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Heisman Watch: Ranking the Top 5 Heisman Odds Candidates Heading into Week 13

In this week's Heisman watch, we break down the five most likely players to win the 2021 Heisman, according to the Heisman Trophy odds going into Week 13
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Heisman Watch: Ranking the Top 5 Heisman Odds Candidates Heading into Week 13

In last week’s Heisman watch, I said that I believed we would have a new Heisman odds leader by the time Week 12 was over. And, thanks to CJ Stroud’s unbelievable performance against Michigan State, that prediction came true.

For the first time all season, this week’s Heisman watch list features CJ Stroud in the top spot as the favorite to win the Heisman this season.

Another clear development, according to the latest Heisman odds, is that it’s officially a two-horse race. This week’s Heisman watch list features just two players that have odds shorter than +3300, officially dropping Kenneth Walker III out of contention.

Without any more delay, let’s take a look at the latest Heisman odds and our Heisman watch list going into Week 13 in college football, the final week of the regular season.

Click here for the latest Heisman odds

Heisman Watch: Top 5 Heisman Odds

1. CJ Stroud – Ohio State QB (-200)

Like I mentioned earlier, we have a new leader atop our Heisman Watch list. Ohio State QB CJ Stroud isn’t just the leader in the clubhouse going into the final week of the regular season, he’s the first player this year to have their Heisman odds drop into odds-on territory. Last week was the best performance of CJ Stroud’s career as a college quarterback. In the Buckeyes’ biggest game of the season, Stroud threw for 432 yards and six touchdowns while completing 32 of 35 passes in essentially one half of football. The Buckeyes went up 49-0 at half, Stroud played a few snaps after halftime and then backup QB Kyle McCord came in. The reason I’m extremely bullish on Stroud on our Heisman watch list, whose Heisman odds were +2500 in Week 6, is because of who is left on his schedule. Ohio State plays No. 5 Michigan this weekend before a potential trip to the Big 10 title game and an appearance in the College Football Playoff. Stroud, despite missing time due to injury and playing poorly to start the year, is ninth in the nation in passing yards (3,468 yards), fourth in passing TDs (36) and first in QBR (90.7). There is a reason he’s in the top spot on our Heisman watch list this late in the season, and it’s because he’s been the best player in the nation to this point.

2. Bryce Young – Alabama QB (+190)

It’s kind of crazy to see Bryce Young fall on our Heisman watch list, considering the game he had last week against No. 21 Arkansas. Young threw for 559 yards and five touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough to hang with Stroud’s performance against a stronger team in just a half of football. Bryce Young has a lot of ground to make up on this Heisman watch list. But, luckily for Young, he has the opportunity to make a push because of who is left on the Alabama schedule before Heisman finalists are announced on Dec. 6. Alabama plays a decent Auburn team in the Iron Bowl in Week 13. But, it’s the potential matchup against Georgia in the SEC title game that should have Bryce Young Heisman bettors interested. Georgia isn’t just the best defense in the country, it’s one of the best defenses in history. If Young can put up massive numbers against a defense that hasn’t given up yards to anyone, it will be hard to argue against Young being the favorite to take home the Heisman. But, if Young throws a few INTs against Georgia, doesn’t look strong and Alabama loses, you can basically give the award to Stroud. Heisman watch lists get tricky this time of year, but the latest Heisman odds have made it clear that this is really just between two players at this point.

3. Matt Corral – Ole Miss QB (+3300)

Speaking of unexpected jumps on our Heisman watch list, I certainly did not expect Matt Corral to be in the No. 3 spot this week, but here we are. Last week, Corral put up big yardage, throwing for 326 yards and two TDS and rushing for 29 more. But, Corral is the only player on this week’s Heisman watch list that has played already this week, so these are likely Corral’s Heisman odds for the rest of the season as they have no more regular season games left and won’t be playing in the SEC title game. So, Corral won’t be winning this year’s Heisman, but he still had an unbelievable season for the Rebels and was crucial to their two-loss season that has them ranked in the top-10 and probably even higher come next week. Corral finishes the regular season with 3,334 yards passing, 20 touchdowns and just four interceptions while posting an 80.7 QBR. He also rushed for 597 yards and 11 TDs.

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

This is not the spot I expected Kenneth Walker III to hold on our Heisman watch list this week, but a poor showing in his team’s biggest game of the season has essentially dropped him out of the Heisman race this season. Last week against Ohio State, Walker didn’t even lead the Spartans in rushing. He ran the ball six times for 25 yards as Michigan State was blown out, 56-7. No, a lot of that isn’t his fault. MSU was playing from behind the entire game and didn’t have any real opportunities to strike in the run game. But, the Heisman winner can’t be completely absent in his team’s biggest game of the year. Earlier this season, in a win against Michigan, Walker rushed for 193 yards and five touchdowns, making him a true Heisman contender. Now, after this past week’s performance, I would be surprised if he even ends up invited to the Heisman ceremony. Going into last week, his Heisman odds sat at +450 on our Heisman watch list. But those days are long gone.

5. Kenny Pickett – Pittsburgh QB (+5000)

If it were up to me, Kenny Pickett would be third on our Heisman watch list. But, the oddsmakers have spoken and he comes into the final week of the regular season in the No. 5 spot. Pickett has been absolutely fantastic this season while leading his Pitt team to a 9-2 record overall. He’s thrown for 3,857 yards, more than any other player on this list, 36 TDs and just six INTs. Not only has he been great, but Pitt is also headed to the ACC title game against either Wake Forest, Clemson or NC State, pending this week’s results. You can't convince me that Pickett’s season, playing for a less talented Pitt team than Corral at Ole Miss or Walker III at Michigan State, hasn’t been more impressive than those two. Ideally, I’d like to see him announced as a finalist for the award. But, either way, he’s played himself into the top five on the Heisman watch list and potentially into a first-round pick come April’s NFL Draft.

Others to Watch – Heisman Odds

  • Desmond Ridder – Cincinnati QB (+10000)
  • Jordan Davis – Georgia DT (+10000)
  • Sam Hartman – Wake Forest QB (+12500)
  • Brian Robinson Jr. – Alabama RB (+15000)


Brian is a sports journalist with close to ten years of experience in the business. A lifelong Philadelphia sports fan with a passion for all things sports gambling.


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