Dec 2, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) throws against the Utah Utes during the second half in the PAC-12 Football Championship at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

USC QB Caleb Williams plays on after ‘popping’ hamstring

Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams, a heavy favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, played the last three quarters of the Pac-12 championship game against Utah on Friday despite sustaining a hamstring injury in the first quarter.

Williams got hurt on a 59-yard run late in the first quarter on a drive that gave USC a 14-3 lead in Las Vegas. The advantage grew to 17-3 in the second quarter but the Utes (10-3) turned it around and wound up winning 47-24, knocking the fourth-ranked Trojans (11-2) out of contention for the College Football Playoff.

Despite the ailment, Williams played on. He completed 28 of 41 passes for 363 yards and three touchdowns with one interception.

“He popped his hamstring on the long run,” USC coach Lincoln Riley said. “I definitely thought about taking him. He … didn’t let me. He wouldn’t even let me take him out at the end.

“In terms of guys I’ve coached at that position, it was maybe the gutsiest performance I’ve ever seen. Most guys wouldn’t have even played. And he still gave us a chance.”

Williams said of his perseverance, “A person that I admire is Kobe (Bryant), and he always said, ‘The game is bigger than what you’re feeling.’ So I was in my head, and encouraging myself that the game was bigger than what I was feeling.

“I also had a group of guys that (were) looking at me to go out there and lead them to victory. That didn’t end up happening, but that’s what was going on.”

Williams, a sophomore who played last season at Oklahoma, entered play Friday ranked seventh in the nation in passing yards (3,712) and tied for sixth in passing touchdowns (34). He threw his fourth interception of the season in the fourth quarter.

The latest Heisman odds had him at -2800 at Caesars Sportsbook, -2500 at BetMGM, -1700 at FanDuel and -1600 at DraftKings. Most sites have TCU quarterback Max Duggan as a distant second on the board, at rates ranging from +1500 to +2000.

–Field Level Media

Nov 19, 2022; College Park, Maryland, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) throws during the second half against the Maryland Terrapins  at SECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Buckeyes QB C.J. Stroud now odds-on Heisman favorite

Hendon Hooker’s fading Heisman Trophy odds took a hit with every touchdown Tennessee fell behind by at South Carolina on Saturday night.

They officially ended when the senior quarterback suffered a season-ending torn ACL in his knee.

Hooker was taken off the Heisman Trophy board at sportsbooks, leaving Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud as the odds-on favorite.

Stroud has one major regular-season hurdle left as Ohio State prepares to play host to Michigan on Saturday. However, even a loss to the Wolverines may not derail Stroud’s path to the Heisman.

He is the -120 favorite at DraftKings and -130 at BetMGM, where Stroud has been backed by 10.6 percent of the total tickets and 19.0 percent of the money. Those figures will likely rise significantly for as longs the sportsbooks continue to take new Heisman bets.

The only other player within shouting distance at DraftKings is Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams at +1200. Now other player has shorter odds than Michigan running back Blake Corum at +1500.

BetMGM is offering Williams at +125, followed by North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye at +700 and Corum at +1100. Williams, who dropped to +1100 following the Trojans’ lone loss to the season, is now back as the second favorite while drawing 6.7 percent of the bets and 5.3 percent of the money.

USC will play host to Notre Dame on Saturday ahead of a Pac-12 championship dates against Washington, Oregon or Utah.

Stetson Bennett, the quarterback for No. 1 Georgia, remains a massive longshot at +8000 both sportsbooks.

–Field Level Media

Nov 5, 2022; Evanston, Illinois, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) headshot during the second half at Ryan Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Buckeyes QB C.J. Stroud reclaims Heisman favorite status

Hendon Hooker’s time atop the Heisman Trophy odds proved to be short-lived.

Tennessee’s signal-caller dropped back below Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud following the Volunteers’ decisive loss to Georgia on Saturday.

Stroud, who has spent most of the season as the Heisman Trophy frontrunner, is now being offered at +175 at BetMGM. He has been backed by 9.2 percent of the tickets and 12.0 percent of the money.

