3 Heisman Long Shots Who Can Bust College Football Wide Open
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
It’s last call for Heisman bets.
Now, it’s time to dole out the top long shots with the season right around the corner.
A couple dark horses have shipped the Heisman over the last half-decade, including Lamar Jackson (2016; opened 100-1) and Joe Burrow (2019; 200-1).
If you’re willing to pay the couple bucks, these three players will make it worth the price of admission.
Max Duggan (+15000)
Pick at: DraftKings
If I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel for value in the Heisman market, I want dual-threat quarterbacks and wins. But mostly, I want dual-threat quarterbacks.
I’d like you to meet TCU’s Max Duggan.
I’d say he’s bound to terrorize the entire Big 12 in 2021, but he already put Texas Tech in a body bag last season.
Look away Texas Tech (+9.5) bettors 🤢
After attempting (and missing) a FG on 2nd down on the previous possession, the Red Raiders allow Max Duggan to run it 81-yards to the house on 3rd & long. TCU now covering…pic.twitter.com/3IlAe2GI9t
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) November 8, 2020
That was just one of Duggan’s 11 big-play runs from last fall — almost three times as many as the next-closest player among returning Big 12 quarterbacks (Brock Purdy, 4).
The wide receiving corps returns everyone, the offensive line can’t possibly be more snake-bitten by injuries than it was a year ago, and TCU looted the transfer portal.
Overall, the Horned Frogs rank third in the Big 12 in offensive adjusted TARP (6) and second in overall TARP (11.) Duggan has all the help he needs.
Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler isn’t worth the value at +600, and I can’t take Purdy serious at his current market price (+4000).
This is undoubtedly the best grab among Big 12 quarterbacks.
QB Max Johnson (+10000)
Pick At: FanDuel
If Johnson consistently performs like he did down the stretch of 2020, LSU could have two Heisman winners in three years.
The freshman combined for 674 passing yards and six touchdowns through the air in his final two games, which included an upset win over then-No. 6 Florida. Johnson also added a pair of scores with his legs on a whopping 32 attempts.
If the two-game sample size is any indication of what’s to come, Johnson will have the ball in his hands — a lot.
He’ll never have the type of supporting cast Burrow had en route to his hardware, but there are promising pieces from last year’s pool of players.
.Wide receiver Kayshon Boutte closed out the 2020 campaign on a higher note than Johnson himself, hauling in 14 passes for 308 yards in the finale versus Ole Miss.
Boutte saw the second-highest man coverage rate in the Power Five and produced 3.02 yards per route against it — the fourth-best clip among P5 receivers, per PFF. Fellow receiver Jaray Jenkins finished third on the team in yards (398) and led the Tigers with 17.3 yards per receptions.
Plus, last year’s unit ran 81.1 plays per contest! That’s roughly seven more than the year prior, if you thought the title-winning team played at a frenetic pace.
Phil Jurkovec (+15000)
Pick At: FanDuel
Clemson’s DJ Uiagalelei has the second-shortest odds in the country.
Miami’s D’Eriq King led the country in touchdowns three years ago.
Devin Leary and Sam Hartman have heart beats.
The ACC is loaded. Yet, here’s a sneaky-good grab on Jurkovec, the Notre Dame transfer who balled out at Boston College last season.
The Eagles aren’t typically synonymous with high-powered passing attacks. But after dishing out no fewer than 6,000 carries to star running back A.J. Dillon to cap off his career in 2019, new head coach Jeff Hafley revamped the aerial assault.
Boston College saw the second-largest uptick in pass-play percentage from 2019 to ’20 (33.33% to 53.66%) in the entire country, behind only Mississippi State and its new air raid.
If you’ve got the tools, why not use them?
.The Eagles employ two of the ACC’s top-four leaders in EPA/play from last season in C.J. Lewis (No. 2, 1.07) and Jaelen Gill (No. 4, 0.98). I haven’t even mentioned Zay Flowers, who led the offense in both receiving yards (893) and touchdowns (9) in 2020.
Boston College was resilient in contests against Clemson and North Carolina last fall, losing by a combined 10 points. If the Eagles can reverse their fortune and upset some of the nation’s best en route to, say, a double-digit-win campaign, Jurkovec’s at the nucleus of it.
And you better believe I’ll be sobbing like a toddler when he finishes second in Heisman voting behind somebody like Kedon Slovis.