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Heisman 2022: Players to watch, early favorites, odds to win

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Do you want to win the Heisman Trophy? Well, the recipe is pretty simple – either play quarterback for a Power Five school or go to Alabama.

For the last 16 years dating back to Reggie Bush in 2005, the Heisman winner has either been a quarterback or a Crimson Tide player. Plus, Bush’s win was vacated, so the “quarterback or Alabama” rule technically dates back to Ron Dayne in 1999.

Will that trend continue in 2022? With the season still weeks away, it’s obviously way too early to tell. But if the odds are any indication, we’re likely looking at another quarterback or Alabama player winning the iconic trophy.

Here are some of the favorites to hoist the Heisman Trophy before the season begins, courtesy of our betting partner PointsBet.

C.J. Stroud, Ohio State QB

Odds to win: +275

Stroud’s first season as a starter was magnificent – 4,435 passing yards, 44 touchdowns and six interceptions in 12 games for the Buckeyes. He finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting, with 12 first-place votes. If Ohio State can get back to the College Football Playoff, Stroud will have a great shot at winning the Heisman.

 

Bryce Young, Alabama QB

Odds to win: +350

The defending Heisman winner isn’t favored to repeat, which makes sense if you know college football history. In 86 years of Heisman voting, Archie Griffin (1974, 1975) is the only player to win the award twice. Nobody would be surprised if Young repeats though after his standout sophomore season – 4,872 passing yards, 47 touchdowns, seven interceptions.

Caleb Williams, USC QB

Odds to win: +800

After starting the 2021 season second on Oklahoma’s depth chart, Williams supplanted Spencer Rattler and made the most of his freshman year. He finished with 27 touchdowns (21 passing, six rushing) and four interceptions in just seven starts. Williams followed head coach Lincoln Riley to USC this spring, where he’ll immediately be a Heisman contender.

Quinn Ewers, Texas QB

Odds to win: +2500

After the top three favorites, PointsBet doesn’t have much faith in anyone yet. Ewers is an Ohio State transfer who was stuck behind Stroud last season. He was the No. 1 QB recruit coming out of high school in 2021, so the talent is clearly there. For Ewers to get Heisman buzz this season, Texas needs to be in the CFP mix through November.

Tyler Van Dyke, Miami QB

Odds to win: +2500

Following D’Eriq King’s injury last season, Van Dyke took over and locked himself into the starting quarterback job. He finished the year with 2,931 passing yards, 25 touchdowns and six interceptions, winning ACC Rookie of the Year. Now paired with new head coach Mario Cristobal, expectations for Van Dyke and the Hurricanes are sky high.

Will Anderson Jr., Alabama LB

Odds to win: +2500

Anderson looks like the only defensive player who can challenge for the Heisman in 2022 after finishing fifth last year. He had a nation-leading 17.5 sacks and 34.5 tackles for loss. Anderson is likely to be a top-five draft pick – or better – for 2023.

Longshots to watch

D.J. Uiagalelei, Clemson QB (+2800): He had trouble filling Trevor Lawrence’s shoes last season, but a bounce-back year is in order for the Tigers and Uiagalelei should be leading the charge.

Kedon Slovis, Pittsburgh QB (+3000): Slovis, a USC transfer, will replace Kenny Pickett, who was third in Heisman voting last year. This offense is clearly suited for quarterbacks to put up numbers.

 

Spencer Rattler, South Carolina QB (+4000): A disappointing sophomore season saw Rattler lose his starting job at Oklahoma and transfer to South Carolina. The Gamecocks haven’t won 10 games since 2013, so we’ll see if Rattler can help turn the program around.

Bijan Robinson, Texas RB (+4000): Considered by many to be the nation’s best running back, Robinson should only improve in his junior year. Like his quarterback Ewers, this could come down to the Longhorns being in the national spotlight throughout the season.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State WR (+5000): These odds seem insane given how well Smith-Njigba played in OSU’s bowl win last year (15 catches, 347 yards, three TDs). JSN is only going to get more targets in 2022 now that first-round receivers Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave are gone.

Editor's note: All odds are provided by our partner, PointsBet. PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.