Whether it is a casual fan or superfan, people always look forward to the college football season. Many of those fans are also sports bettors looking for college football picks for upcoming games and futures. Some of those futures include things like conference champion, playoff champion, or Heisman winner, which is always a tough choice to pick.
Another discussion most people have, whether they are a bettor or not, is “who is the best player in college football?”.
Most of the time, the Heisman winner and best player can be the same, and below is a list of the top players heading into the college football season based on the odds of winning the Heisman trophy. See the below top three Heisman odds as well as two non-QB honorable mentions.
1. C.J. Stroud, QB
Sophomore quarterback from the Ohio State Buckeyes is coming off a solid redshirt freshman year which he ended with passing for 4,435 yards, 44 touchdowns, and just six interceptions. Entering his second year, Stroud is left without some of his favorite receivers in Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson, who combined for 25 of his 44 touchdowns and are now in the NFL.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba (just missed the cut at sixth in Heisman odds) and Marvin Harrison Jr. are left to help Stroud potentially win a Heisman trophy.
As most college football predictions have C.J. Stroud as the favorite to win the Heisman trophy, he enters the year with the best odds at +220. With a chance to throw even more touchdowns and possibly get the Ohio State Buckeyes in a good playoff run, it is no surprise Stroud is the favorite to win.
2. Bryce Young, QB
Junior quarterback from the Alabama Crimson Tide had a great first season as the starter with 4,872 yards, 47 touchdowns, and seven interceptions.
Like Stroud, Bryce Young also lost two of his favorite targets to the NFL in wide receivers, Jameson Williams and John Metchie III, and will now look to returning guys like Ja’Corey Brooks and Traeshon Holden to step up in replacement. Also, like Stroud, Young has a chance to throw more touchdowns than his freshman year or could regress depending on his receiver help.
With coach Nick Saban under the helm, anything is possible, which is why Bryce Young comes in as the second-best player on this list based on the preseason odds of +380. With a chance to also win a title as well as have back-to-back great seasons, Bryce Young is a great choice to watch for the college football season.
3. Caleb Williams, QB
Coming in as the final quarterback on the list is USC Trojan transfer from the Oklahoma Sooners Caleb Williams, who is entering his sophomore year.
In his true freshman year in 2021, Williams entered as a backup and became the starter by the Sooner’s sixth game. By season’s end, Williams had 21 passing touchdowns, six rushing touchdowns, and only four interceptions.
With the help of playing in a familiar season and a solid chance to prove his freshman year success, Caleb Williams enters the season with the third best odds to win the Heisman with +700 odds.
Again with coach Lincoln Riley but now in the Pac-12 with the Trojans, Caleb Williams still has a chance to be a great player despite being with all new targets and atmosphere and potentially finding himself with the likes of Stroud and Young.
Whether you make college football picks against the spread or bet on futures, two non-QBs should catch your eye this year, with one being on offense and the other as a defender. These two have more longshot odds but are still great to watch for this season.
Will Anderson, defensive end/linebacker from the Alabama Crimson Tide, joins his quarterback as the fourth player on this list at +1,600 odds to win the Heisman. Anderson was a finalist in the 2021 vote with 101 tackles, 31 tackles for loss, and 17.5 sacks in his sophomore year.
Bijan Robinson, running back from the Texas Longhorns, is the offensive player who enters the season following a solid sophomore season. In 2021, Robinson ran for 1,127 yards and 11 touchdowns, along with 26 receptions for 295 yards and four receiving touchdowns.