Hendon is second at +300 and leads the sportsbook with 11.3 percent of the total bets. Because he opened the season as a +6600 longshot and is second with 16.1 percent of the money backing him, Hooker remains BetMGM’s second-biggest Heisman Trophy candidate.

That’s behind only LSU quarterback Jalon Daniels, who is no longer on the board but still has drawn 19.4 percent of the money since the sportsbook opened the market.

It is shaping up as a two-player battle entering the second week of November. Stroud is the +180 favorite at FanDuel and DraftKings, ahead of Hooker at +300 and +280, respectively.

BetMGM and FanDuel have Michigan running back Blake Corum with the third-shortest odds at +600, while DraftKings is offering Southern Cal quarterback Caleb Williams at +700 ahead of Corum at +750.

Corum is third at BetMGM with 7.4 percent of the total tickets backing him after opening as a +8000 longshot.

Williams opened at +800 before falling to +1400. He is back to +800 this week while drawing 5.8 percent of the tickets and 4.6 percent of the money.

Georgia is the unquestioned No. 1 team in the country following its victory on Saturday, but quarterback Stetson Bennett remains on the outside of the Heisman picture looking in. His odds have shortened from +10000 to +1600 at BetMGM, but that still leaves him seventh at the sportsbook behind Oregon quarterback Bo Nix and North Carolina signal-caller Drake Maye.

–Field Level Media

Sep 10, 2022; Austin, Texas, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young (9) throws a pass against the Texas Longhorns during the first half at at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Bryce Young keeps C.J. Stroud within sight in Heisman race

Bryce Young rallied Alabama to a narrow victory in Texas on Saturday, which likely kept his hopes to repeat as the Heisman Trophy winner alive.

Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud remains the +275 favorite at BetMGM, where he was being offered at +200 entering the season. Stroud has done nothing to hurt his chances with the Buckeyes sitting at 2-0, and he leads the way at the sportsbook with 9.5 percent of the total Heisman Trophy bets and 13.7 percent of the handle.

The next shortest odds belong to Southern Cal quarterback Caleb Williams (+300), who engineered a dominant victory over Stanford on Saturday. Young, who was +350 shortly before the season began, is now being offered at +400 and has drawn 8.0 and 10.8 percent of the action, respectively.

No other player has shorter odds than Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett at +1400.

However, it’s not the top trio that has the sportsbook the most exposed.

Kansas State running back Deuce Vaughn is BetMGM’s biggest current Heisman Trophy liability as he has been backed by 6.4 percent of the bets and 105. percent of the handle. Vaughn’s longshot odds have shortened to +6600 after opening at +8000 as he has racked up 271 yards and three touchdowns on the ground through two games.

The second biggest liability is Alabama defensive end Will Anderson Jr. He is now being offered at +2500 and has been backed by 8.2 and 6.6 percent of the action, respectively. Bennett is the third biggest liability with 5.9 and 6.1 percent.

Young is attempting to join Ohio State running back Archie Griffin as the only players to win consecutive Heismans. He has also slipped to third at DraftKings, where Young is being offered at +340 behind Stroud (+260) and Williams (+320).

However, that does represent a small bump for Young, who was +400 before the start of the season.

–Field Level Media

Aug 11, 2022; Columbus, OH, USA;  Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) walks with quarterback Devin Brown (15) and quarterback Chad Ray (19) during football camp at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch

Ohio State Football Camp

Heisman Trophy favorites: C.J. Stroud strikes a pose

Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud has created some separation between himself and Alabama’s Bryce Young as the betting favorite to win the battle of quarterbacks for the Heisman Trophy.

While Stroud remains at +200 on BetMGM, Young has dropped to +375 from +350 over the past week. Stroud opened at +400 at the sportsbook while Young opened at +250.

Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr. was the biggest mover over the past week, as his odds shortened from +2000 to +1600.

Stroud leads the sportsbook with 12.2 percent of the total bets and 22.8 percent of the Heisman Trophy handle. Anderson is second with 9.9 percent of total bets, edging out Caleb Williams (8.3 percent).

