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Between DeVonta Smith last year and Joe Burrow in 2019, the Heisman Trophy has been awarded recently to players who were nowhere near the top of watch lists or odds boards to start the season. In fact, there’s one 2021 Heisman longshot who has caught the eye of William Hill bettors already.
William Hill Nevada released its 2021 Heisman futures on Feb. 22 with Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler as the +450 favorite. Rattler’s price has dropped to +350 since, however there has been plenty of interest in other candidates as well.
“There’s more action on Heisman futures than I expected at this point,” said Nick Bogdanovich, Director of Trading for William Hill US. “Usually there isn’t much interest in the Heisman until the season gets going. Maybe with how wonky college football was last year, the public is coming back in full force now. Rattler’s got the most tickets by far, but after him, it’s rare to see the tickets spread out among this many players.”
Rattler is tops with 17% of the total number of tickets, followed by Georgia signal-caller JT Daniels (10/1) and Texas tailback Bijan Robinson (25/1) at 7% apiece. A running back hasn’t received college football’s top honor since Alabama’s Derrick Henry in 2015.
Four other quarterbacks have racked up 4% of the total number of tickets: Alabama’s Bryce Young (+650), North Carolina’s Sam Howell (10/1), Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud (40/1) and Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder (100/1).
Rattler also leads in total dollars wagered at 20%, but a surprise name ranks second. Texas quarterback Casey Thompson opened at 100/1, and is now all the way down to 20/1. Thompson has snagged 15% of the total dollars wagered.
“We get obliterated with Thompson,” Bogdanovich said. “He’s our biggest liability, no one else is even close. I get it, he has a new coach [Steve Sarkisian] and that offense should be lighting up the Big 12. There have been some bombers who have cashed Heisman tickets the past couple years, and they’re looking for another nice score.”
One Nevada bettor put down $3,000 on Thompson 100/1 for a total potential payout of $303,000, which is the largest 2021 Heisman Trophy wager taken thus far at William Hill.
Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral has drawn 7% in this category, and has also experienced a noticeable odds shift in going from 40/1 to 25/1. Robinson is right behind at 6%, whereas Daniels, Howell and Young are all at 5%.
Check out William Hill’s latest odds and trends for 2021 Heisman Trophy futures below.