Thanks to several sportsbooks around the country we have early odds for next season’s 2021 NCAA Heisman Trophy. Bettors should consider focusing on signal-callers as only three non-quarterbacks have won the award dating back to 2000. Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler, Clemson’s D.J. Uiagalelei, and Alabama’s Bryce Young lead the way in the initial 2021 offering.
Predicting who will win the award is never an easy endeavor, especially so early in the preseason. In 2018, eventual winner Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray wasn’t even listed in opening Las Vegas markets. The eventual recipient of the award was added to markets just a few weeks before the start of the season at odds of 25-1. The 2019 season produced another unlikely winner in LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, who was found as high as 125-1 in some books around Vegas over the summer months.
Last year’s winner, Devonta Smith of Alabama, was not even listed in our opening feature here at SI Gambling as all the attention went to teammates Mac Jones, Najee Harris, and Jaylen Waddle. Smith, who went on to become the first wide receiver to win the Heisman since Desmond Howard in 1991, was still being offered around shops in Las Vegas in mid-November at odds as high as 70/1.
2021 Heisman Trophy Favorites
Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler was the No. 1 quarterback recruit in the country two years ago and is playing in a system that has produced two of the past four Heisman winners in Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield. Rattler threw for 2,784 yards and 25 TDs last season, leading the Sooners to a successful season that culminated with a 55-20 win over Florida in the Cotton Bowl. He rightfully deserves to be the favorite.
The most interesting name to watch since the odds release at DraftKings Sportsbook is Tigers quarterback D.J. Uiagalele, who can be found at attractive odds of 6-1. The sophomore signal-caller started two games for Trevor Lawrence during his absence with COVID-19 and filled in admirably. In the two games combined, he completed nearly 70-percent of his passes for 781 yards while accounting for six total touchdowns.
2021 Heisman Trophy Odds Movers
William Hill in Las Vegas released its 2021 Heisman futures on February 22.
“There’s more action on Heisman futures than I expected at this point,” said Nick Bogdanovich, Director of Trading for William Hill US.
“Usually there isn’t much interest in the Heisman until the season gets going. Maybe with how wonky college football was last year, the public is coming back in full force now. Rattler’s got the most tickets by far, but after him, it’s rare to see the tickets spread out among this many players.”
While the Sooners QB has seen the most bets, there’s one longshot who has already caught the eye of William Hill bettors.
The name to take notice is Texas quarterback Casey Thompson, who opened with moonshot odds of 100/1, but is now being listed at substantially reduced odds of 20/1.
“We get obliterated with Thompson,” Bogdanovich said. “He’s our biggest liability, no one else is even close. I get it, he has a new coach [Steve Sarkisian] and that offense should be lighting up the Big 12. There have been some bombers who have cashed Heisman tickets the past couple of years, and they’re looking for another nice score.”
More 2021 Heisman Trophy Candidates
“Spencer Rattler has received 25% of the tickets and 38% of the money at our sportsbooks,” said Zachary Lucas, Trading Analyst for Twinspires Sportsbook.
“The largest wager so far has been on Rattler: $2,200 to win $13,200 at +600.”
Uiagalelei is running a close second among bettors at Twinspires Sportsbook in terms of action and overall handle. However, the name that stands out from their location is Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud has dropped from 20/1 to 12/1.
“Stroud offers liability after drawing 28% of the tickets and 17% of early money thus far,” added Lucas.
Lucas believes one player who has failed to witness early attention will draw late steam as the season gets closer.
“North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell has moved up from 10/1 to 17/1 which is surprising. I have a strong feeling we will see late money come in on him throughout the season and this price will drop off this peak value.”