Heisman Heist? Caleb Williams snags odds-on favorite status

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State’s lopsided home loss to rival Michigan did more than create chaos in the College Football Playoff picture, it also likely cost Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud the Heisman trophy.

The odds-on Heisman favorite entering the game, Stroud threw for 349 yards and a pair of touchdowns against Michigan, but the Wolverines also intercepted him twice in their 22-point win.

Later in the day, Southern Cal’s Caleb Williams put together a very efficient performance, throwing for 232 yards and a touchdown while completing 81.8 percent of his 22 pass attempts in a 38-27 win over Notre Dame.

While Ohio State fell to No. 5 in the AP Top 25 poll — one spot below USC — Stroud’s Heisman odds also plummeted from -130 at BetMGM last week to +2000. Meanwhile, Williams vaulted from +1200 to the prohibitive -2500 favorite.

Stroud has the second-shortest odds ahead of TCU quarterback Max Duggan (+2500), but Williams has a vice-grip on the award after following coach Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma to USC.

The Buckeyes won’t play again until their bowl game after missing out on the Big 10 championship game, while USC will face No. 12 Utah in the Pac-12 title game on Friday.

Williams is being offered at -3000 ahead of Duggan (+2000) and Stroud (+2500) at FanDuel, while the Heisman market had been removed at DraftKings on Monday.

The events of the past two weeks in the Heisman race have served in the favor of sportsbooks.

Stroud, the preseason favorite, temporarily lost that status to Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker. The Volunteers then lost a pair of games and Hooker, who remains BetMGM’s third-biggest liability with 10.1 percent of the total tickets and 8 .8 percent of the money wagered, was lost to a season-ending knee injury.

The sportsbook’s biggest liability remains LSU’s Jalon Daniels, who isn’t even on the board with the Tigers losing their third game of the season on Saturday. Daniels has drawn 5.9 and 10.4 percent of the action, respectively.

Stroud leads both categories handily with 11.3 percent of the tickets and a whopping 46.3 percent of the money. Despite being the favorite for all but a few weeks since the market opened, Stroud is BetMGM’s second biggest liability.

Williams’ Heisman hopes appeared to be dashed after USC’s loss to Utah on Oct. 15, with his odds falling to +1400. He steadily climbed back into the picture but still had accounted for a modest 7.3 and 5.6 percent of the action, respectively.

–Field Level Media

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