2023 Heisman Trophy Winner: Odds & Betting Favorites

min read
Oregon quarterback Bo Nix (10) dodges California linebacker Blake Antzoulatos (32) during the first half of an NCAA football game, Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, in Eugene, Ore.
(AP Photo/Amanda Loman)
Chase Kiddy @chaseakiddy Dec 04, 2023, 8:40 AM
  • Heisman Trophy odds at BetMGM price Jayden Daniels (-1400) as the current betting favorite.
  • Bo Nix, Michael Penix Jr., and Marvin Harrison Jr. are all likely Heisman finalists.

The 2023 college football season is building toward its final conclusion. That means the 2023 Heisman Trophy odds market is entering its final days.  

Every year, I go very deep into Heisman odds betting research, breaking down the market name by name. I provide that extensive analysis for you below.

Who’s the Favorite To Win the Heisman in 2023?

Jayden Daniels, the quarterback at LSU, is the current Heisman odds betting favorite at -1400.

Heisman Trophy Favorites: Odds To Win, 2023

PlayerSchoolCurrent Odds
Jayden DanielsLSU-1400
Michael Penix Jr.Washington+900
Bo NixOregon+2200
Jalen MilroeAlabama+10000
Marvin Harrison Jr. Ohio State+20000
J.J. McCarthyMichigan+25000

When Is the Heisman Trophy Awarded?

The 2023 Heisman Trophy will be awarded this Saturday, Dec. 9.

The ceremony will be broadcast on ESPN, with coverage beginning at 8 p.m. ET.

Heisman Watch: Conference Championship Week 

Last week’s conference championship games provided the final data point before everyone casts their vote for the 2023 Heisman Trophy winner.

As far as the Heisman Trophy goes, the most impactful game on the schedule was clearly the Pac-12 Championship Game on Friday night. Prior to the game, Nix was a strong odds-on favorite; after Washington won, Daniels became a massive favorite. 

This season, Daniels has fewer passing yards than both Nix and Penix Jr. but several more touchdowns and about 1,000 more rushing yards. 

Now, the politicking begins. Players, coaches, teammates, and fans will spend much of the week grousing about which likely finalist has the best case to lift the trophy.

Jayden Daniels Heisman Odds To Win, 2023

Jayden Daniels, the LSU quarterback, is currently -1400 to win the Heisman Trophy.

Daniels has been outstanding in his second year as QB1 for the Bayou Bengals, already throwing for more than 3,500 yards and 36 touchdowns this season. His 95.6 QBR ranks No. 1 in FBS.

Unfortunately, Daniels suffers from a classic college problem: His defense sucks.

LSU’s defensive rating checks in at 124th, per Parker Fleming’s raw metrics. Daniels has already been on the wrong side of three games because his defense gave up more than 140 combined points to Florida State, Ole Miss, and Alabama.

And as everyone knows, the Heisman Trophy is an individual award … but it’s also kind of not.

Daniels took a bad hit from Alabama linebacker Dallas Turner in the second half of LSU’s Week 10 game against Alabama and was subsequently placed in concussion protocol. The injury potential temporarily moved his Heisman odds to +1400 ahead of his Week 11 game against Florida. 

But Daniels did play against the Gators, and he turned in his best performance of the season – though many fans were keyed in on other big games across the SEC instead. Daniels completed 17 passes for 372 yards and three touchdowns, adding in an additional 234 rushing yards and two more touchdowns on the ground. His 99.0 QBR was the highest of his LSU career for any one game.

Daniels promptly matched that QBR one week later against Georgia State.

After Nix and the Ducks failed to win the Pac-12 Championship Game last Friday, Daniels became an overwhelming favorite to win the Heisman.

Michael Penix Jr. Heisman Odds To Win, 2023

Michael Penix Jr., the Washington quarterback, is currently +900 to win the Heisman Trophy. 

