Heisman Odds for the Longshots: Who Is This Year’s Joe Burrow?

By: Travis Pulver 

Part of the reason why Joe Burrow was such a great story at LSU last season was that no one really saw him coming. The year before, he only completed 57.8 percent (219-for-379) of his passes for 2894 yards and 16 touchdowns with five interceptions. He was not bad, but he was nothing special. 

If anything, he was the definition of adequate—which was why he was a long shot at winning the Heisman at +20000 heading into last season. For those that believed, their faith paid off. 

As the 2020 season draws near, fans must be wondering who this year’s Joe Burrow could be. 

Longshot Heisman Odds: Is Anyone Worth the Risk?

Lots of guys have insanely long odds. But how do you figure out which ones are worth betting on? 

He can’t be a superstar. Talent is a must, but fans need to be surprised when he blows up the first couple weeks of the season. If he is already being talked about for his NFL potential, he isn’t really a longshot. 

His team’s schedule must have at least a few tough games on it. To be the man, you have to beat the man (Ric Flair “Woooo”). Voters like to see talented players shine. But, to get Heisman votes, they need to shine against the better teams in the country— and win. 

Heisman winners do not come from teams that lose a lot (or even a little). 

Also, Heisman winners can’t do it alone. They need help in the form of other talented players. Running backs need an offensive line that can block, quarterbacks need wide receivers that can catch, and wide receivers need a quarterback that can throw. 

In short, they need to be good but not great (yet), they need to face and beat some great teams, and the team needs to be talented. There just so happens to be a few guys that fit that description: 

  • Kyle Trask, QB, Florida; +4500 (odds via FanDuel

He isn’t exactly an unknown commodity after rising from obscurity last season to lead the Gators to an 11-2 record and a bowl win. With the team surrounding him, the talent will be there. In the SEC, the schedule will certainly be tough enough, too. 

The question, of course, is whether he can take his game to the next level. If he does and Florida wins the SEC, he could be headed to New York in early December for a particular ceremony. 

  • CJ Verdell, RB, Oregon; +8000 

With a first-year starter at quarterback this season, the Ducks will likely lean on Verdell and the defense to lead the way. However, with the Pac-12 not being held in the highest regard, the Ducks will need to go undefeated and win the conference for Verdel to have a shot. 

That is, as long as he remains the focal point of the offense, can average 6.2 yards/carry (like last season) or better, and gets into the endzone more often (he had eight touchdowns last season). 

  • John Rhys Plumlee, QB Ole Miss; +6000 

Joe Burrow got some help becoming a superstar from passing game coordinator Joe Brady. Maybe an offensive mastermind like Lane Kiffin can do the same for Plumlee (a dual-threat QB). He will get tested with games against Baylor, Auburn, LSU, Alabama, Florida, and Texas A&M). 

Should he pass each test with flying colors, he could go from being a longshot to a sure thing. 

The Best Running Back Longshot Heisman Odds

  • Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State; +5000 

He finished 8th in the Heisman vote last season, led the country in rushing yards with 2094, and scored 21 touchdowns. But with the bias towards quarterbacks, his odds of winning are not high despite his undeniable talent. 

Should he produce as well again this year and lead the Cowboys to a Big 12 title (which is possible), we could see a running back win the Heisman for the first time since 2015. 

  • Najee Harris, RB, Alabama; +8000 

Quarterbacks usually win the Heisman, but the last two running backs to take home the trophy both came from Alabama. With the offensive line Harris has coming back, and a question mark at quarterback, Alabama is probably going to lean on him heavy early on. 

With the stat sheet he will produce, he will go from longshot to favorite pretty quick. 

  • JT Daniels, QB, Georgia; +12500 (odds via BetMGM

Daniels could be the dark horse of all dark horses. He will need a waiver from the NCAA after transferring from USC to Georgia just to be eligible to play—and that is the easy part. The tough part will be beating out another transfer, former Wake Forest QB Jamie Newman.     

