Heisman 2023: Bettors like Marvin Harrison Jr., Joe Milton

Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams is favored to win the 2023 Heisman Trophy, but he has a long way to go to join Archie Miller (1974-75) as the only repeat winners in the award’s history.

Besides, from a betting perspective, where’s the fun in backing the reigning honoree?

With less than three weeks until the new season of college football kicks off, two names in particular are catching bettors’ eyes at BetMGM: Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. and Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton.

Harrison, who opened at +2500 before moving to +2000 to win the Heisman, leads all players with 8.5 percent of the total bets, BetMGM reported Monday. He has garnered 5.9 percent of the total handle.

The son of Hall of Fame wide receiver Marvin Harrison finished the 2022 season strong, with 77 receptions for 1,263 yards and 14 touchdowns for the Buckeyes.

The younger Harrison is considered the most dynamic offensive weapon on an Ohio State squad still sorting out whether Kyle McCord or Devin Brown will be the new starting quarterback. And there’s recent precedent for a wide receiver to win the Heisman: DeVonta Smith (2020) was one of just two non-quarterbacks to win the award since the dawn of the 2010s.

Milton has racked up the second-most tickets from Heisman futures bettors at BetMGM (7.33 percent) while earning the largest portion of the handle (9.2 percent).

He is taking over for Hendon Hooker as the Volunteers’ starting quarterback after Hooker had a Heisman-worthy campaign cut short by an ACL injury last November. Milton racked up 971 yards and 10 passing touchdowns in relief of Hooker last season and has plenty of college experience after spending multiple seasons at Michigan.

Milton opened at +2000 at BetMGM and has since seen his odds lengthen to +2500, the inverse of Harrison’s movement. He and McCarthy are the book’s top two Heisman liabilities as of Monday.

Williams is a +500 favorite at BetMGM with 7.27 percent of the tickets and 7.2 percent of the handle, and right behind him is LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels, who’s seen his odds to win the award shrink from +1600 to just +900.

Daniels — who has attracted 5.8 percent of the tickets and 6.3 percent of the money at BetMGM — took over the starting job at LSU last year after transferring from Arizona State. He threw for 2,913 yards, 17 touchdowns and just three interceptions and added 885 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

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