Christian McCaffrey has the top betting line on the 2016 Heisman Trophy odds, but the Stanford Cardinal star is up against the tendency of the honor being a quarterback award.
Two weeks into the season, the all-purpose running back is the favorite at +450 to be voted college football’s most outstanding player at the end of the regular season, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Thirteen of the last 16 honorees have been quarterbacks and it’s often tough for a West Coast player to be on voters’ radar, but McCaffrey’s outstanding performances and his status as the 2015 runner-up could help his campaign.
The new futures board is QB-heavy, particularly with quarterbacks from the ACC Atlantic Division. The Clemson Tigers’ Deshaun Watson has seen his odds slip to +500 after some unimpressive passing and rushing totals in his team’s two wins, but the junior is still the second favorite.
The big risers are the Louisville Cardinals’ Lamar Jackson and the Florida State Seminoles’ Deondre Francois, who is a newcomer to the board. Jackson was listed at +5000 in the summer and his prop improved to +1800 after Week 1. Jackson’s odds have come down even farther to +800 after he had 610 yards in total offense during Louisville’s Week 2 win against Syracuse.
Francois is a redshirt freshmen who had his coming-out party by leading FSU to a comeback win against Mississippi on September 5. Watson’s Tigers are the ACC favorite, but the QB on the team that upends Clemson would grow in stature. With Francois in ascendance at +600, Florida State RB Dalvin Cook is now listed at +1000, down from +800 after the season opened.
Ohio State Buckeyes QB J.T. Barrett is also listed at +600, up from +1000 before the season. The Buckeyes have had heavy turnover since back-to-back trips to the College Football Playoff, so Barrett stands to benefit if he remains integral in keeping OSU in Big Ten and CFP contention.
LSU Tigers RB Leonard Fournette topped the board throughout the summer, but LSU’s season-opening defeat against Wisconsin has spiked his odds to +1200.
The odds on Houston Cougars QB Greg Ward Jr. have also gone through an interesting fluctuation. Ward is listed at +2500 after missing last week’s game, down from +1000 following the Cougars’ win against Oklahoma. Ward is playing this week and his team has a chance for an unbeaten regular season, but no player from outside a Power Five conference has won the Heisman since 1990.