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Heisman Watch: Ranking the Top 5 Heisman Odds Candidates Heading into Week 1

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 1. College football's first full-slate weekend is 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 1

Sure, Week 0 was technically the first week of the season, but this weekend's Week 1 slate is the first time we'll be seeing all our names on the Heisman Watch list in action. So, that means by Sunday we will definitely have movement in the Heisman odds.

This week, the only movement we've seen is at the top of the Heisman Watch list, despite the fact that none of the top contenders have played a game. It's going to be interesting to see how Week 1 performances, both good and bad, impact the Heisman odds and our Heisman Watch list.

So, Let's take a look at the Week 1 Heisman Watch list and what we can expect come Saturday.

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Heisman Watch: Top 5 Heisman Odds

1. CJ Stroud - Ohio State QB (+200) (Bet $100 to win $200)

Somehow, CJ Stroud's Heisman odds have shortened since Week 0. No, he hasn't played, but that may be an indication of just how strong the Ohio State hype train is this season. Here's the thing, Stroud's Week 1 opponent gives him a fantastic chance to shorten his Heisman odds even shorter. If Stroud goes off against No. 5 Notre Dame in front of a crazy crowd at home, we may see his odds shorten close to +100. I don't necessarily agree with his Heisman odds as they stand right now, I still think Bryce Young should be the favorite, but there is no denying that a big performance against the No. 5 team in the country will put him directly in the driver's seat of our Heisman Watch list.

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

Here's what we know. We know that Alabama is going to compete for an SEC title this season. We know that they will also be right there when it comes to the College Football Playoff. We know that Bryce Young is their best offensive player, the defending Heisman Trophy winner and will put up insane numbers. Knowing all that, somehow Bryce Young is still second on our Heisman Watch list because sportsbooks have fallen in love with CJ Stroud and the Buckeyes. I don't love Young's price here. If I'm going to make a Heisman bet and let a sportsbook hold my money all season, it's going to be at longer odds than this, but still. The issue with his Week 1 Heisman opportunity is that he's playing Utah State while CJ Stroud will be taking on Notre Dame in front of the entire country.

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

Listen, I've spent my summer telling anyone that will listen that Caleb Williams is my favorite Heisman bet this season. At +800, his odds are long enough that I'm willing to roll the dice on all the unknowns. Here's the thing, while Williams is in a new place with new players around him, he's in the same system as a year ago. Lincoln Riley knows what he does well. He knows how to put QBs in positions to put up massive numbers and succeed. Oh, and Caleb Williams has Jordan Addison to throw to now. We'll know immediately whether or not this bet will be a fun one by halftime this weekend. If Williams and USC put up huge numbers against a bad Rice team, we'll know we're headed in the right direction. If they struggle, we'll know we have the same old disappointing USC team on our hands.

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

The Brent Venables-Dillon Gabriel era in Norman gets underway this weekend against a bad UTEP team that just got blown out by North Texas a week ago. It's going to take a massive showing from Gabriel for his Heisman odds to shorten much, but he still finds himself as the fourth favorite on our Heisman Watch list. Gabriel is such an unknown, even more than someone like Caleb Williams. Sure, Gabriel is in a new place, but he's also coming off a shoulder injury that caused him to miss almost the entire season at UCF last year. We have a QB that hasn't played in a year playing under a new head coach and offensive coordinator and he's apparently our fourth favorite. You used to be able to pencil in Lincoln Riley OU QBs when it came to the Heisman Watch, but I'm not sure why we're giving Gabriel that same treatment this year.

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

1997. That's the last time a defensive player won the Heisman Trophy. Even then, that comes with a bit of an asterisk because the return game and defensive touchdowns were a huge part of why Charles Woodson won the award. On the one hand, if Will Anderson is going to win the Heisman this season, he's going to need to play head and shoulders above the rest of the country. On the other hand, he's the best football player in the nation so if anyone can do that it's him. Anderson had 17.5 sacks and 71 QB pressures last season, both marks led the nation. If he turns in a 20-sack season with similar pressure numbers then I don't see why he can't win the 2022 Heisman.

  • 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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