Heisman Watch: Ranking the Top 5 Heisman Odds Candidates Heading into Week 8

In this week's Heisman watch, we take a look at the five favorites to win the award in 2021, according to the Heisman Trophy odds going into Week 8. We've got a new QB in our No. 1 spot.
Brian Good |
Fri, October 22, 5:56 AM EDT | 4 min read
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Heisman Watch: Ranking the Top 5 Heisman Odds Candidates Heading into Week 8

Last week, we had our first ever running back appear on the top-5 list for our Heisman Watch feature, showcasing the top five Heisman odds from across the country. Just one week later, he’s now outside the top-5 Heisman odds and we’re back to focussing on all quarterbacks.

However, there is a newcomer on the list this week. A player no one had on their Heisman Watch list coming into the season. The names at the top of the list are still the same, and it’s going to take some amazing performances to knock them off the Heisman odds board. But, try and remember that this was Kyle Trask’s award to win all of last season until Devonta Smith swooped in and won it.

Here is a look at the Top 5 Heisman candidates, according to the latest Heisman odds, as we head into Week 8 of the college football season.

Click here to see the latest Heisman odds heading into Week 8

Heisman Watch: Top 5 Heisman Odds

1. Bryce Young – Alabama QB (+200)

Another week goes by and we get another instance where Bryce Young and Matt Corral are leapfrogging each other for the top Heisman odds spot. This one is a bit of a head scratcher as Young’s Alabama team beat a bad Mississippi State team last week. But, Bryce Young was fantastic in the win. Young threw for 348 yards and four TDs on 20-28 passing, His numbers on the season are starting to reach the realm of ridiculous. He’s 8th in the country in passing yards (2,082) and has thrown for 24 touchdowns and just three INTs. His 87.5 QBR is fourth in the nation.

2. Matt Corral – Ole Miss QB (+250)

The reason I question why Bryce Young jumped Ole Miss QB Matt Coral in the latest Heisman odds had little to do with Young and almost everything to do with how good Corral was last week. Corral took the Rebels into a hostile Tennessee environment and not only got the win, but he balled out while doing it. Corral only threw for 231 yards and two TDs, and he did toss an INT, but he was the difference in the game when it came to his numbers on the ground. Matt Corral carried the ball 30 times for an insane 195 yards in the road win. His throwing numbers are never going to look like Young’s, ut when you take into account what he does with his legs and the talent around him in comparison. It’s a toss-up for this year’s Heisman odds.

3. CJ Stroud – Ohio State QB (+900)

The No. 3 spot on our Heisman Watch list stays the same this week with Ohio State QB CJ Stroud sitting at +900. The Buckeyes had the week off last week, so he didn’t have the chance to improve his case. But, if you’re going to bet on Stroud to win the Heisman, now is the time. You already missed your spot two weeks ago when he was +2500. These +900 odds now may be as good as it gets. In Ohio State’s next six games, they play four ranked opponents, including at home against Penn State, Purdue and Michigan State, and on the road against rival Michigan. If somehow, CJ Stroud can put up big numbers and Ohio State wins out, we may very well have a new Heisman odds leader.

4. Desmond Ridder- Cincinnati QB (+2000)

It seems like Desmond Ridder is No. 4 on this list just because the oddsmakers don’t have anyone else to put here. Ridder’s numbers are pedestrian, but his team is No. 2 in the country, so maybe this is more of a vote for Cincinnati than it is their starting QB. Last week, in a win over UCF, Ridder wasn’t even Cincinnati’s best offensive player. He threw for 140 yards and a TD while completing 56.5% of his passes. Meanwhile, running back Jerome Ford was busy rushing for 189 yards and four scores. If you’re betting on Desmond Ridder’s Heisman odds, I need to know why. There is no reasonable circumstance where he can surpass anyone above him on his list as the Bearcats’ only ranked opponent left on their schedule in SMU.

5. Kenny Pickett – Pittsburgh QB (+2500)

I know I just went on about CJ Stroud and his Heisman odds. But, if Pittsburgh beats Clemson this weekend, and that’s a hug if, Kenny Pickett deserves to skyrocket up this list. College football fans are well aware of Pickett by now, but I’m still not sure the rest of the country is. He’s coming off an average showing against Virginia Tech, but winning in Blacksburg is never easy. Pickett has thrown for 21 passing touchdowns this season, 4th in the country, and has just one single INT. His 88.4 QBR is No. 3 in the nation and he has his Pittsburgh team at 5-1 and ranked 23rd. If you think Pittsburgh is going to beat Clemson this weekend then you better throw some money down on Pickett to win the Heisman, too. Because come Sunday, if the Panthers take down their ACC foe, these Heisman odds are going to be much, much shorter.

Others to Watch – Heisman Odds

  • Kenneth Walker III – Michigan State RB (+3000)
  • Caleb Williams – Oklahoma QB (+4000)
  • Jerome Ford – Cincinnati RB (+5000)
  • Bijan Robinson – Texas RB (+8000)

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