Sam Howell could potentially be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, but that isn’t doing much for his odds to win the Heisman Trophy this season for the University of North Carolina.
Howell, who is entering his junior season, is expected to be one of the top quarterbacks taken in next year’s draft, along with Heisman favorite Spencer Rattler of the University of Oklahoma. However, Howell finds himself with the fifth-best odds to win the award on WynnBET at +1500.
Rattler is the +550 favorite for the award, but the players at No. 2 and No. 3 on the odds list are surprising. Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei (+700) and Alabama quarterback Bryce Young (+900) are both ahead of Howell despite having limited experience.
While Young and Uiagalelei are great prospects, Young has only attempted 22 career passes while Uiagalelei has a little more experience with 117 attempts. They certainly could have breakout years in their first season as starters, but to put them over an established player like Howell is a little disrespectful.
Howell has thrown for 68 touchdowns and just 14 interceptions in his 25 games at UNC, and he’s thrown for 30 or more scores in both of his first two seasons.
An elite passer, Howell has completed 64.4 percent of his passes for his career, and he completed a blistering 68.1 percent last season. He’s thrown for over 3,500 yards in both of his first two seasons, and if he continues on this trajectory, it’s hard to put him below guys with much less experience heading into the season.
The one drawback for Howell is that North Carolina is just +5000 to win the national title while Alabama (+250) and Clemson (+400) are first and second on the odds list. Still, winning the Heisman doesn’t require that the player is on the top team competing for a national championship that season.
Lamar Jackson (Louisville) and Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M) both won the Heisman while playing for teams that weren’t in the nationals championship conversation at the end of the season, and there’s no reason Howell can’t make a push to do the same in 2021.
At +1500 odds, Howell is a fantastic bet to prove that he is the best quarterback in the nation this season.