After leading a comeback win for the Washington Huskies in their primetime clash with the Oregon Ducks, Michael Penix Jr. solidified himself as the Heisman Trophy odds favorite. The Washington quarterback is now head and shoulders above the rest, an odds-on favorite substantially clear of anyone else.
As Penix and Washington return to the sleepy confines of the “Pac-12 After Dark” slate in Week 8, the Ohio State Buckeyes and Penn State Nittany Lions do battle in the national spotlight — a clash of two teams with College Football Playoff agenda, and rosters crammed with Heisman Trophy contenders.
Latest 2023 Heisman Trophy Odds and Favorites
Latest Heisman Trophy odds and favorites as per DraftKings Sportsbook and correct as of Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023.
- Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington -130
- J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan +1000
- Dillon Gabriel, QB, Oklahoma +1000
- Jordan Travis, QB, Florida State +1200
- Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU +1400
- Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina +1800
- Bo Nix, QB, Oregon +2000
- Caleb Williams, QB, USC +2000
- Carson Beck, QB, Georgia +3500
- Drew Allar, QB, Penn State +5000
Grab your favorite to win the Heisman with the best available odds below, if it’s legal in your state.
Penn State vs. Ohio State is a Clash Crammed With Heisman Trophy Odds Contenders
Penn State vs. Ohio State is a game with significant ramifications for the outcome of the 2023 college football season. For the second consecutive week, we’re being treated to a showdown between two AP Poll Top 10 programs with legitimate claims to a conference crown and the right to represent said conference in the College Football Playoff come the end of December.
For each team, a loss is a significant stumbling block in pursuing either goal. Locked in a three-way battle for the Big Ten East, the loser will likely need Michigan to fall by the wayside against both combatants down the stretch just to reach the Big Ten title game or, at the very least, drop one game to force a ludicrously complicated tie-breaker situation.
We’ve seen previously that it’s not impossible to still reach the College Football Playoff without playing in the Big Ten Championship Game.
Ohio State is just one year removed from such an experience. But, with the potential for undefeated champions in each of the other four Power Five conferences ahead of Week 8, the likelihood of that scenario is, well, unlikely.
Which brings us back to Saturday.
Although Ohio State is currently the third-ranked team in the AP Poll, this game is as much of a “must-win” for Ryan Day and his Buckeyes as it is for James Franklin and his seventh-ranked Nittany Lions.
Reputation has carried Ohio State so far. Performance in the biggest moment of the season is what is needed right now.
In such games, with such high stakes, is the mythical “Heisman moment” born. One moment can change a game, swing momentum, plot the course of the future, and decide the destination of each program. Produce a game-winning moment with the eyes of the world and the FOX cameras on you, and that is going to be replayed on a highlight reel in New York City on Dec. 9.
For the longest time, the award for the most outstanding player in college football has resembled the NFL MVP Award in that it should really just be renamed the Most Outstanding Quarterback Award. Take a look at the latest Heisman Trophy odds and you’ll see that the position dominates the favorites.
You’ll also find both of the protagonists in Ohio State vs. Penn State.
Ohio State quarterback Kyle McCord currently has Heisman Trophy odds of +5000. That might sound ludicrous to most people. After all, McCord has been maligned as much as any quarterback in the nation.
He’s not caught the national imagination despite guiding the Buckeyes to a perfect start. He’s not put up ridiculous numbers despite a talented supporting cast.
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Yet, there have been moments of McCord magic that see him enter the Penn State game in Week 8 amongst the Heisman Trophy favorites. Once again, the numbers don’t leap off the page, but his tenacity and talent came to the fore as he drove Ohio State down the field, converting third and fourth downs for fun, in a come-from-behind win over Notre Dame, their best yet.
Despite less impressive statistics, Penn State quarterback Drew Allar has received much more national acclaim as Penn State strives to be more than the Big Ten West bridesmaid that they’ve been in recent years. There is excitement around the first-year starter with the prototypical quarterback size, arm strength to match, and composure of someone with far more experience.
Allar also has Heisman Trophy odds of +5000 from DraftKings Sportsbook, suggesting an equal chance of winning college football’s biggest individual prize as his counterpart in this most important of games. However, if the second-year QB produces a performance that takes Penn State past their Big Ten foe for the first time since 2016, his odds will only shorten.
Like the Heisman Trophy voters, we’ve spent far too long focusing on the quarterback character at the center of this great Week 8 storyline. There are protagonists besides McCord and Allar who deserve our consideration and feature prominently in the latest Heisman Trophy odds themselves.
To be a pass-catcher who outshines the actual passer to land college football’s biggest individual accolade, you must be of supreme talent. You have to be a catch-point connoisseur while posing a credible, nay a dangerous, after-the-catch threat. You have to perform to a level that far surpasses anyone else at your position, anyone else on your team, anyone else in your sport.
You have to be Marvin Harrison Jr.
The Ohio State wide receiver leads the Big Ten in receiving yards and receiving yards per reception so far this fall, helping carry Ohio State to the 15th overall pass offense in the nation despite the pitfalls of their passer.
Every single game he plays is a Heisman highlight reel, and his odds to win of +6000 are the shortest amongst WRs.
A running back hasn’t won the award since Derrick Henry, but don’t let that — or Heisman Trophy odds of +15000 — stop you from considering Nicholas Singleton as a potential worthy recipient. The holder of multiple Penn State records has averaged a score per game in this year, and has been more of a receiving threat as he solidifies himself as the best RB in the game.