The Ohio State Buckeyes are the team to beat this year, coming off a 14-1 straight up and 10-5 against the spread championship campaign last season. And with so much national attention before the season even begins, the Buckeyes have a handful of Heisman contenders in the mix.
Running back Ezekiel Elliott leads the way, going off at +500 on the odds to win the Heisman Trophy at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Elliott rushed for 10 touchdowns over Ohio State’s last four games last year and an eye-popping 232 yards per game over the team’s last three games. Regardless of who ends up starting at quarterback, Elliott should rack up big yards and touchdown totals this season.
Urban Meyer still hasn’t tipped his hand on who will be starting at quarterback this season between J.T. Barrett (+900 to win the Heisman) and Cardale Jones (+1400). He has even suggested that both might play throughout the season. Barrett and Jones are each capable of producing huge numbers and leading the Buckeyes to another playoff berth, and if one sets into the starting role early and keeps it, he will be a major contender for the Heisman.
One thing that could hurt Elliott and Ohio State’s quarterback is being on the same team, thus splitting votes. This won’t be a problem for TCU’s Trevone Boykin, who is the undisputed leader of the electrifying Horned Frogs offense. Going off at +500 on the Heisman Trophy odds, Boykin checks off all the boxes as a Heisman favorite: He’s a quarterback, he puts up impressive stats and his team is a national championship contender.
Five players sit right behind the favorites to win the Heisman Trophy, each going off at +1200: quarterbacks Jeremy Johnson, Cody Kessler and Deshaun Watson and running backs Nick Chubb and Leonard Fournette. Auburn’s Johnson is a popular pick who has steadily climbed the board in recent months due to his talent and Auburn’s championship potential.
For value, it’s hard to ignore Alabama's Derrick Henry at +2500. Henry had 990 yards and 11 touchdowns while splitting carries with T.J. Yeldon last season. Now in line to get the lion’s share of carries for one of the nation’s best teams, Henry could easily be in the Heisman conversation come December.