Most figured a Pac-12 quarterback would factor heavily into the 2023 Heisman Trophy picture, but few could have predicted the race might come down to a conference championship showdown between Bo Nix and Michael Penix Jr.
In a Heisman Trophy race that has seen numerous QBs take the lead with oddsmakers, Nix is now the +100 favorite at BetMGM and the +120 favorite at DraftKings. That’s after throwing four touchdown passes in Oregon’s 36-27 victory over Southern California on Saturday night.
That was the fourth loss in five games for the Trojans, all but ending the repeat Heisman hopes for quarterback Caleb Williams, who entered the season as the heavy favorite.
Nix is currently trailed by Washington’s Penix, who is being offered at +275 and +300 by the two books.
Penix got the better of Nix last month, throwing a game-winning touchdown pass in the Huskies’ 36-33 win at home. The teams appear to be on a collision course for a rematch in the Pac-12 championship game, which could determine which makes the College Football Playoff — and who takes home the Heisman.
Nix has thrown for 3,135 yards with 29 touchdowns against only two interceptions through 10 games, while Penix has racked up 3,533 yards through the air with 28 touchdowns and seven picks.
Close behind them is LSU’s dynamic quarterback Jayden Daniels, who is being offered at +400 by BetMGM and +380 by DraftKings.
The top non-quarterback is Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., who is at +450 at both books. With no quarterback able to put a vice-grip on the Heisman yet, Harrison has thrust himself into the picture with 59 catches for 1,063 yards and 12 touchdowns while adding another score on the ground.
Meanwhile, Big Ten rival J.J. McCarthy of Michigan has been going the other direction through no fault of his own. After edging into the lead just three weeks ago, McCarthy is now a +10000 longshot at BetMGM and has just slightly better +9000 odds at DraftKings.
The Wolverines are 10-0 and coming off a win at Penn State, but Michigan is also embroiled in a sign-stealing investigation. That has resulted in coach Jim Harbaugh being suspended from the sidelines for the final three regular-season games, and McCarthy’s Heisman hopes have been collateral damage.
The junior has thrown for 2,194 yards and 18 TDs against just three interceptions. However, Michigan’s ground game has also taken charge, with McCarthy not making a single official pass attempt in the second half against the Nittany Lions.
Another quarterback who has seen his odds plummet is Jordan Travis, who has guided No. 4 Florida State to a 10-0 start. He hasn’t thrown an interception in his past three games, but Travis is coming off a modest 265-yard passing day against unranked Miami.
He also lacks the signature wins of the other marquee quarterbacks. The Seminoles, who have faced only one ranked team since their season-opening win against LSU, play host to North Alabama this weekend before their annual game at Florida and then the ACC championship game, likely to be against Louisville.
HEISMAN TROPHY ODDS (BetMGM/DraftKings)
Bo Nix, QB, Oregon (+100/+120)
Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington (+275/+300)
Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU (+400/+380)
Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State (+450/+450)
Carson Beck, QB, Georgia (+3000/+4000)
Jordan Travis, QB, Florida State (+4000/+4500)
Jalen Milroe, QB, Alabama (+5000/+5000)
J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan (+10000/+9000)
–Field Level Media