Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler leads early Heisman odds for 2021

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Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler leads early Heisman odds for 2021 originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The 2021 Heisman Trophy watch is officially on with the college football season underway.

Alabama product and current Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith won the Heisman Trophy last season, breaking a four-year streak of quarterbacks taking home the award.

But the 2021 winner looks primed to come from the quarterback position. The top nine early Heisman favorites are all signal callers, according to the odds from our partner, PointsBet.

Who is the favorite to win the 2021 Heisman Trophy?

Four Oklahoma quarterbacks have won the Heisman Trophy since the turn of the century, and another one is favored to claim it in 2021. Spencer Rattler of the No. 2-ranked Sooners leads the Heisman favorites at +550. 

In 11 games as a redshirt freshman last season, Rattler threw for 3,031 yards, 28 touchdowns, seven interceptions and a 67.5 completion percentage while quarterbacking Oklahoma to a 9-2 record and a sixth straight Big 12 title. Rattler, who’s also a top contender to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, will be looking to lead the Sooners back to the College Football Playoff after missing out in 2020.

Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei has the second-best Heisman Trophy odds at +800. Uiagalelei got some experience last season after No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence went down with an injury. He impressed in two starts, the latter of which he threw for 439 yards and totaled three touchdowns in a double-overtime loss to Notre Dame in South Bend. The sophomore’s got some big shoes to fill as the full-time starter of a Clemson program eying a seventh straight ACC title.

The starting quarterback at Alabama typically has a good chance to be in the Heisman mix, and that’s indeed the case this season as the Crimson Tide’s Bryce Young has +900 odds. Young saw very limited action as a freshman while current New England Patriots starter Mac Jones led the Crimson Tide to a national championship. But he enters this season as the starter of the defending champion and top-ranked team in the country.

Georgia’s JT Daniels comes in behind Young with +1200 betting odds. Daniels made four starts as a redshirt junior to close out the 2020 season, going 4-0 with 1,231 passing yards, 10 touchdowns, two interceptions and a 67.2 completion percentage. The No. 5 Bulldogs are seeking their first SEC title and playoff appearance since 2017.

UNC’s Sam Howell and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud are tied for the fifth-best odds at +1400. With the national runner-up and Buckeyes needing to replace Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields, Stroud beat out Jack Miller III for the starting job. But, should Stroud struggle early, Miller III is still lurking as a potential Heisman candidate. At +4000, he has the same odds as Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford and Texas quarterback Casey Thompson, who is splitting time with Hudson Card in the Longhorns’ season opener.

Trailing Howell and Stroud in the Heisman odds are fellow quarterbacks D'Eriq King of Miami (+1600), Kedon Slovis of USC (+2000) and Matt Corral of Ole Miss (+2200).

The player with the best odds among non-quarterbacks is Texas running back Bijan Robinson. The tailback racked up 899 yards from scrimmage (703 rushing, 196 receiving) and six touchdowns in nine games as a freshman. Iowa State's Breece Hall, who led the nation in rushing with 1,572 yards in addition to scoring 23 total touchdowns last season, has +4000 odds.

If a wide receiver is going to win the award for a second straight season, it could be another member of the Crimson Tide who gets it done. John Metchie III leads the wideout candidates with +6000 betting odds. Despite playing alongside two first-round picks in Smith and Jaylen Waddle, Metchie III still put up big numbers (55 receptions, 916 yards, six touchdowns) in 2020. Now, he’s taking over as Bama’s No. 1 option on the outside.

Also at +6000 is the player with the best Heisman odds among defenders, LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. Hall of Famer Charles Woodson is the last defensive player to win the Heisman, doing so in 1997.

What are the 2021 Heisman Trophy betting odds?

Here’s a full look at the top Heisman Trophy betting favorites:

Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma: +550

D.J. Uiagalelei, QB, Clemson: +800

Bryce Young, QB, Alabama: +900

JT Daniels, QB, Georgia: +1200

Sam Howell, QB, UNC: +1400

C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State: +1400

D'Eriq King, QB, Miami: +1600

Kedon Slovis, QB, USC: +2000

Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss: +2200

Jayden Daniels, QB, Arizona State: +2500

Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas: +2500

Emory Jones, QB, Florida: +3000

McKenzie Milton, QB, Florida State: +3000

Brock Purdy, QB, Iowa State: +3300

Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State: +4000

Brian Robinson Jr., RB, Alabama: +4000

Jack Miller III, QB, Ohio State: +4000

Casey Thompson, QB, Texas: +4000

Sean Clifford, QB, Penn State: +4000

Editor's note: All odds are provided by our partner, PointsBet. PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.