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Heisman Trophy Stock Up, Stock Down: Penix Soars Into Lead

Southern California barely avoided an upset bid by Arizona over the weekend in a game that makes some college football news. While the Trojans remained undefeated and very much in the national championship conversation, the game impacted the Heisman Trophy odds of quarterback Caleb Williams.

Williams’ Pac-12 rivals Michael Penix Jr. of Washington and Bo Nix of Oregon saw their odds improve heading into a huge clash between the Huskies and Ducks on Saturday.

Heisman Trophy Stock Up, Stock Down: Penix Soars Into Lead
Quarterback Michael Penix Jr. #9 of the Washington Huskies | Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFP

Georgia tight end Brock Bowers and Ohio State receiver Marvin Harrison had huge performances in Week 6 and their Heisman Trophy odds improved as a result. Georgia (+250) has the best odds to win the 2023 NCAA football championship. Ohio State is third in the championship odds.

For the first time this season, Williams is not the favorite in the Heisman Trophy odds. He will have a chance to change that thanks to a high-profile road game against Notre Dame with the college football spreads listing the Fighting Irish as 2½-point favorites.

Here’s a look at the latest edition of the Heisman risers and fallers of the 2023 season.

Change at the Top

Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. has overtaken his Pac-12 rival and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams as the front-runner in this year’s Heisman race.

Penix saw his odds go from +400 to +200 in the odds to win the Heisman according to the college football betting lines, even though Washington didn’t play last week.

Penix has completed at least 70% of his passes in each of the first five games this season. He has 16 touchdown passes and two interceptions to give him 47 touchdowns and 10 interceptions since transferring in from Indiana.

Williams still leads all Football Bowl Subdivision players in passing efficiency. However, three scoring runs did not compensate for Williams completing a season-low 56% of his passes in a 43-41 overtime win over Arizona. Williams’ odds fell from +160 to +225.

Catching Up a Storm

Georgia tight end Brock Bowers and Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr. came into the season considered to be the two most talented pass catchers in the country.

They certainly looked like that during Week 6. Bowers caught seven passes for 132 yards and a touchdown as Georgia rolled to a 51-13 win over previously undefeated Kentucky.

Bowers has three straight 100-yard receiving games. He has 24 catches for 410 yards and four touchdowns in those three games for the two-time defending national champions.

When looking at the NCAA football predictions, his odds to win the Heisman went from +6000 to +4000 as he has the best odds among non-quarterbacks.

Ohio State also had a showdown against a fellow undefeated team. Harrison set season highs with eight receptions and 163 yards in the 37-17 win over Maryland. His Heisman odds went from +8000 to +6000.

With the exception of Ohio State’s TreVeyon Henderson‘s odds tumbling from +10000 to +20000 after missing the Maryland game, it was status quo for the top running backs.

Michigan‘s Blake Corum (+5000) only carried the ball nine times and gained 69 yards in a 52-10 win over Minnesota, Wisconsin‘s Braelon Allen (+15000) had his second straight game with more than 100 rushing yards while Nicholas Singleton (+15000) and Penn State did not play in Week 6. Clemson’s Will Shipley (+15000) ran for 97 yards and a touchdown in a 17-12 win over Wake Forest while Quinshon Judkins (+15000) of Ole Miss had just 65 rushing yards in a 27-20 victory against Arkansas.

Who’s Rising in the Heisman Trophy Race?

Penix wasn’t the only quarterback to make a move after the Week 6 games.

Bo Nix of Oregon saw his Heisman odds go from +900 to +600 after throwing four touchdowns in a win over Stanford to give him 15 touchdown passes and one interception this season.

Dillon Gabriel of Oklahoma tossed a late touchdown pass to lead the Sooners to the upset over Texas and saw his odds go from +1800 to +1200. North Carolina‘s Drake Maye (+4000 to +1800) and Georgia’s Carson Beck (+9000 to +5500) are also trending in the right direction after leading their teams to dominating wins.

Who’s Falling in the Heisman Trophy Race?

Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers makes this list for the second week in a row. His odds took quite a hit after the Longhorns lost to rival Oklahoma.

Ewers completed 31 of 37 passes for 346 yards. However, he threw a pair of interceptions to give him three over the last two weeks after not tossing an interception in the first four games.

According to our sportsbook, Ewers saw his odds go from +900 to +3500.

Notre Dame‘s Sam Hartman was just 22 of 38 for 254 yards with two TDs and three interceptions in a 33-20 loss to Louisville. In the last two weeks, Hartman has completed just 54.4% of his passes. His odds to win the Heisman moved from +3000 to +6500.

Matchup of the Week

 

A matchup between quarterbacks Nix and Penix could be worth the price of admission in this clash of undefeated Pac-12 teams.

Penix threw a touchdown pass with 3:07 left in last year’s game to tie the game at 34. Oregon was stuffed on fourth-and-1 at its own 34 with 1:26 remaining to set up the Huskies for the game-winning field goal in a 37-34 victory.

Penix threw for 408 yards in the victory while Nix threw for 280 yards and a pair of scores to go with a TD run.

 

 

Which Heisman contenders are offering the best betting opportunities?

Five of the last six regular-season games for USC and Willams come against teams ranked in the Top 25 in the Associated Press poll.

Which Heisman Trophy candidate is the best value bet?

Georgia’s Brock Bowers is moving up the list of Heisman Trophy candidates.

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