One QB +1200 In Heisman Trophy Odds, And It Probably Won’t Last For Long

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Written By Stephen Andress on October 13, 2023
heisman trophy odds

What if I told you there was a strong candidate in Heisman Trophy odds to win his remaining games and go 12-0? What if I told you it would be a shock if his team didn’t go 12-0 at this point? And what if I told you he’s still +1200, despite all his other competition having brutal schedules to close out their seasons? Is that something you’d be interested in? Oklahoma quarterback Dillon Gabriel has that golden Heisman opportunity in front of him after beating Texas in the Red River Rivalry. Yet, he’s not one of the three favorites to win college football’s most prestigious award at the start of Week 7.

I think Gabriel is mispriced, and I believe it creates an opportunity, whether you believe Gabriel will win the award or not. Here’s why.

2023 Heisman Trophy Odds

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Dillon Gabriel Stats among other Candidates From Heisman Trophy Odds

PlayerSchoolGPass YdsPass TDIntRush Yds Rush TD
Michael Penix Jr.Washington5199916290
Jayden DanielsLSU619691924224
Caleb WilliamsUSC618082211246
J.J. McCarthyMichigan613051131333
Carson BeckGeorgia61886113512
Dillon GabrielOklahoma618781622085
Quinn EwersTexas61704113605
Bo NixOregon51459151871

Gabriel Chasing Pac-12 Studs

Indeed, Gabriel has some passing yards to make up on Washington QB Michael Penix Jr., who has played one fewer game than Gabriel; however, Gabriel has the edge in total touchdowns over the favorite in Heisman Trophy odds.

USC QB Caleb Williams is the candidate to join Ohio State RB Archie Griffin as the only player to ever win two Heismans, and the reigning trophy holder has built a seven-touchdown lead over Gabriel through six games.

However, individual statistics are only half the equation to winning the Heisman Trophy in most years. The other is avoiding defeat, and Dillon Gabriel has an eye-popping advantage there.


Sooners Favorites To Finish 12-0

Oklahoma has six games left in the regular season before the Big 12 Championship Game. college football contributor Kelley Ford has the Sooners favored by at least 17.5 points in all of their remaining six regular season games. His KFord Ratings also project OU with a 62% chance to finish the season 12-0. If that probability occurs, it puts Gabriel squarely on the shortlist of Heisman ceremony invitations.

A schedule this easy also provides an incredible opportunity for Gabriel to bolster his stats and improve his Heisman resume, while other favorites from the Pac-12 in Heisman Trophy odds are playing challenging games against each other. In USC’s case with Caleb Williams, it also includes one more tough non-conference game as small road underdogs at Notre Dame.

Other candidates could easily take a loss or two between now and the end of the season. At the very least, they are far more likely to lose games than Gabriel is at this point.

Why Going Undefeated Matters for Heisman Trophy Odds’s lead college football writer, Brett Gibbons, explains the correlation between winning a ton of games to winning the Heisman every preseason in his annual Heisman longshot post.

Every Heisman winner since 2010 came from a team with at least nine wins. Of those, only two failed to win 11 games (Lamar Jackson in 2016 and Robert Griffin III in 2011). Seven appeared in the National Championship game. Team performance historically has proven to be equally crucial as player performance.

The voters have not taken too kindly to losing games late in the season. A couple of losses for the current Heisman favorites would likely be crippling to their chances.

Notable Remaining Games For Pac-12 QBs

  • USC QB Caleb Williams: at No. 21 Notre Dame, vs. No. 16 Utah, vs. No. 7 Washington, at No. 8 Oregon, vs. No. 18 UCLA
  • Oregon QB Bo Nix: at No. 7 Washington, vs. No. 19 Washington State, vs. No. 16 Utah, vs. No. 10 USC, vs. No. 15 Oregon State
  • Washington QB Michael Penix Jr.: vs. No. 8 Oregon, at No. 10 USC, vs. No. 16 Utah, at No. 15 Oregon State, vs. No. 19 Washington State

Those are absolutely murderers’ rows for the three leading Pac-12 candidates in Heisman Trophy odds.

The demanding schedules are mighty challenges to go 11-1 or remain unbeaten and tougher tests for amassing stats. Gabriel’s schedule may allow him to surpass some or all of the other Heisman candidates statistically. That’s not impossible at all.

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Heisman Trophy Odds Conclusion

One sportsbook, BetRivers, is already hip to the scheduling advantage now before Gabriel. At the time of publishing, Gabriel’s price there had already shortened to +400. However, at most of the regulated online sportsbooks, he was still listed at +1200 on October 10, before his next game against UCF.

Do not be surprised if his odds are a third of that or shorter in the next two weeks, barring injury or a monster upset. If he can rise over the next month to one of the two favorites in the market, that at least locks in substantial equity for you and gives you options to either let it ride or use that equity to corner the market on the only remaining viable candidates.

I decided the risk was worth the potential reward.

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