USC Trojans QB Caleb Williams for the Heisman

In a year where no player has taken a commanding lead in the Heisman Trophy race, there are plenty of question marks surrounding who will be the 2022 winner. With the USC Trojans surging at 10-1 in Year 1 under Lincoln Riley, there’s been a shift toward Caleb Williams in the betting market.

The star quarterback is receiving more national recognition given his, and the team’s, success. Can Williams pull away late to win the award? Let’s look at the market trends for his Heisman Trophy betting odds at BetMGM Sportsbook.

Heisman Trophy Line Movement (last week, current)

  • CJ Stroud +130 –> +105
  • Hendon Hooker +300 –> Off the board
  • Blake Corum +600 –> +2500
  • Caleb Williams +800 –> -110
  • Stetson Bennett +1600 –> +12500

Williams had a fantastic showing in one of the marquee matchups in Week 12, completing 74.4% of his passes for 470 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for another 33 yards and a score as the Trojans notched a thrilling 48-45 victory over the rival UCLA Bruins.

It was yet another stellar performance for the dual-threat signal caller, who now has 3,480 passing yards and 33 touchdowns to pair with only three interceptions. He’s also been effective on the ground, rushing for 316 yards and seven more touchdowns.

He checks off the statistical requirements for the award, so what else?

USC is a relevant team in the national landscape, as they sit at 10-1 with a legitimate chance at making the College Football Playoff. There are still more dominoes to fall in that regard, and we’ll touch on that more below, but safe to say that Williams checks the box for leading a nationally relevant and high-performing team.

Pundits that fall asleep too early and miss West Coast football may give more credence to Williams’s chances this season, considering their relevance in the playoff picture, and Riley is drawing more eyeballs on the conference before the team’s abrupt departure for the B1G. 

Has he had enough Heisman moments?

If his otherworldly performance against a Bruins team that entered with an 8-2 record wasn’t enough, he has a few more chances to prove himself. USC is not assured of winning out the rest of the way, as a difficult home test against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-3) awaits in Week 13 before USC faces another formidable opponent in the Pac-12 Championship Game.

If USC were to win both games and make the CFP, it would almost certainly involve enormous Heisman moments for Williams that any Heisman voter, regardless of location, would be sure to notice. Even if the Trojans were to drop one game and Williams were to have a strong performance, it would provide him with more chances to gain national acclaim.

Aside from Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (+105), the rest of the Heisman contender field suffered setbacks in Week 12. Hendon Hooker’s ACL tear likely eliminates him, Blake Corum’s knee injury caused him to drop from +600 to +2500, and another lackluster performance from Stetson Bennett caused his price to fall from +1600 to +12500.

Then you have Williams, who moved down to -110 as the current odds-on favorite, narrowly ahead of Stroud. Things are lining up at nearly the right time for his Heisman chances, and two more strong weeks with the whole nation watching could have him holding the trophy at the end of the season.