After a tumultuous start to the year that saw Ohio State struggle with a below-average Minnesota team and lose at home to Oregon, the Buckeyes have seemingly righted the ship. While Ryan Day’s squad hasn’t exactly played the ‘85 Bears these past few weeks, a combination of coaching, personnel and scheme changes have turned the offense into a well-oiled machine and the defense into at the very least a competent bunch — which is a lot more than could be said earlier in the year.
While I'm still not 100% sold on Ohio State being back to the fully operational Death Star they have been during their best seasons, it is hard to argue that this team is trending immensely upwards, and the oddsmakers would agree. Let’s check out some of the current odds for the Buckeyes, including their chances of winning the National Championship as well as their Heisman Trophy candidates, courtesy of the DraftKings Sportsbook.
National Title Odds: Ohio State +800
Currently, Ohio State has the third-highest odds of any team to win the national title at 8/1, trailing only Georgia (+120) and Alabama (+240).
The Bulldogs have looked like nothing short of a defensive juggernaut, stifling every opposing offense that has come their way en route to a perfect 7-0 record with three-straight ranked wins coming against Arkansas, Auburn and Kentucky. With one of the easiest strength of schedules of any team in the country the rest of the way, Georgia is pretty much a shoe-in to make the College Football Playoff barring any unforeseen Kirby Smart tank jobs.
Alabama has looked vulnerable at times coming off their national title in 2020, losing to a Texas A&M team that, quite frankly, isn’t all that good — especially without Haynes King at QB — and nearly blowing a big lead against Florida. Still, they sit at 6-1, and showed us this past week in a 49-9 drubbing of Mississippi State that they are still a force to be reckoned with. Also, shoutout to Jameson Williams, who has become the Crimson Tide’s top wide receiver after transferring from Ohio State.
Which brings us to the Buckeyes. Their loss to Oregon will likely look worse and worse as the year goes on, as the Ducks have been ravaged by injuries and don't seem to be in the best of spots, but Ohio State themselves has looked better and better. C.J. Stroud, who we will get to in a bit, has done everything right since taking a week off to heal his shoulder, and is surrounded by guys like Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, Jaxon Smith-Njigba and TreVeyon Henderson that make the Ohio State offense one of the best in the country. If the defense can continue to improve, there is definite value in the Buckeyes at +800 to win it all.
Trailing after Ohio State in the DraftKings Sportsbook national title odds are Oklahoma (+1400), Cincinnati (+2500) and Michigan (+3500).
Heisman Trophy Odds
C.J. Stroud (+800)
No surprises here, Ohio State’s leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy is none other than quarterback C.J. Stroud — you know, that guy a very vocal minority of Buckeye Nation wanted benched earlier in the year. Stroud finds himself with the third-highest odds of any player in the country, trailing only Alabama’s Bryce Young (+180) and Ole Miss’ Matt Corral (+200). Thus far, Stroud has thrown for almost 1,700 yards with 18 touchdowns to just three interceptions, all while missing the game against Akron to heal his injured shoulder. In the last two weeks against Rutgers and Maryland, Stroud has thrown 10 TDs with zero INTs. If he can continue playing at this high a level, we could easily see him become a favorite here — especially given all of the ranked opponents Ohio State will face down the stretch.
TreVeyon Henderson (+3500)
Coming in with the eighth-highest Heisman Trophy odds in the country is freshman running back TreVeyon Henderson. Despite not even officially becoming Ohio State’s starter until a few games into the year, Henderson has quickly made a name for himself both in Columbus and on a national scale. The first-year talent has certainly lived up to his five-star ranking, and has felt like a home run threat every time he touches the ball. His rare combination of speed, strength and vision has allowed him to rack up over 600 yards rushing with nine TDs on a casual 8.7 yards-per-carry average, with over 150 yards receiving and two TDs through the air as well. If Henderson’s touches increase as the year goes on, he could become a legitimate candidate to wind up in New York.
Chris Olave (+15000)
Unless you are Devonta Smith, it is incredibly hard for a wide receiver to win the Heisman. Especially at a place like Ohio State where there are three incredible wideouts on the field on any given play, Olave just isn’t going to get the amount of targets required to bring home the trophy. Most of the receivers ahead of him on this list, including names like USC’s Drake London (+10000) and Penn State’s Jahan Dotson (+13000) are their teams lone star pass-catcher. The Buckeyes’ passing offense is simply too good for one guy to steal all the shine, but nonetheless Olave has already amassed nearly 500 yards receiving with seven TDs, and could have his fair share of big moments in Ohio State’s biggest games.
Other notable names in the Heisman Trophy betting odds on the DraftKings Sportsbook include Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker III (+1800), Oklahoma’s Caleb Williams (+2000), Cincinatti’s Desmond Ritter (+2000) and Pitt’s Kenny Pickett (+2200).
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.