However, should he do so, the stage will be set for a Joe Burrow-like emergence. He was good but not great during his freshman campaign at USC. The Bulldogs have a talented roster that can help make him look good. Georgia’s schedule is the kind voters love, and he will be in the SEC. 

Everyone watches/follows the SEC. 

First Round Of NFL’s Virtual Draft Goes Smoothly

NFL announced record viewership for the first round of the league’s first-ever fully-virtual draft

The first round of the 2020 NFL Draft was a complete success. The NFL announced earlier today that the first round of the virtual draft was the most-watched draft telecast in league history. More than 15.6 million people tuned in to watch the Draft. The previous record was 12.4 million viewers during the 2014 NFL Draft.

It is also worth noting that the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft did not present any technical or broadcasting issues. This comes after the league held a mock virtual draft on Monday that featured a wide variety of issues like communications difficulties and bandwidth problems.

The first three picks went as predicted. LSU QB Joe Burrow was selected with the first overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals. After that, the Washington Redskins chose Ohio State DE Chase Young with the number two overall pick. Lastly, the Lions picked Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah with the third pick in the first round. The three became the first three former teammates ever selected with the first three picks in the NFL Draft. Okudah, Young, and Burrow were all members of the 2017 Ohio State Buckeyes’ football team.

The SEC also set a new draft record. On Thursday night, 15 SEC players were selected in the first round of the draft. ESPN Stats and Info is saying that this is an NFL common draft record. The previous record for first-round picks from a single conference was 12 by the ACC in 2006 and 12 by the SEC in 2013 and 2017.

Four Quarterbacks were drafted in the first round yesterday. Joe Burrow was chosen by Cincy, Tua Tagovailoa was picked by Miami, Justin Herbert was selected by the Chargers, and the Packers traded up to the 26th spot from 30 to draft Utah State QB Jordan Love. The Packers’ GM said, “I haven’t connected with Aaron yet, but obviously he’s been through this and he’s a pro and it’s something that’s a long-term decision… the way the board fell, this was just the best decision for the Packers. Aaron has been around a long time, and he understands what we’re playing for.” Aaron Rodgers will be turning 37 this coming December.

The Miami Dolphins ended up using three first-round selections last night. They had the most first-round picks of any team in this year’s draft. The following teams did not have a first-round pick last night: the Rams, the Texans, the Bills, the Bears, the Colts, and the Steelers.

The NFL Draft continues later tonight with the second and third rounds. The second round of the draft is scheduled to begin at 7 PM EST on ESPN, ABC, and the NFL Network.

Continue checking oddsusa.com for more NFL Draft news and updates.

Joe Burrow Welcomed To Cincinnati A Day Before The Draft

Report: Bengals’ President officially welcomed the LSU QB to Cincinnati on Wednesday

ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting Mike Brown, the President of the Cincinnati Bengals, officially welcomed LSU QB Joe Burrow to the team on Wednesday. Schefter tweeted that Brown sent a letter to Burrow and his family saying “… that he looks forward ‘to building championship football teams with you for many years to come.'” Burrow is the top-ranked QB prospect on ESPN.com and NFL.com.

Schefter said the letter from Brown to the Burrow family also came with a special gift. Brown sent jerseys with the number nine to the entire family. Adam Schefter is saying Burrow will officially wear number nine while playing with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Joe Burrow had one of the best seasons of all-time as a College Football Quarterback this past year. In 15 games as a starter his senior year, he went 15-0 and led LSU to a victory in the 2020 College Football National Championship Game. Last season, Burrow threw for 60 Touchdowns and had a Rating of 202.0, both of which are single-season College Football records. He also led the NCAA this year in passing yards and completion percentage.

The first round of the NFL Draft will air tonight. The Draft is set to begin at 8:00 PM EST and can be viewed on ESPN, ABC, and the NFL Network.

Continue checking oddsusa.com for more NFL Draft news and updates.