Originally Written: January 12, 2021
With the 2020 FBS college football season ending last night it is officially time to turn the page to the 2021 season. I will admit that betting Heisman Trophy Futures is not a great strategy for long-term betting success – but hey, it’s fun. I like to pick out a few guys each season with juicy odds and put a little money down before (hopefully) the odds move against them. In looking at DraftKings Heisman odds some of the lines we’re just a little too juicy to pass up so I am locking in 3 small official plays!
Casey Thompson, QB, Texas +5000 (DraftKings) to win the 2021 Heisman – 0.5 Units to win 25 Units
It would appear that Thompson is in line to be the Longhorns starting QB in 2021 after a stellar performance relieving an injured Sam Ehlinger in the Alamo Bowl – going 8-for-10 for 170 yards and 4 TD against Colorado. I don’t believe that Hudson Card will jump Thompson on the depth chart so unless new head coach Steve Sarkisian is able to land a transfer that is eligible to play right away it looks like Thompson’s job to lose to me.
I’m willing to take a shot on Thompson’s potential to shine in Sark’s offense in 2021. After all, his offense produced the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner and another finalist in WR Devonta Smith and QB Mac Jones. The QB at a high profile school like Texas with a new coach that just finished running one of the best offenses in college football history at 50-1 is too much value for me to pass up. With highly ranked Iowa State & Oklahoma on the schedule he will have his shot at a “Heisman Moment” in front of a big audience.
Kedon Slovis, QB, USC +2000 (DraftKings) to win the 2021 Heisman – 1.0 Units to win 20 Units
I know the Pac-12 and USC have both been a little down in recent years but they are still one of the biggest “name” programs in the college football landscape. So the QB at a school like USC (or Texas for that matter) will also have a better shot at winning this award than a player at a less popular school. Slovis put up some pretty gaudy numbers last season (see below) but did it somewhat quietly because of how late the Pac 12 started their season.
I think had the Pac 12 started their season earlier you would have heard a little more buzz about Slovis last year. The turnovers were a problem – particularly against UCLA and Oregon – but if this is the season Slovis puts it all together and USC wins the Pac 12 it’s hard not to see him getting invited to New York for the Heisman Trophy Ceremony. At 20-1 I like him more than a few other QBs with worse odds like D’Eriq King (coming off an injury) and Sam Howell.
Mohamed Ibrahim, RB, Minnesota +5000 (DraftKings) to win the 2021 Heisman – 0.5 to win 25 Units
This one is a little harder for me to imagine because a RB from Minnesota doesn’t quite have the same “it factor” as a QB from a storied program like Texas or USC, but just look at this game log:
1,076 rushing yards in only 7 games – all against Big Ten opponents. 100+ yards all 7 games and 200+ twice! With Minnesota scheduled to play a full 12 game season in 2021 including some potentially soft non-conference defenses (Miami-OH, Bowling Green, Colorado) it’s not completely unrealistic to suggest that Ibrahim could top 1,800 rushing yards in 2021. If Minnesota can bounce back in 2021 and look more like the 2019 version of themselves than the 2020 version of themselves Ibrahim could find himself in some bigger games with a larger viewing audience. It’s plausible to envision a scenario where he is the running back invited to New York for the Heisman Ceremony surrounded by 3 quarterbacks. If it’s a year where none of the QBs stand out, maybe he can sneak in. I’ll take a shot at 50-1.
Official Plays – Futures
Casey Thompson To Win Heisman – 0.5 Units to win 25 Units
Kedon Slovis To Win Heisman – 1.0 Units to win 20 Units
Mohamed Ibrahim To Win Heisman – 0.5 Units to win 25 Units