Heisman Trophy odds, watch, and favorites heading into Week 4: Five star CJ Stroud stands alone after torching Toledo

C.J. Stroud tightened his grip on the Heisman Trophy odds as the nation watched his five-star performance torch Toledo in college football Week 3.

After another sensational weekend of upsets, action, and unbelievable plays in college football, which Heisman Trophy contenders should you watch out for in Week 4, what are the latest Heisman odds, and how have the favorites been impacted by the wild rollercoaster that was Week 3 of the college football season?

Heisman Trophy odds heading into Week 4 of college football

C.J. Stroud earned 12 first-place votes for the Heisman Trophy last December. Through three weeks of the 2022 college football season, the Ohio State quarterback almost has as many touchdown passes as votes received on his way to a fourth-place finish in 2021. Following a five-star performance where he torched Toledo to the tune of 367 yards and five touchdowns, anything other than lifting the award for the most outstanding player in college football seems unlikely.

In the first half alone, Stroud threw for 297 yards and four touchdowns, with 211 of those coming in the first quarter. In 30 minutes of football, the Ohio State QB completed 18 of his 20 pass attempts. Two incompletions in one half. Most college quarterbacks on Saturday will have had more incompletions in one drive than that.  As per College Football Numbers, Stroud had a 75.9 accuracy percentage, while 7.9% of his throws were classified as “big time.”

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You don’t need fancy statistics to know that Stroud is playing at a “big time” level. This isn’t a detailed NFL evaluation we’re doing here. It’s a feeling you get when you watch the Ohio State QB command a huddle, mentally diagnose a defense, then dissect it with pinpoint accuracy and relentless consistency. You know that you’re watching something special, watching someone at the top of their craft, and — troublingly for his fellow Heisman Trophy hopefuls — watching a player growing in confidence and ability every game.

Early in the year, you could watch week to week as the Heisman Trophy odds at DraftKings Sportsbook flip-flopped between Stroud and Alabama QB Bryce Young. However, Stroud is gaining a stranglehold as the Heisman Trophy favorite. His current odds of +200 are the shortest they’ve been so far this season. He leads a quarterback quartet consisting of Caleb Williams (+300), Young (+400), and Stetson Bennett IV (+1200).

Georgia tight end Brock Bowers is the best there is

The Heisman Trophy is the award for the most outstanding player in college football. However, you could be forgiven for thinking that it was for the most outstanding quarterback in the nation when looking at the list of the latest DraftKings Heisman Trophy odds. Of the top-10 favorites for the award — which you can find at the end of this article — seven are quarterbacks. There isn’t a pass catcher amongst them unless you count Bijan Robinson or Jahmyr Gibbs’ receiving ability out of the backfield. Which we don’t.

If you’ve watched the Georgia Bulldogs play football this season, you’ll have noticed an absolute weapon on their offense. He’s 6’4″ and 230 pounds and resembles a bulldozer at times and an Olympic athlete at others. He wears the number 19. His name is Brock Bowers, and he might just be the best player in the whole of college football.

Bowers tore apart the South Carolina defense this last week, and he barely broke a sweat in doing so. With rare athleticism for his size, you’d call him a seam or red zone mismatch if it wasn’t for his ability to terrorize a defense on any route, from any alignment, anywhere on the football field. Georgia even used him on an end around that he waltzed in for a five-yard touchdown. It was one of two scores in Week 3, with the other being a contorting end zone catch that showcased his body control, ball tracking, and catch ability.

Bowers even makes the less glamorous elements of tight end play look sensational. If he was a quarterback, he’d be the head of the Heisman Trophy watch, a clear favorite. As it stands, with a tight end having never been viewed as a worthy recipient of the award for the most outstanding player in college football, his odds are +10000 as per DraftKings Sportsbook. If you’re wondering how those odds compare, they’re the same as Texas A&M QB Max Johnson, who completed just 50% of his pass attempts for 150 yards in Week 3.

What to watch for in Week 4 of the college football season

A defensive winner of the Heisman Trophy is almost as unlikely as seeing a tight end lift the award. However, the Will Anderson Jr. campaign rolls into SEC play in college football Week 4 as Alabama welcomes Vanderbilt to Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Commodores have allowed just 0.50 sacks per game this season, presenting a tough test for the nation’s top defensive player. Anderson added a pick-six to his résumé as part of a dominant Week 3 performance but still saw his Heisman Trophy odds slide from +2200 to +3000.

Sticking in the SEC, Tennessee and Florida meet at 3:30 p.m. ET with two players on very different Heisman Trophy watch trajectories. After a sensational start to the season, Florida QB Anthony Richardson’s stock has been slipping with some sloppy showings. His Heisman Trophy odds more than doubled to +8000 after a tight win over USF. Meanwhile, Hendon Hooker is soaring and enters the Heisman Trophy top-10 favorites with odds of +4000 as Tennessee looks to continue its undefeated start to the season.

An all-ACC clash between Wake Forest and Clemson has a number of players to watch that feature prominently in DraftKings’ Heisman Trophy odds. Demons Deacons QB Sam Hartman has the shortest odds at +5000 after a successful return from a pre-season surgical procedure. Someone who hasn’t been surgical is Clemson QB DJ Uiagalelei, but his odds of +6000 are the same as impressive Kansas QB Jalon Daniels. A better Clemson bet is running back Will Shipley at +9000.

Pac-12 players have always had issues with asserting themselves on the accolades for college football’s most outstanding player. Just ask Christian McCaffrey. However, Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. is making late-night football viewing a must, even for Heisman Trophy voters. After a performance against Michigan State that led to some incredible Robert Griffin III quotes, the former Indiana QB had his odds slashed to +4500 by DraftKings. Washington’s 10:30 p.m. ET clash with Stanford gives Penix a benchmark to earn comparison against USC quarterback and Heisman front-runner Williams.

Current Heisman Trophy odds

  • CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State +200
  • Caleb Williams, QB, USC +300
  • Bryce Young, QB, Alabama +400
  • Stetson Bennett IV, QB, Georgia +1200
  • Dillon Gabriel, QB, Oklahoma +2000
  • JJ McCarthy, QB, Michigan +2000
  • Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas +3000
  • Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama +3000
  • Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee +4000
  • Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama +4000

Oliver Hodgkinson is an NFL Draft and College Football Analyst for Pro Football Network. Check out the rest of his work here, and you can find him on Twitter: @ojhodgkinson.


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