2023 Heisman Trophy Odds: Can Caleb Williams Defend Heisman Coat?

Caleb Williams was stellar in his first season under center at USC, so much so that he ran away with the Heisman Trophy. With one more year left ahead of the NFL Draft, it's no surprise to see him atop the opening odds board for the prestigious award.

Last Updated: Mar 15, 2023 3:58 PM ET Read Time: 5 min
Caleb Williams USC Trojans Pac-12 college football
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Caleb Williams followed head coach Lincoln Riley to USC and boy, did it pay off. 

The sophomore signal-caller threw for 4,537 passing yards with 52 total touchdowns and just five interceptions in a Heisman Trophy-winning campaign that saw the Trojans just miss out on the College Football Playoff.

Now entering his junior season, college football odds have Williams listed as a +400 favorite to once again bring home the hardware, with a handful of other stud quarterbacks also in the mix. 

We break down the favorites and more in our full 2023 Heisman Trophy odds update below.

Odds to win the 2023 Heisman Trophy

Team Odds to win 2023 Heisman Trophy
Georgia Caleb Williams +400
Ohio State Drake Maye +1,000
Ohio State Michael Penix Jr.  +1,200
Ohio State Bo Nix +1,200
Ohio State Jordan Travis +1,200
Ohio State Sam Hartman +1,500
Ohio State Drew Allar +2,000
Ohio State Jayden Daniels +2,000
Ohio State Joe Milton +2,000
Ohio State Kyle McCord +2,000
Ohio State Cade Clubnik +2,500
Ohio State Quinn Ewers +2,500

Odds courtesy of FanDuel, as of March 15, 2023.

Favorites to win the 2023 Heisman Trophy

Caleb Williams (+400)

Caleb Williams impressed at nearly every stop last season and was rewarded as USC's first Heisman Trophy winner since Matt Leinart in 2004. With one year remaining before he can enter the NFL Draft, Williams is favored to repeat as Heisman — something that hasn't been done since Archie Griffin in 1974-75.

His 2022 counting stats (4,919 total yards, 52 total touchdowns, five interceptions) will be tough to beat but anything close to that combined with what hopes to be a better, more well-rounded USC team next season should have him right back in the mix. 

Drake Maye (+1,000)

While many expected Caleb Williams to thrive in Lincoln Riley's offense, Drake Maye lighting up the ACC was much more surprising. 

The 6-foot-4 QB threw for 4,321 yards with 38 TDs and just seven INTs in UNC's high-flying offense, but he also added nearly 700 yards and seven TDs on the ground... as a freshman.

With a year of experience under his belt, Maye will surely be able to build on last year's campaign. As such, it's no surprise to see him in the mix at open.

Michael Penix Jr. (+1,200)

Like Williams, Michael Penix Jr. thrived in his new home after transferring to Washington from Indiana in 2022. 

The junior finished second in the nation in passing yards and threw for 31 TDs against just eight picks in a surprising 10-2 campaign for the Huskies. 

Returning for his senior season and with much of the offensive core still intact, the Huskies will surely be in the mix for a Pac-12 title  putting more eyes on Penix Jr. in the process.

Best college football bonuses

Looking to do some college football betting? Here are two of the best bonuses* available:

A) New users at FanDuel can bet $5 and get $150 in bonus bets! Sign Up Now

B) New users at DraftKings can bet $5 and get $200 in bonus bets! Sign Up Now

*Eligible USA locations only. Also, check out our full list of best college football betting sites for 2023.
21+. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER

Understanding Heisman Trophy odds

Most sportsbooks will display odds in the American format as listed above. When Caleb Williams separated from the Heisman Trophy pack at the end of the 2022 season, his odds had a minus (-) sign ahead of the number. 

  • Caleb Williams (-1,600)

That meant that a bettor had to wager $1,600 to win $100 by betting on Williams. Since this year's race is in the earliest stages, there is no odds-on favorite, and candidates currently have a (+) sign in front of their number.

  • Drake Maye (+1,000)

Here, a bettor stands to profit $360 for every $100 wagered on Stroud. 

If American odds aren't your thing, simply use a tool like our odds converter to switch the odds to decimal or fractional format. Most online sportsbooks also give you the option to change the odds format that you see.

Heisman Trophy winners by position

Position Heisman Trophy Awards
Running back 40
Quarterback 37
Wide receiver 4
Tight end 2
Fullback 2
Halfback 2
Cornerback 1

Running backs won the Heisman Trophy 11 straight times from 1973 to 1983.

Heisman Trophy betting trends

Here are a few trends to keep in mind before placing a bet on college football's biggest individual award.

• Quarterbacks have dominated this award over the last 21 years with 17 Heisman winners playing under center. Only one non-skill position player has ever won this prestigious trophy (Charles Woodson in 1997) and the last wide receiver to take home the award prior to DeVonta Smith was Desmond Howard in 1991.

• The Heisman trophy winner usually comes from a team with a shot at winning the national title. Since 2000, 14 Heisman trophy winners have played for teams that made it to the national championship game (including Reggie Bush, who later had his trophy vacated for breaking NCAA rules). If you're handicapping the Heisman you might want to consider looking at which teams have the best chance of winning the title on the NCAA futures odds board.

• Historically, seniors dominated this award. But even though DeVonta Smith won the Heisman in 2020, he is one of only three seniors to win the Heisman in the last 15 years. Over that span, two freshmen, five sophomores, and five juniors have claimed the prize.

Hesiman Trophy history

Year Winner (Position) School
2022 Caleb Williams (QB) USC
2021 Bryce Young (QB) Alabama
2020 Devonta Smith (WR) Alabama
2019 Joe Burrow (QB) LSU
2018 Kyler Murray (QB) Oklahoma
2017 Baker Mayfield (QB) Oklahoma
2016 Lamar Jackson (QB) Louisville
2015 Derrick Henry (RB) Alabama
2014 Marcus Mariota (QB) Oregon
2013 Jameis Winston (QB) Florida State
2012 Johnny Manziel (QB) Texas A&M

Heisman Trophy Odds FAQs

Pages related to this topic

Popular Content

Legal Canadian sports betting

Best Canadian betting sites Ontario sports betting
Covers 25 Years Logo Established in 1995,
Covers is the world
leader in sports
betting information.
Covers is verified safe by: Evalon Logo GPWA Logo GDPR Logo GeoTrust Logo Evalon Logo