Heisman Watch: Ranking the Top 5 Heisman Odds Candidates Heading into Week 9

In this week's Heisman watch, we break down the five favorites to win the award in 2021, according to the Heisman Trophy odds going into Week 9
Brian Good |
Fri, October 29, 4:49 AM EDT | 4 min read
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Heisman Watch: Ranking the Top 5 Heisman Odds Candidates Heading into Week 9

Our weekly Heisman Watch piece is here, where we break down the top five Heisman candidates, according to the latest Heisman odds. This week, there hasn’t been much movement at the top of our Heisman Watch list, but, a few names further down the list have started to make a case for their chance to win it.

One name you won’t see on this Heisman Watch top-5 list that you’ll likely see everywhere else is Oklahoma QB Caleb Williams. That’s because, while most places have his Heisman odds around the +1600 mark, which would put him in 5th place, FanDuel is holding strong and listing Williams at +5000.

So, here is a look at our Heisman Watch list, according to the latest Heisman odds as we head into Week 9 of the season.

Click here to see the latest Heisman odds heading into Week 9

Heisman Watch: Top 5 Heisman Odds

1. Bryce Young – Alabama QB (+185)

Not much movement here at the No. 1 spot in our Heisman Watch list. Last week, Young was +200 and holding onto the top spot. This week, those odds have shortened a bit to +185 and he’s still the favorite, according to the latest Heisman odds. Once again, Young was fantastic last week. He put up 371 yards in the air and 42 more on the ground while scoring four total TDs. It’s worth noting that Bryce Young and Alabama are off this week, then they play a bad LSU team and an even worse New Mexico State squad in back-to-back weeks following the bye. If some of these guys further down our list are going to make a run at the top spot, now may be the time. If it’s close late in the year and Young balls out in an SEC championship game against Georgia, that’s going to be too much for the others to overcome.

2. Matt Corral – Ole Miss QB (+350)

Another week where we see Ole Miss QB Matt Corral’s Heisman odds lengthen. It’s not that he’s playing poorly. He actually continues to be one of the best players in the entire country, I think sportsbooks are just realizing it’s going to be awfully tough for him to catch Bryce Young in any realistic scenario. Just a few weeks ago, Corral was our favorite, but a head-to-head loss to Young makes it almost impossible for him to win it. Last week, in a lopsided win over a bad LSU team, Corral didn’t put up big numbers because he didn’t have to. It also didn’t help that he was questionable for the game with an injury. Still, when guys like Bryce Young and CJ Stroud are putting up insane numbers every single week, a single performance like this last week can sink your Heisman odds.

3. CJ Stroud – Ohio State QB (+600)

If you read our Heisman Watch piece each week, you know that I’ve been all over CJ Stroud’s Heisman odds for a while. A few weeks ago, I placed a bet on Stroud at +2500 to win the Heisman. Now, heading into Week 9, those odds are down to +600. As a matter of fact, at FanDuel Stroud has tied Corral for the second favorite and sits at +350. It’s truly amazing to see the kind of progression Stroud has made this season. In the season opener against Minnesota, I wasn’t sure we would even see Stroud under center by Week 2. Then, he lost at home to Oregon and it became the “just wait for Quinn Ewers” show. But, for my money, Stroud has been the best player in college football for the past three weeks. This past week, in a primetime showing against Indiana, he threw for 266 yards and four TDs in a 54-7 win. This week, the Buckeyes take on No. 20 Penn State and I can guarantee that Stroud will pass Corral on our Heisman Watch list if OSU wins and he balls out again.

4. Kenny Pickett – Pittsburgh QB (+1200)

What happens to your Heisman odds when you throw for over 300 yards in your program’s biggest win in close to 30 years? Well, they get slashed by more than half and you move into the No. 4 spot on our Heisman Watch list. Like Stroud, I’ve been begging to see Pickett higher up on this list for weeks, and now we finally have oddsmakers taking notice. Last week, in Pitt’s home win over Clemson, Pickett threw for 302 yards and 2 TDs in a 27-17 victory. Pickett’s season-long numbers are absurd. He has 2,236 yards, ranking 9th in the country, an 88.1 QBR, which is third in all of college football, and an insane 23 passing touchdowns to just one INT. The issue with backing Pickett to win the Heisman now is that he doesn’t have the strength of opponent left on his schedule that the others do. At best, Pitt will win out against all unranked foes and then meet a solid Wake Forest team in the ACC title game. But, how does that compare to a potential win over an all-time great Georgia defense for Bryce Young or CJ Stroud beating three top-25 teams to end the season? Not well.

5. Kenneth Walker III – Michigan State RB (+4000)

Technically, the latest Heisman odds have Kenneth Walker III and Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder tied in this No. 5 spot. But I’m so sick of seeing Ridder on our Heisman Watch list that I’, giving Walker the nod here. This week is monumental for Kenneth Walker III’s potential Heisman hopes. For the first time since 1964, Michigan and Michigan State meet with both teams ranked in the top 10. Right now, Walker is second in the country with 997 rushing yards. If he wants to shoot up this list and improve his Heisman odds, he needs to finish the season as the nation’s top rusher. A huge performance this week, against the best defense MSU has faced, would go a long way. The case against Walker is that he’s only broken 100-yards rushing four times this season. Those four huge games have carried his stats while his three other games were largely pedestrian. A win and a big showing this week change all that.

Others to Watch – Heisman Odds

  • Desmond Ridder – Cincinnati QB (+4000)
  • Caleb Williams – Oklahoma QB (+5000)
  • Brian Robinson Jr. – Alabama RB (+5000)
  • TreVeyon - Henderson – Ohio State RB (+5000)

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