College Football Heisman Trophy Futures: Early Betting Value on CJ Stroud, Cam Rising, More
Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: CJ Stroud.
Another Friday, another future.
While we’re still a ways away from the start of the college football season, it’s never too late to add futures to your portfolio as the calendar moves closer to the start of the season with each passing day.
I will be releasing a breakdown of them every Friday leading up to the season. I will also be tweeting them out as I add them @kmalstrom, as well as putting them in my Action App profile.
While the last three installments have focused on a team, we shake things up a bit this week as I break down my Heisman futures card.
QB CJ Stroud, Ohio State (+250 · 1 Unit)
Betting on CJ Stroud to win the Heisman is directly correlated to my Ohio State to win the National Championship future (+800) as soon as the numbers were released.
Ohio State will be in the top two all season, if not No. 1 for most of it.
Heisman winners in the CFP era (since 2014)
➡️ Only 1 was the preseason favorite
➡️ 6 of 8 have been a QB
➡️ Only 1 was not on a team in the CFP that year
— Anthony Treash (@PFF_Anthony) May 4, 2022
While Stroud doesn’t necessarily check all of the historic boxes, I believe he will overcome it with a strong performance this season with familiar faces in running back TreVeyon Henderson and wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba joining him.
If we see him perform at the level he did in the Rose Bowl (573 yards and six touchdowns) while running an offense that averages over 40 points per game since 2017, then expect Stroud to be the first Ohio State player to win the Heisman since Troy Smith in 2006.
LB Will Anderson, Alabama (+5000 · 0.25 Units)
The only team that can rival Ohio State all season as the No. 1 team will be Alabama.
While Bama’s success will fall on the shoulders of last year’s Heisman winner Bryce Young, I just can’t pull the trigger on him, as we have had just one back-to-back Heisman winner ever in Archie Griffin, who won in 1974 and 1975.
Anderson was arguably one of the biggest Heisman finalist snubs last season, falling behind Young, Stroud, Aidan Hutchinson and Kenny Pickett.
After leading the nation in sacks at 17.5 and tackles for a loss at 34.5, Anderson will continue to wreak Havoc in opposing backfields en route to potentially being the No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick.
— SlimReaper🥋($) (@iDunkedOnKD) May 9, 2022
While I avoided Young because of historical reasons, I’m also well aware that only two defensive players have won as well.
Anderson is a generational talent and will be a big reason for Alabama’s potential success. While Young will need to get acquainted with his new offense, Anderson will be leading a unit that brings back 76% in defensive TARP, an impressive number for an elite school.
WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State (+6000 · 0.25 Units)
While I normally wouldn’t bat an eye at any offensive position other than quarterback for the Heisman, I just can’t help but secure my Stroud position but taking a flier on his No. 1 target.
Smith-Njigba has a real chance of becoming the second receiver to win the award in the last three years after Alabama’s DeVonta Smith won it in 2020 with a 1,856-yard and 23-touchdown performance.
While considered one of the best receivers already, Smith-Njigba really pulled ahead of the pack by finishing last season with five games of 100 yards or more and concluded it with a Rose Bowl performance of 347 yards and three touchdowns.
🔥 Jaxon Smith-Njigba 🔥
Most receiving yards in a game in OSU history ✅
Most receiving yards in Rose Bowl game history ✅
Most receiving yards in Bowl Game history ✅pic.twitter.com/EIlCx2pcLQ
— Caesars Sportsbook (@CaesarsSports) January 2, 2022
QB Cam Rising, Utah (+8000 · 0.25 Units)
If you read last week's Future Friday installment featuring Utah, then you knew this longshot was coming. Not only do I have Utah winning the Pac-12, but I also believe the Utes will roll the conference on their way to a College Football Playoff berth.
Rising took the reigns of the offense three games into the season and didn’t disappoint, throwing for 2,493 yards and 20 touchdowns with a 63.8% completion percentage.
With a 73% offensive TARP mark for a unit that finished top-20 in Success Rate, Finishing Drives and Havoc Allowed, Utah possesses the offense to compete with the rest of the conference to repeat as champions.
Our Collin Wilson has Utah projected at 10.6 wins heading into this season. If Utah can finish 11-1 or better and win the conference, we could see the Utes make the Playoff.
If they can pull that off, you can expect to see Rising as a Heisman finalist who led them there.