Oct 23, 2021; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Caleb Williams (13) talks with head coach Lincoln Riley during the second half against the Kansas Jayhawks at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

News Articles

Caleb Williams’ transfer impacts Heisman, CFP title odds

Caleb Williams’ announcement that he’s transferring to Southern California didn’t exactly send shockwaves through college football, but it did gain the attention of several oddsmakers.

Following Williams’ confirmation that he will be following former Oklahoma Sooners coach Lincoln Riley to the Trojans, his odds to win the 2022 Heisman Trophy shortened from +1300 to +800 at PointsBet.

That was the most significant movement among several sportsbooks contacted by Field Level Media after the news broke on Tuesday.

Williams’ Heisman odds shortened from +500 to +400 at BetRivers.com, where oddsmakers considered him likely to land at USC.

His odds weren’t impacted at BetMGM, where Williams was already +800 behind Alabama’s Bryce Young (+250) and Ohio State’s CJ Stroud (+400). The sportsbook was working “with the assumption” that Williams would ultimately follow Riley when it opened the Heisman Trophy market.

Williams is also the third betting favorite behind Young and Stroud at the other two sportsbooks.

Meanwhile, USC’s odds to win next year’s College Football Playoff shortened from +5000 to +3000 at PointsBet and from +4000 to +3300 at BetRivers. The Trojans are the ninth betting favorite at BetRivers, where Alabama is the favorite at +150 followed by Ohio State at +250.

Riley has added 13 transfers from the portal since taking over the Trojans in November.

“Caleb Williams reuniting with Lincoln Riley at USC will surely bring excitement to bettors backing the Trojans this season,” BetRivers & PlaySugarHouse COO Mattias Stetz told Field Level Media via email. “USC has gotten the third-most handle to win the title next season already at BetRivers sportsbook.”

Williams, who entered the transfer portal on Jan. 3, posted a Trojans hype video on Twitter with the hashtag #FightOn on Tuesday. It featured himself wearing a USC uniform.

Williams also confirmed his career move in an interview with ESPN.

“I wanted to go somewhere I thought would provide me with the best development both on and off the field,” he told ESPN. “… Getting to know Coach Riley and gaining familiarity with his offense definitely played a part in my selection, as well as already knowing some the guys on the team.”

As an Oklahoma freshman in 2021, Williams threw for 1,912 yards with 21 touchdowns against four interceptions after replacing Spencer Rattler six games into the season. Williams rushed for another 442 yards and scored six TDs as the Sooners finished 11-2.

Williams also considered UCLA, Georgia and Wisconsin and had not ruled out staying at Oklahoma.

Williams told ESPN he filed all the paperwork with USC last week and starts classes on Tuesday. He expects to join team workouts soon.

“I want to get to work right away, earn the trust of my teammates, win championships and help bring USC back to being a top-rated program,” Williams said.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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