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Tua Tagovailoa Strengthens Heisman Case in Week 5; Justin Fields Becoming Top-Tier Candidate

Brady Trettenero

by Brady Trettenero in College Football

Sep 30, 2019 · 1:54 PM PDT

Tua Tagovailoa on the field for Alabama
Tua Tagovailoa is off to a red-hot start in the 2019 season. Photo by the University of Alabama (Wiki Commons) [CC License].
  • Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa strengthened his Heisman case with a strong performance in Week 5
  • Ohio State’s Justin Fields is becoming a top-tier candidate
  • How should you bet on the Heisman odds after Week 5?

Tua Tagovailoa continued to strengthen his case for the 2019 Heisman Trophy with a strong showing against Ole Miss in Week 5. The Alabama QB remains the Heisman favorite in sportsbooks with +175 odds.

However, Ohio State’s Justin Fields is closing the gap on Tua and the other favorites, Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma) and Joe Burrow (LSU).

How should you bet on the Heisman odds after Week 5?

2019 Heisman Trophy Odds

Player Odds Odds
Tua Tagovailoa (QB, Alabama) +175 +300
Jalen Hurts (QB, Oklahoma) +180 +260
Joe Burrow (QB, LSU) +400 +300
Justin Fields (QB, Ohio State) +500 +750
Jonathan Taylor (RB, Wisconsin) +1000 +700
Jake Fromm (QB, Georgia) +2000 +1600
Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson) +2200 +5000
Sam Ehlinger (QB, Texas) +3300 +4000

*All odds taken 09/30/19.

Tua Tagovailoa Strengthens Heisman Case
Tua Tagovailoa strengthened his case for the 2019 Heisman with a strong performance against Ole Miss in Week 5. The Alabama QB went 26-of-36 for 418 yards and a school-record six touchdowns. He rushed for a seventh.

Tagovailoa will be near the top of the Heisman odds all season. He ranks second nationally with 1,718 passing yards and is the only quarterback who has thrown over 20 TD passes (23) without an interception. 

Tagovailoa may have the most accurate arm in the country, but he has a few things working against him. Preseason expectations were massive for Tua after he finished as the runner up to Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray last season. Current favorites Jalen Hurts and Joe Burrow were longshots when the odds first opened, and voters seem to love an underdog story.

In addition, Tagovailoa also only has 45 rushing yards this season, while Hurts has exploded for 443 rushing yards. Oklahoma has the easier schedule in the Big 12, and Tagovailoa could fall behind in the statistical race if he doesn’t deliver in tough SEC games against LSU and Auburn. 

Justin Fields Continues to Climb

Justin Fields continues to climb in the Heisman odds after another prolific outing in Week 5. The Georgia transfer went 15-of-21 for 212 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions in a 48-7 win over Nebraska.

Ohio State is now No. 4 in the latest AP Poll thanks to the play of their starting QB. Fields has rushed and thrown for a  touchdown in all five games this season. He’s listed at +500 in sportsbooks’ latest Heisman odds.

Ohio State has a good chance of winning out and claiming another Big Ten title. The Buckeyes have recorded at least 40 points in each of their first five games, while the defense has allowed fewer than 300 total yards in four consecutive games.

Fields may have the best value in the latest Heisman odds. He’s a great dual-threat QB, and his team is better than Michigan, Wisconsin and Penn State in the Big Ten. Fields isn’t my Heisman pick after Week 5, but he has a realistic shot at the trophy.

Jalen Hurts Favored in Sportsbooks

Jalen Hurts has become the top Heisman favorite in sportsbooks with +260 odds. He’s bolstered his resume with each performance and remains my pick for the Heisman for the third straight week. (I’m not the only one around here who likes Hurts’ Heisman odds, either.)

Hurts passed for 415 yards and three touchdowns in a 55-16 blowout victory over the Raiders in Week 5. The Alabama transfer also ran for 70 yards and another score for 485 yards of total offense.

It’s easy to feel confident betting on Hurts when you compare him to last season’s Heisman winner. Through four games last season, Kyler Murray had a 68.18 completion percentage with 1,028 passing yards and 11 touchdowns.

After four games this season, Hurts has a 77.65 completion percentage with 1,295 passing yards and 12 touchdowns. Hurts also has more rushing yards than Murray did at this point.

Joe Burrow Was on a Bye Week

Joe Burrow and LSU were idle in Week 5, but will return to action in Week 6 against Utah State. The Tigers are 4-0 on the season and proving to have one of the best offenses in the nation. Burrow ranks second in the country with a 225.6 pass efficiency rating.

Given how well both Burrow and Tagovailoa have performed this season, I really do think the SEC will come down to the showdown between Alabama and LSU in November. Burrow has the chance to  win over Heisman voters and potentially earn LSU a playoff berth with a big performance.

Tagovailoa and Alabama will look to slow the LSU hype train and solidify themselves as the best teams in the nation. No matter what happens at Bryant-Denny Stadium, will either quarterback be able to compete with Hurts at the end of the year?

Heisman Analysis After Week 5

Tagovailoa is going to make this race competitive all season, but it’s impossible to get past what Hurts is doing in Oklahoma. He’s putting up monstrous numbers for the Sooners and showing no signs of slowing down. 

Justin Fields is also proving he belongs in the conversation and has good value with +750 odds.

Joe Burrow is out of the spotlight this week due to LSU’s bye week, but his big game against Alabama is on the horizon.

Tagovailoa strengthened his case in Week 5, but when you looks at Hurts’ stats through four games and Oklahoma’s remaining schedule, the Heisman is simply his to lose. 

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