While all sportsbooks are different, there's a new betting favorite to win the 2023 Heisman Trophy at Caesars and a few other books in Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr., who is now priced at +300. USC's Caleb Williams, who had been the betting favorite since winning the 2022 edition, is a close second at +375. The Pac-12 might have its best group of quarterbacks in years in the last season of the league as we know it.
The Huskies are up to No. 7 in the new AP Top 25. They've scored at least 41 points in each game and won all four by a minimum of 27 points. Those wins came against legit programs -- Boise State, Tulsa, Michigan State and Cal. It's the first time Washington has opened a season with four games of at least 40 points since 1944, when it opened with two lopsided wins each over Willamette and Whitman. Washington was the only major college program in the Pacific Northwest to field a team in '44, due to World War II.
In Saturday's 59-32 win over Cal, the Huskies led 14-0 before Penix Jr. even saw the field. He threw for three first-half touchdowns as the Huskies tied a school record for points in a half with 45. The former Indiana transfer finished 19 of 25 for 304 yards and four scores before being pulled. On the season, he leads the country with 1,636 yards passing and 16 passing TDs while ranking third in rating (209.6).
Penix might stay under the national radar for just a little longer, as the Huskies have a late night game this Saturday at Arizona (10 p.m. ET) and should win it comfortably. They're then off until a huge matchup vs. No. 9 Oregon on Oct. 14. The Ducks have a Heisman candidate of their own in Bo Nix (+1200).
On Nov. 4, Washington travels to No. 8 USC to face off with Williams in the potential Pac-12 game of the year.
Don't be surprised if Williams goes back into the favored role after Week 5 because he has a big nationally televised game at Colorado, presuming Williams plays well (and doesn't lose). The Buffaloes fell out of the rankings with their blowout loss at Oregon, but there will be a ton of eyeballs on that game because of Deion Sanders. Colorado quarterback Shedeur Sanders was among the Heisman favorites, but is now +7500 after struggling against the Ducks.
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