It appears the 2022 Heisman Trophy race will come down to the final weekend of the regular season. Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud is the -110 favorite at Caesars Sportsbook, but USC quarterback Caleb Williams is on the move and is down to +100, easily his shortest odds of the year. Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker was favored for a bit at the book, but he suffered a season-ending injury this past Saturday so he's no longer an option.
Entering this past weekend, Stroud was the +110 Heisman favorite and Williams was fifth at +1000. The Trojans won a 48-45 shootout at rival UCLA to earn a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game and also keep their playoff hopes alive. Williams had a school-record 503 yards -- 470 of them (along with two touchdowns) came through the air, with 33 and another score on the ground. Williams' 503 total yards were the most by any player in the series' 92-game history.
Williams has 33 touchdown passes and only three picks on the year. He is 250-for-385 (.649) for 3,480 yards and has 316 yards on 88 carries with seven TDs. Williams has accounted for 40 total touchdowns, and USC's five consecutive games with 40 points or more are the most since the 2003 team had seven consecutive 40-plus point games.
Since Sunday, Williams has had more than 5.5 times more money wagered on him to win the Heisman than every other player combined. The Oklahoma transfer has 10 bets of at least $1,000 for the Heisman overall and eight of them have come since Sunday. Williams has racked up 39.2% of the tickets and 84.8% of the handle among all Heisman bets in that timeframe.
"We're welcoming all that action coming in on Caleb Williams because we're sitting well with him right now," said Joey Feazel, lead college football trader at Caesars Sportsbook. "Right now he's the hot ticket, even though they could have had him at 10/1 last week. He had a great game against UCLA, but he was also helped by the unfortunate Hooker injury along with both Michigan and Ohio State underperforming. It's really down to a two-man race now with Williams and Stroud."
Williams will face a very good defense on Saturday night in Notre Dame, but USC is in the Pac-12 title game regardless of that result. Its playoff hopes would end with a loss, though. Southern Cal is +155 to make it and -190 to miss.
Stroud has been favored much of the year but was good, not great, in Week 12. He completed 18 of his 30 passes for 241 yards with one touchdown in a 43-30 win over Maryland as the Buckeyes stayed unbeaten. Stroud is No. 1 nationally in passing efficiency (183.3) and touchdown passes (35). Ohio State plays fellow unbeaten Michigan on Saturday in one of the biggest games in Big Ten history. The winner takes the East Division. Overall, Stroud has received 49 of the 91 Heisman wagers of at least $1,000 at Caesars Sportsbook. Stroud also leads the way with 10.2% of the tickets and 33.9% of the handle among all Heisman bets.
"Stroud's still the slight favorite just because if we look at who is going to have a bigger impact game this weekend, Stroud is playing in one of the biggest games this season," Feazel said. "That gives Stroud an edge in that he has the bigger stage to have that signature Heisman moment. If Ohio State wins, Williams does have a narrow path, but he has to blow Notre Dame out of the water. Michigan isn't going to let Ohio State run all over them, though. But if Stroud does well and Ohio State wins, it's going to be hard for Williams to win it."
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