For the first time since 2015, a non-quarterback won the Heisman Trophy last year. Many of us rejoiced. Given the voting monotony exhibited over the previous decades, this was a moment.
Whether it was the start of a movement or a blip, however, will be decided in the years to follow. For a wide receiver to win, everything had to align. A sensational player on a sensational team delivered a sensational season while playing with a quarterback who never quite captured the buzz necessary to win.
Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith deserved it. But this still is a quarterback award until further notice, and the betting odds as we churn toward the 2021 season reflect that.
Before I make my selections, here are my personal Heisman betting tips.
Quarterbacks will always have the edge: I’ve said it plenty already. You know the drill. While the value in top QBs simply won’t be there, there's a reason for this. Maybe last season was the start of a magical trend, though it seems unlikely.
It’s never just about the player; it’s about the team: A dazzling athlete on even a good team will struggle mightily to win the award. Excellence isn’t just about the player or the stats. His team must win a lot of games, if not every game. For many gifted players with possible roads to the award, the path often falls apart here.
Oh, and the helmet matters: As much as I would love to tell you that a star player at a middling Power 5 school has a fair shot at this, that simply isn’t the case. You know this. Not only does a team have to be good, but the brand also impacts this heavily.
My Favorite Chalk: Clemson QB D.J. Uiagalelei (+ 800)
Trevor Lawrence didn’t win a Heisman at Clemson. It seems reasonable to think (and perhaps expect) that D.J. Uiagalelei will accomplish this at least once over the next two seasons. A true sophomore, Uiagalelei was allowed ample seasoning as a freshman when Lawrence was unable to play due to testing positive for COVID-19.