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Opening 2021 Heisman Odds Favor Rattler, Young, Howell

Brady Trettenero

by Brady Trettenero in College Football

Jan 5, 2021 · 9:43 PM PST

Spencer Rattler throwing
Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler (7) throws a pass during the second half of the team's NCAA college football game against Baylor in Norman, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
  • Early 2021 Heisman odds have been released after DeVonta Smith won the 2020 trophy
  • Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler is favored to win, while Alabama QB Bryce Young isn’t far behind
  • See the opening 2021 Heisman odds along with early betting analysis below

Oddsmakers have released the first set of 2021 Heisman Trophy odds following a virtual ceremony for the 2020 trophy. Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler is favored in the opening odds, while Alabama’s Bryce Young is right behind him.

Finding early value in the Heisman futures can be the key to scoring a massive profit. 2020 winner DeVonta Smith was sitting at 100-1 at this point last year.

Will Rattler be the next Oklahoma quarterback to win the Heisman under Lincoln Riley? Which longshots should you be keeping an eye on?

Opening 2021 Heisman Trophy Odds

Player Odds
Spencer Rattler (QB, Oklahoma) +300
Bryce Young (QB, Alabama) +400
Sam Howell (QB, North Carolina) +800
D’Eriq King (QB, Miami) +1200
JT Daniels (QB, Georgia) +1800
Jayden Daniels (QB, Arizona State) +2000
Kellen Mond (QB, Texas A&M) +2000
Kedon Slovis (QB, USC) +2000
Matt Corral (QB, Ole Miss) +5000
Bo Nix (QB, Auburn) +5000
Spencer Sanders (QB, Oklahoma State) +5000
Tyler Shough (QB, Oregon) +5000

Odds as of Jan. 5  at DraftKings.

Rattler The Early Favorite 

Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler is the early favorite to win the 2021 Heisman trophy after putting together an impressive freshman campaign.  The young pivot threw for 3,031 yards and 28 touchdowns with seven interceptions to help lead the Sooners to a sixth consecutive Big 12 Championship.

Rattler likely would’ve been in the conversation for the trophy this season if he hadn’t stumbled out of the gate and suffered two early upset losses to Iowa State and Kansas State. By the time the end of the year rolled around, Rattler was playing like one of the best quarterbacks in the country.

Rattler showcased Heisman potential by delivering in huge games against Texas, Oklahoma State and the Cyclones this year. Considering his age, it’s impressive he was able to step into rivalry games such as the Red River Showdown and Bedlam and show the poise of a veteran starter.

Oklahoma is going to be a very dangerous team in 2021, as evidenced by their eight-game winning streak to close out the 2020 season. Rattler is going to have plenty of talent around him, as receivers Marvin Mims, Theo Wese and Austin Stogner are all expected to return. The Sooners are likely to return to the CFP in 2021, which means Rattler should be in the Heisman conversation all season.

A Young Man’s Game 

While the favorite to win the 2021 Heisman is currently a freshman, the guy right behind him in the odds hasn’t even started a game at the collegiate level. Alabama’s future starting QB Bryce Young is listed at +400 in the opening 2021 Heisman odds after playing some snaps in garbage time this year.

Young is an extremely hyped five-star prospect who projects to be the next great quarterback under Nick Saban at Alabama. The dual-threat QB was named the 2019 Offensive National High School Player of the Year after a sensational senior season that saw him throw for 4,528 yards and 58 touchdowns with just six interceptions. He also rushed for 357 yards and an additional 10 scores.

Despite his high school success, there’s reason to tread very lightly with Young this far out. Alabama will be losing three starters from its elite offensive line, and star receivers DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle will be off to the NFL. Alabama also has to replace offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, which means it’s no guarantee the offense will click right out of the gate.

Which Longshots Should You Target? 

There are several longshots that should be on your radar in the opening 2021 Heisman odds. UNC’s Sam Howell will be returning to the Tar Heels after a fantastic sophomore season that saw him throw for 3,586 yards and 30 touchdowns with seven picks. Howell has one of the best arms in the country and is sure to post impressive stats in his junior year.

While the Tar Heels will be returning 19 of 22 starters, the team’s top two running backs and 1000-yard receiver Dyami Brown have declared for the NFL Draft. These major losses could actually help Howell if he’s able to elevate the Tar Heels to the next level. UNC went  8-4 this season and won’t have to deal with Trevor Lawrence in the ACC next year.

DeVonta Smith proved in 2020 that the Heisman isn’t just a QB award, which is why you should be keeping a close eye on Iowa State running back Breece Hall. The sophomore led all running backs with 1,572 rushing yards during the Cyclones’ historic season in 2020. He’s more than capable of keeping pace with the quarterbacks in the race and is a strong early bet to be a Heisman finalist.

One other intriguing name in the opening odds is Georgia’s JT Daniels. The USC transfer impressed with 1,231 passing yards and 10 touchdowns with only two interceptions in four games with the Bulldogs. He’ll have most of his weapons back in 2021, including talented receiver George Pickens. There’s a clear path for Georgia to make the CFP in 2021 with both Alabama and Florida losing plenty of talent.

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