High-profile quarterbacks top the odds to win the Heisman Trophy entering the college football season, but an Alabama defender is attracting plenty of interest from bettors at sportsbooks around the nation.
Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud, at +200, is the consensus favorite to win the Heisman, followed by last year's winner, Alabama quarterback Bryce Young (+430), and USC quarterback Caleb Williams (+700).
Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr., however, has attracted more bets than any player at Caesars Sportsbook, where the Crimson Tide star's odds have improved from 60-1 to 22-1 this offseason. At DraftKings, Anderson has drawn more bets and more money wagered. Only one defensive player has won the Heisman Trophy: Michigan's Charles Woodson (who also returned kicks) in 1997.
"Defensive players will get respect from voters if they put up incredible seasons," Adam Pullen, assistant director of trading for Caesars Sportsbook, said in a company release, noting that Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson was a Heisman finalist last season. "Anderson is as good of a defensive player as there is in college football. But it takes a lot for a defensive player to win over an offensive player, especially against quarterbacks that put up monster numbers."
While Anderson is the most popular Heisman pick, the larger bets are on Stroud, who threw for 4,435 yards with 44 touchdowns last season. More than 20% of the money wagered at Caesars Sportsbook is on Stroud, including a $10,000 bet at +400 that was placed in April in Nevada.
Stroud has attracted nearly 10 times as much money wagered as Young at Caesars. Young passed for 4,872 yards with 47 touchdowns last season en route to winning the Heisman Trophy. Only one player -- Ohio State's Archie Griffin (1974 and 1975) -- has ever won consecutive Heismans.