The BParlay.com team have compiled this useful 2021 CFB Heisman Predictions and Bets resource.
Two Oklahoma Sooners quarterbacks have lifted the Heisman trophy under coach Lincoln Riley, and oddsmakers believe Spencer Rattler is the next to fill the trophy case in Norman. After a wide receiver claimed the award in 2020, quarterbacks account for nine of the top 10 favorites as we close in on two months before the opening kickoff.
After backing up Jalen Hurts in 2019, Rattler was handed the keys to the offense in 2020. He struggled out of the gate as Oklahoma lost to Kansas State and Iowa State. In those two games, he accounted for four interceptions but rallied in the Sooners’ four-overtime win against Texas in Week 4.
Rattler threw just two interceptions over the final seven games, and the Sooners ended the season on an eight-game win streak. They will begin the season in the top five, and Rattler is +500 to join Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield as Heisman winners under Riley.
The schedule works well for Rattler in 2021 as the Sooners play Tulane, Western Carolina, and Nebraska before starting Big 12 play. They host West Virginia, TCU, and Iowa State with challenging road games at Kansas State and Oklahoma State.
Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State New Quarterbacks Among Contenders
It is no surprise that the quarterbacks at Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State are Heisman favorites. The only new thing in 2021 is that none of those signal-callers are household names yet. Trevor Lawrence, Mac Jones, and Justin Fields were all in the top seven of the 2020 voting before being drafted in the first round in April.
Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei is +650, and he got the most in-game action of the three in 2020. He started two games when Lawrence was out with COVID-19, including a thrilling 47-40 double-overtime loss at Notre Dame. Uiagalelei accounted for 439 passing yards in that game and ran for 53 more while throwing for 342 yards against Boston College.
As a freshman in 2020, Bryce Young (+800) appeared in seven games for Alabama, mostly in mop-up duty. He completed 13-of-22 passes for 156 yards and a touchdown with a season-high of 54 yards against Missouri in September. He won’t have the same weapons Jones had last year as Devonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, and Najee Harris are now in the NFL.
C.J. Stroud (+1200) did not attempt a pass as a freshman for Ohio State in 2020 though he did run for a 48-yard touchdown in a 52-12 win over Michigan State. He will have to beat out Jack Miller III, and Kyle McCord for the starting job as all three played in the Buckeyes spring game and none have thrown a college pass.
Other Quarterbacks to Keep an Eye On in the 2021 CFB Heisman
Georgia quarterback J.T. Daniels is between Young and Stroud with +1000 odds. The Southern Cal transfer is the presumed starter in 2021 after battling with two others for the job last season. He finished as the starter with 299 yards against Missouri and 392 yards in the Peach Bowl win against Cincinnati. Learn more about other types of NFL Betting Stategy types with our free tips and advice resources.
Overall, Daniels played in four games throwing for 1,231 yards and completing 67.2 percent of his passes. Daniels threw for 10 touchdowns and only two interceptions.
Georgia added LSU transfer Arik Gilbert at tight end and could move him to wide receiver after George Pickens tore his ACL this spring. Daniels can serve notice right away as the Bulldogs open the season in Charlotte against Clemson on September 4. The SEC schedule doesn’t include Alabama, LSU, or Texas A&M, which means likely only Florida stands in the way for the Bulldogs trip to the SEC Championship Game
North Carolina’s Sam Howell (+1500) had a second terrific season in 2020, throwing for 3586 yards and 30 touchdowns while completing 68.1 percent of his passes. Howell set a UNC record with 38 touchdowns as a freshman in 2019, and he has just seven interceptions in each of his first two seasons.
The Tar Heels don’t play Clemson in the regular season, but they do have a trip to Notre Dame. They host Florida State and Miami, allowing Howell a couple of big-name home games to pile up the stats and headlines.
Robinson the Lone Running Back
The only running back in the top 10 for odds is Bijan Robinson (+2000) from Texas. In fact, he is the only non-quarterback in the top 14. Robinson carried the ball 86 times as a freshman and accounted for 703 yards with four touchdowns.
He finished the season with three 100-yard games in the last four weeks. Robinson ran for 113 against West Virginia, 172 against Kansas State, and a career-best 183 against Colorado in the Alamo Bowl. In his final two games, Robinson averaged 18.6 yards per carry, 18 yards per reception and scored six total touchdowns.
Darkhorses in the Heisman Race
Last year, Smith won the Heisman after being +5000 over the summer. The players in that range right now are Tank Bigsby, Max Borghi, British Brooks, Malik Cunningham, Bo Nix, Michael Penix Jr., Brock Purdy, and Spencer Sanders.
Of these players, Bigsby and Purdy could be worth a flyer. Bigsby, the Auburn running back, ran for 834 yards in 2020 at 6.1 yards per carry and five touchdowns. The Tigers have a monster schedule with a veteran quarterback in Nix, and they always seem to compete when nothing is expected from them.
Purdy and the Iowa State Cyclones are likely to be a top-15 team, and the schedule is kind. Iowa State hosts Iowa, Texas, and Oklahoma State before November trips to Oklahoma and Texas Tech. If the Cyclones are in contention for the Big 12, it will be on the arm of Purdy, who has 62 career touchdown passes to go with nearly 9000 passing yards in three seasons.