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Heisman Watch: Ranking the Top 5 Heisman Odds Candidates Heading into Week 0

In this week's Heisman watch, we break down the five most likely players to win the 2022 Heisman, according to the Heisman Trophy odds going into Week 0. College football is finally here, and that means so is our Heisman Watch series.
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Heisman Watch: Ranking the Top 5 Heisman Odds Candidates Heading into Week 0

We're just one day away from the 2022 college football season getting underway. And, with college football starting that means so is the Heisman Watch train.

Throughout the year, you'll see schools and players campaigning for the Heisman, but the best way to actually gauge who is a real contender for the Heisman is by paying attention to the Heisman odds.

This week's Heisman Watch is headlined by two very familiar names as they spent the entire season in 2021 on the list as well. But, there are also plenty of new names on our Heisman Watch list.

So, who is going to pick up this year's Heisman Trophy come December? Who has the shortest odds in the country? Which player is No. 1 on our Heisman watch list? Let's break down the first Heisman Watch list of the 2022 season.

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Heisman Watch: Top 5 Heisman Odds

1. CJ Stroud - Ohio State QB (+220) (Bet $100 to win $220)

I said this last week when I did our preseason Heisman Watch list, but I cannot wrap my head around CJ Stroud being the 2022 Heisman favorite. Stroud was absolutely fantastic in 2021 after a slow start to the season. I loved watching him. I bet on him to win the award and while he eventually came up short, he was fantastic. The thing is, the circumstances this year are much different. Sure, Stroud will take a step forward in his second year under center in Columbus, but you have to consider his surroundings. For starters, there are two other Heisman hopefuls on that offense in Jaxon Smith-Njigba and TreVeyon Henderson. Any outstanding plays by them will be considered their "Heisman Moment", not Stroud's. Second, he lost both Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave from last year's team. I like Stroud but to have him as a pretty sizeable favorite in the Heisman odds seems like a stretch.

2. Bryce Young - Alabama QB (+430) (Bet $100 to win $430)

This is where this year's Heisman Watch and Heisman odds should start. Last year's Heisman winner, Bryce Young, is back at Alabama and trying to run it back and win the trophy again. Here is what we know, he lost both John Metchie and Jameson Williams from last year's team. That is going to hurt. But, we also know that come Week 1, Alabama is going to trot out Jermain Burton and Ja'Corey Brooks and they'll be playing for an SEC Championship and most likely a National title. I don't worry about talent loss at Alabama because they always replenish. The tricky part is that the SEC is going to be incredibly tough this season, even by its standards. If Bryce Young can avoid a bad loss and put up big numbers like last year, we may just see him hoist the trophy again come this December.

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3. Caleb Williams - USC QB (+800) (Bet $100 to win $800)

This is a high-risk, high-reward play. If Caleb Williams was still at OU, his Heisman odds would be much shorter than +800. Hell, he almost ended up at the Heisman ceremony last year and he started like half a season. The thing is, we have no clue what this USC offense will look like. They were terrible last year, but they have Williams, new Head Coach Lincoln Riley and Pitt WR transfer, Jordan Addison. This could be a truly explosive offense in a bad Pac-12 and if that happens, the sky is the limit for Caleb Wiliams' Heisman campaign. But, they could also look like a typical team in the middle of a rebuild. I have already loaded up Caleb Williams Heisman bets. I think the risk is worth the potential. We know what impact Lincoln Reily's offenses has on Heisman voters for QBs not named Spencer Rattler. This is my favorite play.

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4. Will Anderson - Alabama EDGE (+3000) (Bet $100 to win $3,000)

If we're giving the Heisman to the best player in college football, which we're supposed to, then we should just give it to Will Anderson right now. The problem is that no defensive player has won the Heisman since Charles Woodson did it in the late 90s. But, make no mistake about it, Will Anderson is the best player in the country. Last season, Anderson racked up 17.5 sacks and 71 pressures, both of which led the nation. If he was eligible for the draft this past season, he would have been the first overall pick and come the 2023 NFL Draft he will likely hear his name called first. Anderson plays with violence. He makes ball carriers and QBs regret coming near him. He has unbelievable size, quickness, bend and technique. He is the perfect pass rusher and if someone on the defensive side of the ball is going to win the Heisman it should be him.

5. Dillon Gabriel - Oklahoma QB (+3000) (Bet $100 to win $3,000)

The last name on this Heisman Watch list really depends on where you look. Hell, Texas QB Quinn Ewers is +2000 in some places, which would give him the No. 4 spot here. But he's also +5000 at FanDuel, so that drops him out. The fifth and final spot on our Heisman Watch, according to the latest Heisman odds, is new OU QB Dillon Gabriel. Two years ago, Gabriel was fantastic for UCF. He makes plays with his arm and his legs and is the perfect fit in Norman. But, last year he missed almost the entire season with a shoulder injury, and we have to consider the off-the-field stuff at OU when we talk about the possibility of any player winning a Heisman there. Lincoln Riley is in Southern California now and Brent Venables is walking the sideline for the Sooners. I have no doubt that he will be fantastic, but his MO is defense. So, they brought in former Ole Miss OC Jeff Lebby to lead the Sooners on that side of the ball. We need to wait to see how Lebby uses Gabriel before we bet on him to win the Heisman. Too many question marks here for me.

Heisman Watch - Other Heisman Odds to Watch

  • Bijan Robinson - Texas RB (+4000)
  • Quinn Ewers - Texas QB (+5000)
  • TreVeyon Henderson - Ohio State RB (+3500)
  • Jaxon Smith-Njigba - Ohio State WR (+5000)
  • Jahmyr Gibbs - Alabama RB (+5000)
  • Jayden Daniels - LSU QB (+8000)
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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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