Three Longshot Heisman Bets Including Hendon Hooker

It’s time to wrap up your 2022-23 college football betting portfolio. College football returns Saturday, but the 2022 Heisman Trophy winner isn’t playing in Week Zero, or whatever you call it.

There’s a big dropoff from the two favorites to win the Heisman: Ohio State Buckeyes QB C.J. Stroud (+220) and reigning Heisman, Alabama Crimson Tide QB Bryce Young (+400).

But here are enticing Heisman Trophy options further down the list courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

Hendon Hooker #5 of the Tennessee Volunteers throws a pass during a game against the Florida Gators
Tennessee Volunteers Hendon Hooker throws a pass during a game against the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida. (Getty Images)

Tennessee Volunteers QB Hendon Hooker (+4000)

Hooker has 40-plus TD potential while playing in the best college football conference. If Tennessee wins 9-10 games and Hooker takes a step forward, he’ll be a Heisman finalist.

Neither one of those are givens but Hooker plays in a QB-friendly scheme. Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel did a fantastic job putting his quarterback in a position to succeed.

Hooker led the SEC in passer efficiency rating last season, throwing 31 TD passes to just three interceptions. He added five rushing TDs. Also, things are looking up for Hooker and Tennessee’s offense entering 2022.

The Volunteers have two stud-WRs — Cedric Tillman and Jalin Hyatt — and return 80% of their offensive production from last year’s squad (ranked 26th in the nation), per ESPN’s Bill Connelly.

Things definitely need to break right however I’m grabbing Hooker at 40-to-1 considering he balled out in the SEC last season.

  • A $25 bet on Tennessee Volunteers QB Hendon Hooker (+4000) fetches a $1,000 profit.
Ohio State Buckeyes TreVeyon Henderson carries the ball against the Utah Utes during the Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena, California. (Getty Images).

Ohio State Buckeyes RB TreVeyon Henderson (+3500)

The Buckeyes are massive favorites to win the Big Ten (shocker) and Henderson’s Heisman payout is too juicy to pass up. Henderson averaged nearly 7 yards per rush in 2021 and scored 15 rushing TDs.

The Heisman has turned into mostly a QB award. But, Ohio State’s offense is stacked and Henderson could steal TDs from Stroud in red zone situations. The Buckeyes may rely on Henderson more in the passing game since two WRs from last year’s team were selected in the 2022 NFL Draft.

In fact, Henderson was 4th in TD catches and receiving yards for Ohio State last season. Henderson’s abilities as a dynamic runner and capable pass catcher could put him in the Heisman race by year’s end.

  • A $25 bet on Ohio State Buckeyes RB TreVeyon Henderson (+3500) nets an $875 profit.
USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams #13 warms up during the 2022 USC Spring Football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. (Getty Images)

USC Trojans QB Caleb Williams (+700)

New USC Trojans head coach Lincoln Riley brought Williams with him from Oklahoma. Riley is a QB whisperer and Williams broke Trevor Lawrence’s freshman record for Pro Football Focus’s highest graded QB.

Williams led the Big XII in passer efficiency rating in 2021 and will light up the Pac-12 this year. Reigning Fred Biletnikoff winner WR Jordan Addison joined the Trojans via the transfer portal this offseason, as did Oklahoma-transfer WRs Mario Williams and Brenden Rice.

Lastly, three of Riley’s previous QBs were Heisman Finalists. Former Oklahoma QBs Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray won back-to-back Heisman Trophies in 2017-18. Williams is as talented as those guys and will thrive in a soft Pac-12.

  • A $50 bet on USC Trojans QB Caleb Williams (+700) earns a $350 profit.

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Written by Geoff Clark

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