Heisman moment? Bo Nix favored with final hurdle ahead

Field Level Media

November 27, 2023 at 6:30 pm.

The Heisman Trophy is Bo Nix’s to lose — at least in the eyes of oddsmakers.

Nix led Oregon to the Pac-12 Championship Game with a 31-7 dismantling of rival Oregon State last Friday. It was the Ducks’ sixth consecutive rout since suffering their lone loss of the season at Washington on Oct. 14.

Oregon earned a rematch against the Huskies this Friday. It will be at a neutral site in Las Vegas, and with a win the Ducks are highly likely to earn a spot in the College Football Playoff.

Meanwhile, LSU’s Jayden Daniels had to rest his Heisman case with yet another impressive performance in Saturday’s 42-30 comeback win over Texas A&M. However, the three-loss Tigers won’t play again until their bowl game, well after the Heisman ballots have been cast.

Daniels was the -130 favorite at BetMGM last week, but those odds shifted to +120 by Monday. He was leapfrogged by Nix, who is the -150 favorite after being offered at +140 last week.

The story is very similar at DraftKings, where Nix has moved from +130 to -160 in the past week while Daniels shifted from -125 to +130.

Friday night at Allegiant Stadium will be anything but a victory lap for Nix.

Washington enters the game 12-0 despite a string of extremely close victories. The winner likely goes to the CFP, the loser to a secondary bowl game. A second loss this season for Nix could also swing the door back wide open for Daniels in the Heisman picture.

Also in Nix’s way is his counterpart on Friday.

Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. has battled through accuracy issues of late but remains in the Heisman picture — albeit as a longshot. Penix is +1600 at BetMGM and +1500 at DraftKings. Could a clutch performance that sends Washington to the CFP sway enough minds among Heisman trophy voters?

Bo Nix, QB, Oregon (+150/-160)
Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU (+120/+130)
Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington (+1600/+1500)
Carson Beck, QB, Georgia (+15000/+15000)
Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State (+15000/+20000)

LSU coach Brian Kelly continued to stump for Daniels after he threw for four touchdowns while accounting for 355 yards of total offense against Texas A&M. That brought his season totals to 4,946 total yards and 50 touchdowns.

“It’s a top-10 defense in the country,” Kelly said. “You throw for four touchdown passes against that defense, you put up 42 points … it sure as heck can’t hurt you. I think he strengthened his case for the Heisman.”

However, Daniels will not have an opportunity to impress the voters further. The Tigers are not in a conference championship game, which presents a hurdle in itself for Daniels’ Heisman hopes.

Tim Tebow, Robert Griffin III and Lamar Jackson have each won Heismans while playing for three-loss teams since 2000. Only Jackson, with 51, accounted for more total touchdowns than Daniels has this season.

That said, Nix has compiled his own outstanding resume as he leads the nation with 3,906 passing yards and a 78.6 completion percentage. He’s also behind only Daniels in total yards (4,065), touchdowns (43) and yards per game (338.8).

Nix will have an opportunity to improve on all of those marks Friday night.

“Bo’s special, man. It has been a lot of fun coaching him,” Oregon coach Dan Lanning said. “I know we aren’t done yet.”