2023 Heisman Trophy Odds: Jayden Daniels leaps in front of Bo Nix entering Week 13
We’re entering the final stretch in regards to the Heisman Trophy race, as we’re in Week 13 of the college football season. This year started with Caleb Williams looking like he had a chance to repeat as the winner, but USC completely fell apart. And as recently as last week, it was Oregon quarterback Bo Nix that was the favorite to win. However, a massive performance from LSU’s Jayden Daniels has the quarterback heading into rivalry week as the betting favorite. Overall, this feels like a four-man race, with Daniels, Nix, Michael Penix Jr. and Marvin Harrison Jr. being the only true contenders. With that in mind, keep reading to see how all four of them are priced. I’ll do my best to explain whether there’s any value in backing them at this point.
Heisman Trophy Candidates
LSU QB Jayden Daniels -125 (was +320)
It’s a little wild to see Daniels as the betting favorite to win this award. For my money, Daniels has been the best player in college football this season. And the senior means more to his team than anybody else in the country. Daniels has racked up 3,577 yards with 36 touchdowns and only four picks through the air. He has also rushed for 1,014 yards and 10 touchdowns. That said, his stats are out of this world. However, LSU currently has three losses and that seemed like a dealbreaker earlier in the year — and two losses also looked dooming at one point. Daniels was available at north of +2000 in some places just a few weeks ago, and not much has changed since then. I also find it a little surprising that Daniels jumped in front of Nix this week. I know Daniels had over 500 yards of total offense and had eight touchdowns in last week’s win over Georgia State, but Nix threw for 404 yards and six touchdowns against an Arizona State that has been solid defensively in recent weeks. Overall, Daniels clearly has a real shot at winning this, even though the Tigers have disappointed. But I don’t think there’s any value here. LSU isn’t a lock to beat Texas A&M this week, and Nix and Penix Jr. will have more chances to make their cases if they meet in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
Oregon QB Bo Nix +150 (was +110)
As previously mentioned, Nix is coming off a week in which he lit up a decent Arizona State defense. Nix can’t possibly match Daniels’ production on the ground, but he has thrown for 3,539 yards with 35 touchdowns and only two interceptions this year. He has also rushed for five touchdowns. Nix’s numbers are still incredibly impressive and he happens to be doing it for a team that looks like it has a real shot at winning a national title. That is why it’s hard to come to grips with Nix having been leapt this week. But if he has a big game against Oregon State this week and follows it up with a Pac-12 title, it’s very likely he’ll end up raising this trophy. But these odds aren’t good enough to warrant a bet on it.
Washington QB Michael Penix Jr. +600 (was +380)
If I were forced to bet on any of the contenders at this point in the year, Penix Jr. would be the guy. Penix Jr. has fallen behind the other two quarterbacks when it comes to passing numbers, but he is still the leader of a Washington team that is undefeated and booked its trip to the Pac-12 Championship Game. And Penix Jr. has also thrown for 3,695 yards with 30 touchdowns and only seven picks this year, so it’s not like he doesn’t have impressive numbers. The senior has also rushed for three scores, even though he isn’t much of a runner. The reality here is that Penix Jr. will have a chance to go out and light up Washington State this week, and then he gets another crack at Oregon — if the Ducks beat the Beavers. If the Huskies win that game, are we absolutely sure we’re passing on a guy with the stats and the team success?
Ohio State WR Marvin Harrison Jr. +4000 (was +475)
Harrison Jr. has had an outstanding season for the Buckeyes, and he has done it with a mediocre quarterback. This season, the star wideout has 62 receptions for 1,093 yards and 13 touchdowns, and he’ll have a chance to turn in another impressive performance in a meeting with an undefeated Michigan team. The problem is that the quarterbacks are all far ahead of him in the eyes of the oddsmakers — and likely voters. So, Harrison Jr. isn’t a guy I’d suggest betting on now. He’d likely only win this award in a potential doomsday scenario in which LSU, Washington and Oregon all lose games in the next two weeks while Ohio State wins out.
Out Of The Mix
It feels like Carson Beck (+6000) and Jalen Milroe (+15000) are both completely out of the race now. I included both of them as contenders last week, but the odds suggest it’s a three-way competition amongst the top quarterbacks. And Harrison Jr. is there in case all three of them falter down the stretch.