Penix Jr. has surpassed even my lofty preseason expectations for 2023, spending much of the season near the top of most college football quarterback rankings. He’s passed for 4,218 yards and 33 touchdowns, often looking like the best player in a conference that’s loaded with Heisman contenders. 

Penix Jr. became the solo Heisman favorite after Week 6, seizing the mantle from USC quarterback Caleb Williams as the Trojans began faltering against tougher competition. After Washington’s Week 7 win over Bo Nix and the Oregon Ducks, Penix Jr. seemingly solidified his position at the top of the table. He became an odds-on favorite at -145; no other player was closer than +1000.

But the Penix Jr. experience has been a roller coaster ever since the team’s high point against Oregon. Washington remains undefeated for now, but mediocre performances against Arizona State and Stanford halted what could have otherwise been a Penix ascendancy. 

Penix Jr. slipped to third in the rankings behind Nix and Daniels after Week 12 after throwing for a season-low 162 yards and completing fewer than 50% of his passes. 

After Week 13, Penix Jr. took his largest odds tumble of the season, falling to +1600. In Washington’s win against rival Washington State, Penix Jr. was 18-for-33 for 204 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. 

Yet Penix Jr., for all his negative momentum, still has a real chance to hoist the Heisman in a few days. He secured a second straight win over Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship Game and is officially playoff-bound.

Bo Nix Heisman Odds To Win, 2023 

Bo Nix, the Oregon quarterback, is currently +2200 to win the Heisman Trophy.

Nix had been something of a punchline among serious college football fans at one point, as his performance in big games or road contests had been inconsistent.

However, a fresh start in Eugene has brought real success to the former Auburn quarterback. Nix has now been around in college football for so long that he set the all-time NCAA record for career starts in Week 9 against Utah.

All that experience and growth has served Oregon well. The Ducks finished the regular season 11-1 in the best conference in college football, with a tight road loss at Washington as the only blemish on the resume. Nix has been an essential piece in that, throwing for 4,145 yards and 40 touchdowns against only two interceptions. His 91.0 QBR ranks second in FBS.

Nix was an odds-on favorite to win the Heisman going into Friday’s Pac-12 Championship Game, but a second loss to Washington was just the opening Daniels needed to overtake Nix. 

If the Ducks had won the Pac-12 and gone to the College Football Playoff, the market clearly believed that Nix would be the Heisman winner. Instead, Oregon is playing in the Fiesta Bowl, and Daniels is the final favorite to win the Heisman.

Jalen Milroe Heisman Odds To Win, 2023

Jalen Milroe, the Alabama quarterback, is currently +10000 to win the Heisman Trophy.

No one is going to mistake Milroe for Bryce Young or Tua Tagovailoa, but Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide have won the SEC. Much of that is due to the Alabama coaching staff and the development of Milroe.

Milroe isn’t going to win the award, but he did grace Tide fans with an incredible Heisman moment in Week 13 against Auburn. In the final minute of the game, with Alabama facing a preposterous 4th and goal from the 31-yard line, Milroe uncorked a laser beam to the back left corner of the end zone, finding Isaiah Bond for an improbable game-winner. 

Alabama won, 27-24, in one of the wildest Iron Bowl endings you’ll ever see.

Marvin Harrison Jr. Heisman Odds To Win, 2023

Marvin Harrison Jr., the Ohio State wide receiver, is currently +20000 to win the Heisman Trophy. 

Harrison Jr. is regularly referred to as the best player in college football. Why shouldn’t he be in the mix for the Heisman?

As is often the case, his candidacy will come down to one thing: positional bias. In modern football, the Heisman is generally an award for quarterbacks. 

Heisman Trophy bettors know that wide receivers can win the award since DeVonta Smith lifted the trophy as recently as 2020. But so far this season, Harrison Jr. has been held back in an Ohio State offense that has looked far less dynamic than in seasons past. Kyle McCord is not quite the playmaker that previous Buckeye quarterbacks have been.

Still, Harrison Jr. has shined in major moments, like the second half of the Penn State game on Oct. 21. He finished the regular season with 1,211 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns.

