Heisman Watch: Ranking the Top 5 Heisman Odds Candidates Heading into Week 12

In this week's Heisman watch, we take a look at the 5 most likely players to win the 2021 Heisman, according to the Heisman Trophy odds going into Week 12
Brian Good |
Fri, November 19, 10:37 AM EST | 4 min read
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Heisman Watch: Ranking the Top 5 Heisman Odds Candidates Heading into Week 12

Well, we’ve reached the home stretch of this year’s Heisman watch. There are just two weeks left in the college football regular season and the Heisman odds are starting to take shape and show us who the true favorites are in our Heisman watch.

This week’s Heisman watch list looks almost the exact same as last week’s, with the exception of the No. 5 spot. But, the Heisman odds have changed dramatically in some cases. It’s getting a whole lot tighter at the top.

I’m going into our Week 12 Heisman watch making a prediction. This is the week that someone unseats Bryce Young atop the Heisman odds and takes over as the favorite to win the award. Who will it be? Let’s take a look at our Heisman watch list to find out.

Click here for the latest Heisman odds

Heisman Watch: Top 5 Heisman Odds

1. Bryce Young – Alabama QB (+200)

Another week with Bryce Young at the top of our Heisman watch list. His odds have shortened slightly, but he still isn’t breaking that +200 mark. Last week, he came in with Heisman odds of +225. Now, he’s down to +200. I’m not entirely sure how you can give him credit for torching New Mexico State last week, one of the worst teams in the country, but the oddsmakers have spoken. This week, Young has a chance to make some noise on our Heisman watch list and distance himself a bit as Alabama takes on No. 21 Arkansas at home. This is a big game for Young because it’s the last ranked opponent he’s going to face this year until Bama eventually meets Georgia in the SEC championship game. I still think Young’s Heisman chances come down to that one game against UGA. If he shreds the best defense in college football, and one of the best ever, and puts up a win, I think he gets the Heisman on Dec. 12. If not, I think he falls down this Heisman watch list.

2. CJ Stroud – Ohio State QB (+250)

CJ Stroud’s best available Heisman odds sit at +250, so he finds himself second on our Heisman watch. But, it’s important to note that FanDuel has made Stroud their favorite to win the award at +150, while Young’s Heisman odds at FanDuel come in at +200. It may seem insignificant, but this is the first time a book has knocked Young off the top spot in weeks. Also, remember that just a few weeks ago, Buckeye fans were calling for Stroud to lose the starting job and his Heisman odds sat at +2500. The reason Stroud is my pick to win the Heisman this year comes down to who he has left on the schedule. This week, OSU takes on No. 7 Michigan State, a game that will have the entire country watching and is essentially for first place in the Big 10 East. Then, the following week, Ohio State takes on bitter rival Michigan, ranked No. 6 in the country. If Stroud can win both those games and put up big numbers, followed by a Big 10 title game win over Wisconsin or Iowa, I’m not sure how you can deny him the Heisman. If he has a spectacular game this week against MSU, expect him to be No. 1 in next week’s Heisman watch.

3. Kenneth Walker III – Michigan State RB (+450)

Speaking of this Ohio State vs. Michigan State game, watch out for Kenneth Walker III and his spot on this Heisman watch list. If Michigan State is to win this game, or even if they don’t, and Walker puts up insane numbers, we could see him make a move toward the top. I do think he has a tougher path as a RB and with his team likely to lose this week, but it will make it that much more impressive if he pulls it off. Just a few weeks ago, Walker seemed like he was headed to the top of our Heisman watch. He rushed for 193 yards and five TDs in the Spartans win against Michigan. That is clearly his “Heisman moment” to this point, but it wasn’t enough to make him the favorite. Still, according to BetMGM, he is the most popular pick when it comes to the betting public and Heisman odds, with 24.4% of all bets backing him. I think that on Saturday night, either Walker or Stroud will surpass Young at the top of our Heisman watch list. It just depends which one shows out at noon and leads their team to a win.

4. Matt Corral – Ole Miss QB (+800)

Matt Corral’s Heisman odds are one of the hardest things to really gauge right now. First and foremost, he’s not going to win. Corral isn’t competing for an SEC title or National Championship and the teams left on the schedule for Ole Miss are not good. But, will he be invited to the Heisman ceremony as a finalist in December? Is he being taken seriously by voters? His Heisman odds are in a weird place. He’s not as short as the three leading our Heisman watch list, but the player in 5th has odds about 5x as long. The hype around Corral early in the season had him in contention, even as the favorite for a few weeks, but his Heisman hype has died down and I don’t see any path for him to win the award now that Ole Miss has cooled off. But, don’t feel bad for Matt Corral, he’ll be the first QB off the board in April’s NFL Draft.

5. Kenny Pickett – Pittsburgh QB (+4000)

Oh, what could have been? Kenny Pickett was the best story in college football for a few weeks, but a loss to a bad Miami team basically killed any hopes he had of winning the Heisman this year. Still, it’s pretty amazing to see the numbers Pickett has put up in this Pitt offense. He’s thrown for 3,517 yards and 32 TDs to just 4 INTs. His 83.5 QBR is good for 7th in the nation and he has, shockingly, turned himself into a potential first-round draft pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. But, Kenny Pickett is not winning this year’s Heisman. A week ago, he wasn’t even in the top 5 on our Heisman watch list. But, Caleb Williams took care of that with his play against Baylor this past week.

Others to Watch – Heisman Odds

  • TreVeyon Henderson – Ohio State RB (+5000)
  • Sam Hartman – Wake Forest QB (+5000)
  • Brennan Armstrong – Virginia QB (+8000)
  • Desmond Ridder – Cincinnati QB (+10000)

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