Anderson is BetMGM’s biggest liability, followed by Buckeyes wide receiver Jaxson Smith-Njigba and Stroud.

Young is getting 10 percent of the handle at BetMGM, followed by Anderson at 8.7 percent.

Young’s odds also lengthened slightly at DraftKings, dropping from +380 to +400 the past week. Stroud remains the favorite at +220. Williams sits at +700 and Anderson at +1600.

–Field Level Media

Nov 6, 2021; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young (9) warms up before the start against the LSU Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Heisman repeat? Alabama’s Bryce Young receiving tepid support

It has been nearly a half century since Archie Griffin became the first player to win consecutive Heisman Trophies.

He is one of six different Ohio State players to win the award and remains the only player from any school to claim it twice.

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young has an opportunity to match that feat this year, but oddsmakers and the public have cooled on his prospects of doing so as the season approaches.

Young and Ohio State counterpart C.J. Stroud opened as the betting favorites after last season’s national championship game.

However, the Heisman Trophy markets have continued to shift since former Oklahoma quarterback Caleb Williams officially followed coach Lincoln Riley to Southern California over the spring.

Stroud is the current +200 favorite at BetMGM ahead of Young (+350) and Williams (+600). Stroud opened at +400 at the sportsbook while Young opened at +250 and Williams at +600.

The trio are well ahead of Texas running back Bijan Robinson (+1600) and quarterback Quinn Ewers (+2000). Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr., Ohio State running back TreVeyon Henderson, Oklahoma quarterback Dillon Gabriel, Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson and Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei are also all at +2000.

Stroud leads the sportsbook with 13.3 percent of the total bets and 24.5 percent of the Heisman Trophy handle. Williams is second with 9.0 percent of the bets while Young is second with 10.4 percent of the handle.

However, Young’s percentage of support has shrunk since the market opened. That trend is far more stark at PointsBet, which confirmed to Field Level Media on Monday that the junior is not among the top 10 in either total bets or handle despite having the second-shortest odds at +350.

Stroud also leads the way at PointsBet with 11.1 percent and 25.1 percent of the action, respectively. He is followed in bet count by Anderson (10.4 percent at +1600) and in handle by Robinson (7.2 percent at +4000).

Young is not among the top five most supported Heisman favorites at DraftKings, where he is also second to Stroud (+220) at +380. Crimson Tide teammate Anderson, who is being offered at +1600, leads the way with 11 percent of the bets and 14 percent of the handle backing him.

Stroud’s primary target, Buckeyes wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba, is the biggest current Heisman Trophy liability at BetMGM. His odds have shortened from +5000 to +3000 while drawing 7.8 percent of the total bets and 6.1 percent of the handle.

Smith-Njigba is also a big liability at PointsBet, where he has been backed by 7.3 percent and 7.0 percent of the action, respectively, at +3300.

–Field Level Media

Apr 23, 2022; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) throws the ball during the spring game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Bettors back Caleb Williams, CJ Stroud for Heisman over Bryce Young

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young may be the defending Heisman Trophy winner, but when it comes to the 2022 award, he is nowhere near as popular a bet as his chief rivals.

Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams, fresh off his transfer from Oklahoma, is receiving the highest share of the handle at DraftKings, the sportsbook said Tuesday.

Williams, the third favorite on the board at +700, is responsible for 12.8 percent of the handle along with 6.1 percent of the total bets, the third-largest share.

Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud, the favorite at DraftKings at +250, has raked in 10.7 percent of the bets at DraftKings — the highest share — and 9.7 percent of the handle, the third-biggest share.

Even Young’s Alabama teammate, linebacker Will Anderson Jr. (+2000), is in on the action, owning the second-largest shares of both the handle (12.3 percent) and the bets (7.1).

Where was Young? Not among the top 10, at least in terms of share of the handle.

Young is +350 to win the Heisman at DraftKings, behind Stroud and ahead of Williams. He would join Archie Griffin as the only player to win the award twice, which might leave some bettors wary.

