Tua Tagovailoa's 2018 Heisman Odds Tumble After Injury; Kyler Murray Rises

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistNovember 13, 2018

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (13) drops back to pass against Mississippi State during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Butch Dill/Associated Press

Tua Tagovailoa is still a significant favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, but signal-callers in his rearview mirror are closer than they appear. 

Tagovailoa is currently a -450 favorite (bet $450 to win $100) to win the Heisman and is followed by Kyler Murray at +500 and Will Grier at +700, per OddsShark. The Alabama quarterback's odds were -1000 coming into Saturday's win over Mississippi State but dropped significantly after he threw for 164 yards and a touchdown against an interception and suffered a knee injury in the 24-0 triumph.

Alabama plays The Citadel on Saturday, so there's a real possibility Tagovailoa will sit out a game as a precaution. It's unlikely he would play more than a half of football anyway, given the talent discrepancy between the teams. Jalen Hurts or Mac Jones could start in Tagovailoa's place.

Nick Saban has said he does not plan to bench Tagovailoa if healthy. 

"No. Why would we do that?" Saban told reporters. "I mean, to say this was not an important game or he doesn't need to play? I think we need to do a better job of the people playing around him, doing what they're supposed to do so he doesn't get hit. And he needs to do a better job of stepping up in the pocket and getting rid of the ball, which he had several opportunities to do.

"Some of these hits could be avoided by better execution, and I think that's what we're going to focus on, not trying to take a guy out of the game so he can't improve or do what he needs to do to get better."

Murray has been single-handedly keeping Oklahoma in the national title race at points this season with the defense scuffling. He's thrown for 3,038 yards and 32 touchdowns against five interceptions, while adding 640 yards and seven scores on the ground. 

Grier has thrown for 2,961 yards and 31 touchdowns against eight interceptions for West Virginia this season.

No other player has better than 20-1 odds.