. They simply have a lot of talent. Bryce Young is poised to be their next sensational quarterback.

Young has all the talent in the world. In the history of their publication, 247 Sports has awarded five perfect scores to football recruits. A perfect score is 1.0. Young was rated .9994 coming out of high school in 2020. I wonder what that single blemish is? Did he throw a touchdown to a less open receiver one time?

(FYI DJ Uiagalelei was ranked second in the country behind Young in 2020. And in 2019, Rattler was #1 in the nation coming out of high school. These guys are rated as future superstars before most people have ever heard their names.)

5. Sam Howell – QB – North Carolina Tar Heels

Odds To Win Heisman Trophy: +1600 on FanDuel Sportsbook

It’s still weird to think that North Carolina is a legitimate football school at this point in time. However, former Texas coach Mack Brown has done great things for the program in recent years. Bringing Sam Howell to Chapel Hill is definitely one of them. 

Experts claim that Sam Howell is the best quarterback on the board for the 2022 NFL Draft. When was the last time North Carolina had a highly-touted quarterback? Oh yeah, Mitchell Trubisky! We won’t hold that against Howell. Maybe a little.

Miami quarterback D’Eriq King

6. D’Eriq King – QB – Miami Hurricanes

Odds To Win Heisman Trophy: +1600 on FanDuel Sportsbook

D’Eriq King is fun to watch. He is extremely athletic with blazing speed and outstanding quickness. Critics mention that his accuracy needs improvement, but there’s no doubt that King is a flat-out playmaker. 

King’s Heisman Trophy hopes are directly tied to the Hurricanes’ ability to rack up wins. Entering the season, Miami checks in with the second-best odds to win the ACC – tied with North Carolina. Of course, both teams trail the mighty Clemson Tigers in that regard. If you ever bet against the Tigers to win the ACC, you are by definition a high-risk gambler.

Whoever wins the ACC Coastal Division between North Carolina and Miami will be on a collision course with Clemson for the ACC Championship. A strong showing in that spotlight would do wonders for the Heisman campaign of King or Howell. 

7. CJ Stroud – QB – Ohio State Buckeyes

Odds To Win Heisman Trophy: +1600 on FanDuel Sportsbook

It seems that no matter who the Buckeyes have at quarterback, they tend to dominate. It helps when you consistently put together some of the best recruiting classes in the nation, including a top offensive line and top running backs year after year.

At the time of writing this article, Ohio State hasn’t officially named a starting QB for the season opener. However, we have a pretty good idea that it will be Stroud. After all, Stroud has the seventh-best odds to win the Heisman Trophy (according to FanDuel Sportsbook). 

The redshirt freshman has an outstanding arm, and he’s drawing plenty of comparisons to his predecessor: Justin Fields. Having said that, Stroud is still developing several areas of his game. Having a superb supporting cast will definitely help his transition. 

8. Matt Corral – QB – Ole Miss Rebels

Odds To Win Heisman Trophy: +1800 on FanDuel Sportsbook

Corral is one of those guys who will put up a ton of numbers. However, he needs more help around him in order to get Mississippi back to a competitive level in the SEC West. It’s hard to envision the Rebels finishing above Alabama, Texas A&M, Auburn, and maybe LSU in that strong division. In turn, this will dampen Corral’s Heisman chances. 

It’s been 52 years since a player on a team with four or more losses won the Heisman. And you have to go back to Paul Hornung in 1956 for the one and only time a player on a team with a losing record won the Heisman. And that team was Notre Dame. So it almost doesn’t count.

Regardless, Corral is someone to keep an eye on this season. He has great mobility and a super accurate arm. Most experts have him going in the first round of next year’s NFL draft.

9. Kedon Slovis – QB – USC Trojans

Odds To Win Heisman Trophy: +2500 on FanDuel Sportsbook

Slovis is another potential first-round choice in the 2022 NFL Draft. He’s a pro-style QB who took a big step forward for the Trojans last season. The Pac-12 is wide open this year, meaning not very strong, so Slovis could gain himself plenty of notoriety if USC jumps on the pedestal. 

In an interesting turn of events, Slovis actually served as a backup to JT Daniels, who was mentioned earlier in this list. Daniels started for USC, then Slovis stepped in when JT succumbed to an injury. Daniels then transferred to Georgia while Slovis is thriving for the Trojans. 

You may notice that the nation’s top QB’s tend to rotate through a limited number of high-profile football schools.

10. Bijan Robinson – RB – Texas Longhorns

Odds To Win Heisman Trophy: +3000 on FanDuel Sportsbook

We’ve featured enough quarterbacks, right? The last name on this list is Bijan Robinson, a sophomore running back from Texas. Robinson was the top RB recruit of his class, and he came through with an outstanding 8.2 yards per carry in his freshman season. 

He only had 86 total carries last year, but the Longhorns are ready to feed him a healthy workload from the start this season. It’s scary to think of what this guy can do with 20 touches per contest. 

Something to consider — the Longhorns have had two Heisman winners in their school’s history. Ricky Williams and Earl Campbell. Two — say it with me — running backs. Could Robinson make it a trio?

LONGSHOTS TO CONSIDER

Breece Hall – RB – Iowa State Cyclones (+4000 on FanDuel Sportsbook)

The odds to win the National Championship go like this: Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Iowa State. Granted the Cyclones are longshots at +2500, but Iowa State has a legitimate chance to make some noise this year. Breece Hall is one of the best running backs in the nation, racking up 1,571 yards and 21 TDs last year. He could improve on those numbers in 2021. 

McKenzie Milton – QB – Florida State Seminoles (+4000 on FanDuel Sportsbook)

You probably remember McKenzie Milton from his days at UCF, where he finished sixth in the Heisman voting in 2018. Milton succumbed to an injury in 2019, then he transferred to Florida State. He’s an outstanding playmaker who can put up numbers through the air and on the ground. That’s assuming he can regain his 2018 form prior to his horrific knee injury. 

Derek Stingley Jr. – DB – LSU Tigers (+7000 on FanDuel Sportsbook)

The LSU Tigers have plenty of talent on the roster, and Derek Stingley Jr. will be one to watch during this season. In fact, some people regard him as one of the best prospects in football right now. He’s undoubtedly the best defensive player in college football, and LSU mentioned that he’ll get some looks at wide receiver as well. 

Charles Woodson, the Michigan DB in 1997, is the sole defensive player to ever win the Heisman, and he too got some highlight footage from returning kicks and occasional catches at WR.

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