J.J. McCarthy Heisman Odds To Win, 2023

J.J. McCarthy, the Michigan quarterback, is currently +25000 to win the Heisman Trophy. 

McCarthy surged in the Heisman table during the middle of last year’s regular season, but he fell off completely down the stretch. 

That’s essentially what happened this season, too. Michigan plays a power-based game, winning with play-action and defense rather than air raid concepts. That put McCarthy at a major disadvantage in the Heisman odds market against elite Pac-12 quarterbacks like Nix and Penix Jr. 

But McCarthy had one major asset: Michigan’s weak strength of schedule. The Wolverines pounded on bad team after bad team for the opening two months of the season, and McCarthy piled up serviceable numbers. To date, his 89.2 QBR is third in FBS. He’s thrown for 2,630 yards and 19 touchdowns. 

Michigan’s low-scoring win against Penn State in Week 11 showed what the Michigan offense truly looks like when tested. And while the Wolverines are undoubtedly worthy of consideration in the College Football Playoff picture, Heisman voters just aren’t going to look twice at a guy who throws for 60 yards in a top-10 game.

List of Heisman Trophy Winners

2022Caleb WilliamsQuarterbackUSC
2021Bryce YoungQuarterbackAlabama
2020DeVonta SmithWide ReceiverAlabama
2019Joe BurrowQuarterbackLSU
2018Kyler MurrayQuarterbackOklahoma
2017Baker MayfieldQuarterbackOklahoma
2016Lamar JacksonQuarterbackLouisville
2015Derrick HenryRunning BackAlabama
2014Marcus MariotaQuarterbackOregon
2013Jameis WinstonQuarterbackFlorida State
2012Johnny ManzielQuarterbackTexas A&M
2011Robert Griffin IIIQuarterbackBaylor
2010Cam NewtonQuarterbackAuburn
2009Mark Ingram IIRunning BackAlabama
2008Sam BradfordQuarterbackOklahoma
2007Tim TebowQuarterbackFlorida
2006Troy SmithQuarterbackOhio State
2005Reggie Bush*Running BackUSC
2004Matt LeinartQuarterbackUSC
2003Jason WhiteQuarterbackOklahoma
2002Carson PalmerQuarterbackUSC
2001Eric CrouchQuarterbackNebraska
2000Chris WeinkeQuarterbackFlorida State
1999Ron DayneRunning BackWisconsin
1998Ricky WilliamsRunning BackTexas
1997Charles WoodsonCorner BackMichigan
1996Danny WuerffelQuarterbackFlorida
1995Eddie GeorgeRunning BackOhio State
1994Rashaan SalaamRunning BackColorado
1993Charlie WardQuarterbackFlorida State
1992Gino TorrettaQuarterbackMiami (FL)
1991Desmond HowardWR/PRMichigan
1990Ty DetmerQuarterbackBYU
1989Andre WareQuarterbackHouston
1988Barry SandersRunning BackOklahoma State
1987Tim BrownWide ReceiverNotre Dame
1986Vinny TestaverdeQuarterbackMiami (FL)
1985Bo JacksonRunning BackAuburn
1984Doug FlutieQuarterbackBoston College
1983Mike RozierRunning BackNebraska
1982Herschel WalkerRunning BackGeorgia
1981Marcus AllenRunning BackUSC
1980George RogersRunning BackSouth Carolina
1979Charles WhiteRunning BackUSC
1978Billy SimsRunning BackOklahoma
1977Earl CampbellRunning BackTexas
1976Tony DorsettRunning BackPittsburgh
1975Archie Griffin (2)QuarterbackOhio State
1974Archie GriffinQuarterbackOhio State
1973John CappellettiRunning BackPenn State
1972Johnny RodgersRB/WRNebraska
1971Pat SullivanQuarterbackAuburn
1970Jim PlunkettQuarterbackStanford

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About the Author

Chase Kiddy

Read More @chaseakiddy

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.