Oklahoma’s Rattler favored in opening 2021 Heisman Trophy odds
The 2020 Heisman Trophy was only just handed out to Alabama’s DeVonta Smith, but odds are already available for next year’s race for college football’s most coveted individual award. Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Spencer Rattler, who will begin the 2021 campaign as a sophomore, is the early favorite in the wagering at +300. Let’s dive into his case for the Heisman Trophy below, and see if there isn’t a better bet on the board.
Heisman Trophy 2021
Wed, January 5 2022, 11:00 PM
Miller III, Jack
Rattler dazzled as a freshman
There were some hiccups along the way, but Rattler had an outstanding freshman season at Oklahoma. He completed 67.5% of his passes for 9.6 yards per attempt with 28 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. Three of those picks came in one game against Kansas State in a forgivable early-season defeat.
Rattler was fairly clean in the Cotton Bowl against Florida, going 14-for-23 with 247 yards and three touchdowns. He didn’t need to do much late lifting, as the Sooners’ defense forced Gators quarterback Kyle Trask into three interceptions in a 55-20 rout.
Rattler’s development under well-respected head coach Lincoln Riley should continue, and he should have a fine 2021 campaign. But locking in a wager nearly a year in advance at just +300 odds isn’t very appetizing, especially considering the last two Heisman Trophy winners (Smith and Joe Burrow) were +8000 longshots in preseason. Let’s go looking for a little more value.
Howell has underdog appeal
North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell (+800) has put up some terrific numbers in his first two seasons as a Tar Heel. He’s thrown for 7,227 yards and 68 touchdowns with only 14 interceptions.
Pure statistics may not be enough for Howell, who hails from non-traditional college football power that’s yet to produce a Heisman Trophy winner. However, the Tar Heels have improved rapidly under Mack Brown, and another small step forward could put them in CFP contention. That might be enough to put Howell over the top.
Hall is a live longshot
Though only one running back has won the Heisman Trophy since 2010 (Derrick Henry in 2015), it would not be wise to discount the chances of Breece Hall (+3300).
The Iowa State standout led the nation in carries (279) and total rushing yards (1,572) while notching 21 touchdowns. That includes his fine Fiesta Bowl effort in which he ran for 136 yards on 34 attempts with two touchdowns in a 34-17 victory over Oregon.
The Cyclones frequently contend with the best of the Big 12. If they can at least hang around the fringes of the CFP battle, Hall should get plenty of consideration for the 2021 Heisman Trophy.