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Jonathan Taylor Rising in Heisman Odds; Now a Top-Five Contender for Unbeaten Badgers

Brady Trettenero

by Brady Trettenero in College Football

Oct 8, 2019 · 4:11 PM PDT

Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor running the ball
Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor is climbing in the latest Heisman odds. Could a running back win the trophy this season? Photo from RSHighlights (YouTube).
  • Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor is proving he belongs in 2019 Heisman conversation
  • QBs Tua Tagovailoa, Jalen Hurts and Joe Burrow are still the favorites
  • Who is the best bet for the Heisman after Week 6?

Jonathan Taylor is proving he belongs in the 2019 Heisman Trophy conversation after another excellent showing in Week 6 against Kent State. The Wisconsin running back is now listed at +850 odds.

Heisman Trophy Odds

Player Odds
Tua Tagovailoa (QB, Alabama) -150
Joe Burrow (QB, LSU) +300
Jalen Hurts (QB, Oklahoma) +350
Justin Fields (QB, Ohio State) +1200
Jonathan Taylor (RB, Wisconsin) +2000
Jake Fromm (QB, Georgia) +2000
Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson) +3300
Sam Ehlinger (QB, Texas) +4000

* All odds taken 10/08/19.

The award typically goes to a quarterback, however, and there are some excellent QB candidates this season.

Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa has become the Heisman favorite despite a bye week, while Joe Burrow and Jalen Hurts both strengthened their cases this week.

How should you bet on the Heisman odds after Week 6?

Jonathan Taylor Dominating Run Game

Jonathan Taylor had a career-high five touchdowns (four rushing and one receiving) in Wisconsin’s 48-0 victory over Kent State in Week 6. Taylor had 19 rushes for 186 yards, eclipsing the 100-yard mark for the fifth time this season.

Taylor is doing something special in Wisconsin. He has a total of 16 TDs already this season, which is that most by any FBS player in his team’s first five games since Ricky Williams had 20 for Texas in 1998. Williams won the Heisman that year.

The odds are stacked against Taylor for the Heisman, though, as only three running backs have won the award since the year 2000. As great as Taylor has been, he’s contending with some very strong quarterbacks in Jalen Hurts, Tua Tagovailoa, and Joe Burrow, among others.

The strong play of Wisconsin QB Jack Coan is also working against Taylor’s Heisman case. Coan is tied for sixth in the nation in completion percentage (74.6%) and has thrown just one interception on 114 attempts.

Coan’s impressive season could make voters place less emphasis on Taylor’s impact in Wisconsin.

Joe Burrow Makes LSU History 

Joe Burrow made LSU history in Week 6 against Utah State, becoming the program’s first quarterback to eclipse 300 passing yards in four straight games.

Burrow went 27-of-38 for 344 yards and five touchdowns with one interception in a 42-6 victory over the Aggies. He also rushed  for 42 yards and a touchdown.

Burrow continues to make a strong case for the Heisman through six games. The Tiger QB ranks second in the nation with 1,864 passing yards and third in passing efficiency with a 216.2 rating. Burrow has thrown a whopping 22 touchdown passes this season, which is second only to Tagovailoa (23).

LSU has a prolific offense that continues to pile up points. The Tigers are entering the tough part of their SEC schedule with games against Florida, Auburn and Alabama on the horizon. Both the Gators and Auburn are very strong defensively, while Alabama is the top team in the nation.

We’ll know soon just how strong of a Heisman candidate Burrow really is.

Tagovailoa Pulls Away from Hurts

Despite having a bye week, Tua Tagovailoa has pulled away from the competition in the latest Heisman odds.  Alabama hasn’t faced a tough pass defense yet, and they have upcoming tests against ranked teams in Texas A&M, LSU, and Auburn.

Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts continues to prove why he is a favorite for the Heisman after six weeks. The Sooner QB threw for 228 yards and two touchdowns while running for an additional two majors in a 45-20 victory over Kansas in Week 6.

I give Hurts the edge over Tagovailoa nearing the midpoint of the season due to his dual-threat ability. Not only does the Oklahoma QB lead the nation with a 231.3 passer efficiency rating, but his 499 rushing yards are double what any other QB on a playoff contender has put up.

Hurts will face a good test with his first Red River Showdown in Week 7. The Alabama transfer hasn’t had to face a tough opponent yet, and Texas (4-1) is a talented team that is ranked 11th in the latest AP Poll.

We saw Joe Burrow strengthen his Heisman case when he outdueled Longhorns QB Sam Ehlinger in Week 2. Hurts will look do to the same in his biggest game of the season Saturday.

Heisman Analysis After Week 6

Jonathan Taylor is having an excellent campaign for Wisconsin, but the strong quarterback competition makes it tough to bet him for the Heisman. Even if he keeps up his strong play, I don’t see the Badgers prevailing over Justin Fields and Ohio State in the Big 10.

Jalen Hurts is the best bet for the Heisman after Week 6. After the clash with Texas, Oklahoma has a very manageable schedule that should see Hurts continue to pad his numbers. Tagovailoa has to deal with two tough opponents in LSU and Auburn.

I’d rather bet on Hurts delivering against Texas than on Burrow putting up big numbers against the Gators and later outduelling Tua Tagovailoa and Alabama

I’m big on Joe Burrow, but he’s going up against an excellent Florida defense in Week 7 before facing Alabama in November. I’d rather bet on Hurts delivering against Texas than on Burrow putting up big numbers against the Gators and later outduelling Tua Tagovailoa and Alabama.

Fields has value, but he’s got a tough remaining schedule that includes facing Penn State and Michigan to close out the year.

Hurts has the easiest path to securing the Heisman, and he remains my pick for the trophy after Week 6.

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