Young also became the first Alabama quarterback to lift the Heisman. The Crimson Tide are not typically known for high-octane passing attacks, as Young set multiple single-season program records with his arm en route to garnering Heisman consideration.

Anderson finished fifth in Heisman voting last year after racking up 17.5 sacks and won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy for the best defensive player in college football. Charles Woodson is the only primarily defensive player to have won a Heisman.

Another Alabama player raking in Heisman wagers is running back Jahmyr Gibbs, who transferred from Georgia Tech this offseason. At +4500, he has brought in 5.1 percent of the handle, fifth-most of any player at DraftKings.

–Field Level Media

July 19, 2022; Atlanta,GA, USA; Alabama   s Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Bryce Young talks to the media during SEC Media Days at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta Tuesday, July 19, 2022. Gary Cosby Jr.-The Tuscaloosa News

Alabama At Sec Media Days

Heisman winner Bryce Young motivated to win the other trophy

Bryce Young hardly came up empty in 2021.

The Alabama quarterback won the Heisman Trophy and guided the Crimson Tide to 13 wins and the national championship game while bagging something in the range of $1 million on Name, Image and Likeness deals.

He’ll roll into fall camp as one of the Heisman favorites and is being discussed as the potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. So what does Young have left to prove?

“We didn’t get it done last year. We have a lot of motivation. A lot of fuel for the fire,” he said Tuesday at SEC Media Days in Atlanta.

Young followed head coach Nick Saban to the dais at media days and confirmed what most in the know around the program fully understand — Saban will do and say whatever is necessary to motivate Young to fight for more.

Saban said Young is one of the best leaders he’s been around and keeps his teammates focused and hungry. But the biggest challenge for Young in Saban’s view will be to “understand success is not a continuum.”

After throwing for more than 4,800 yards with 47 touchdown passes in 2021, Young said Tuesday he’s starting over in some ways with his top wide receivers and two of his five starting offensive linemen now preparing to play on Sundays in the NFL.

“Quarterback is a difficult position to play if you’re not surrounded by great people,” Saban said.

One new face in the Alabama backfield who should give the Crimson Tide a boost is transfer running back Jahmyr Gibbs.

“He is super explosive, super dynamic, and he’s really smart,” Young said Tuesday. “He understands the offense really well. It’s not just him running and catching the ball, but he’s good with protections too.”

Gibbs had 746 rushing yards and 465 receiving yards at Georgia Tech in 2021 before entering the transfer portal in November. He hits Tuscaloosa with two years of eligibility left and is making an impact before fall camp begins.

“He’s a very mature person. He’s got great work ethic. He’s very talented from an ability standpoint,” Saban said. “He’s made a really, really positive impact on our team in a lot of ways, on the field and off.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 23, 2021; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Caleb Williams (13) talks with head coach Lincoln Riley during the second half against the Kansas Jayhawks at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Caleb Williams’ transfer impacts Heisman, CFP title odds

Caleb Williams’ announcement that he’s transferring to Southern California didn’t exactly send shockwaves through college football, but it did gain the attention of several oddsmakers.

Following Williams’ confirmation that he will be following former Oklahoma Sooners coach Lincoln Riley to the Trojans, his odds to win the 2022 Heisman Trophy shortened from +1300 to +800 at PointsBet.

That was the most significant movement among several sportsbooks contacted by Field Level Media after the news broke on Tuesday.

Williams’ Heisman odds shortened from +500 to +400 at BetRivers.com, where oddsmakers considered him likely to land at USC.

His odds weren’t impacted at BetMGM, where Williams was already +800 behind Alabama’s Bryce Young (+250) and Ohio State’s CJ Stroud (+400). The sportsbook was working “with the assumption” that Williams would ultimately follow Riley when it opened the Heisman Trophy market.

Williams is also the third betting favorite behind Young and Stroud at the other two sportsbooks.

