North Carolina Tar Heels QB Drake Maye for the Heisman
John David Yonke
You’d be remiss if you didn’t notice what Drake Maye is doing at quarterback for the North Carolina Tar Heels. In his first season as the starter, the phenomenal talent has led his team to a surprising 9-1 record, all while looking like one of the best quarterbacks in the country.
Maye has recently gotten a lot of love in the futures market to win the Heisman. Does he stand a chance? Let’s look at the market trends for his Heisman trophy betting odds at BetMGM Sportsbook.
Heisman Trophy Line Movement (last week, current)
CJ Stroud +175 –> +130
Caleb Williams +800 –> +1100
Drake Maye +1200 –> +500
Maye had another superb performance in Week 11, throwing for 448 yards and three touchdowns in a 36-34 upset win on the road against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. As is commonplace with Maye, he added another 71 yards on the ground and a rushing touchdown.
He is a true dual-threat who has consistently produced week after week both through the air and on the ground.
Bettors have finally taken notice of Maye’s exploits, as he jumped Michigan’s Blake Corum (+600) to have the third-shortest Heisman odds nationally. Ohio State Buckeyes’ signal-called C.J. Stroud (+130) remains the favorite, with Tennessee Volunteers’ quarterback Hendon Hooker (+300) second.
Surprisingly, Maye has received only 1.6% of the ticket handle at BetMGM Sportsbook for Heisman futures betting. That ranks behind players like Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson (2.1%), who struggles to complete a forward pass, and Texas Longhorns’ star Bijan Robinson (1.8%), a running back for a team struggling to stay above .500.
Maye’s statistical profile is second-to-none. He’s completed 70.1% of his passes for an efficient 9.5 yards per attempt, compiling 3,412 passing yards and 34 touchdowns to pair with only three interceptions. He’s been tremendously effective with his legs, too, leading the Tar Heels with 584 rushing yards while notching five rushing touchdowns.
He’s been more responsible for his team’s success than any player in the country, as the Tar Heels sport a woeful defense allowing 31.3 points per game, leaving it all on Maye’s shoulders (and legs!) to carry the load. He’s done so with remarkable success, leading UNC to a 9-1 record.
The Tar Heels have already clinched a spot in the ACC Championship Game against the Clemson Tigers, providing Maye with a national spotlight to notch a much-needed signature win in the eyes of the voters. He’s passed every test with flying colors, but UNC’s schedule has been very forgiving.
The team’s biggest test was the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and the Heels fell short with a 45-32 loss. A win over Clemson and an ACC Championship would be difficult for voters to ignore, while a defeat in their toughest matchup would be a detriment to his chances of winning the trophy.
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