Meanwhile, USC’s odds to win next year’s College Football Playoff shortened from +5000 to +3000 at PointsBet and from +4000 to +3300 at BetRivers. The Trojans are the ninth betting favorite at BetRivers, where Alabama is the favorite at +150 followed by Ohio State at +250.

Riley has added 13 transfers from the portal since taking over the Trojans in November.

“Caleb Williams reuniting with Lincoln Riley at USC will surely bring excitement to bettors backing the Trojans this season,” BetRivers & PlaySugarHouse COO Mattias Stetz told Field Level Media via email. “USC has gotten the third-most handle to win the title next season already at BetRivers sportsbook.”

Williams, who entered the transfer portal on Jan. 3, posted a Trojans hype video on Twitter with the hashtag #FightOn on Tuesday. It featured himself wearing a USC uniform.

Williams also confirmed his career move in an interview with ESPN.

“I wanted to go somewhere I thought would provide me with the best development both on and off the field,” he told ESPN. “… Getting to know Coach Riley and gaining familiarity with his offense definitely played a part in my selection, as well as already knowing some the guys on the team.”

As an Oklahoma freshman in 2021, Williams threw for 1,912 yards with 21 touchdowns against four interceptions after replacing Spencer Rattler six games into the season. Williams rushed for another 442 yards and scored six TDs as the Sooners finished 11-2.

Williams also considered UCLA, Georgia and Wisconsin and had not ruled out staying at Oklahoma.

Williams told ESPN he filed all the paperwork with USC last week and starts classes on Tuesday. He expects to join team workouts soon.

“I want to get to work right away, earn the trust of my teammates, win championships and help bring USC back to being a top-rated program,” Williams said.

–Field Level Media

Dec 11, 2021; New York, NY, USA; 2021 Heisman winner Alabama quarterback Bryce Young poses for pictures with the trophy during a press conference at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Bryce Young early favorite to repeat as Heisman winner

Bryce Young collected the first Heisman Trophy for an Alabama quarterback on Saturday night and is already favored to add a second one next year.

Young opened as the +200 favorite at FoxBet to win the 2022 Heisman Trophy ahead of Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud (+400), who finished fourth in Saturday’s Heisman results.

Both quarterbacks hail from Southern California and will resume their on-field competition next year that dates back to middle school. Young is only the sixth sophomore to win the award and will attempt to join Archie Griffin (1974-75) as the only players to win two Heismans.

Spencer Rattler hasn’t announced which school he will transfer to yet, but the former Oklahoma quarterback still has the third-shortest odds at +700 by FoxBet to win next year’s Heisman. That’s ahead of Caleb Williams (+1000), who replaced him with the Sooners this season.

Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III opened at +1200, although he is widely expected to enter the 2022 NFL Draft. He’s followed by Ohio State running back TreVeyon Henderson (+1500) and Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei (+1600).

Texas running back Bijan Robinson is +1800, with the list rounding out with Georgia quarterback JT Daniels (+2000) and Oklahoma running back Kennedy Brooks (+4000).

Alabama has produced three of the past seven Heisman winners, including the only two since 2010 who weren’t quarterbacks: running back Derrick Henry in 2015 and wide receiver DeVonta Smith in 2020.

Young received 2,311 points Saturday night, easily outdistancing Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (954), Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett (631) and Stroud (399).

“This is amazing,” said Young, who thanked everyone from his offensive linemen and receivers to the Crimson Tide defense for helping him get the ball back. “… Whenever you can win an award like this, it goes as an individual award, but it’s a team award.”

Young threw for 4,322 yards and 43 touchdowns with just four interceptions. That includes throwing for 421 yards and three touchdowns in a 41-24 win over then-No. 1 Georgia in the SEC title game to help Alabama secure the No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff.

“For me, I’ve always been someone who has been labeled as not the prototype — being an African-American quarterback, being quote-unquote undersized and not being that prototype, I’ve always been ruled out,” Young said. “People a lot of times have told me that I wasn’t going to be able to make it.

“For me, it has always been about, not proving them wrong, but proving to myself what I can accomplish.”

–Field Level Media