Heisman Watch 2019: Odds for Top Race Candidates Before Championship Games

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistDecember 7, 2019

BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA - NOVEMBER 30: Joe Burrow #9 of the LSU Tigers warms up prior to a game against the Texas A&M Aggies at Tiger Stadium on November 30, 2019 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow has been the heavy Heisman Trophy favorite for just under a month.

When voters turn in their ballots after Saturday's conference championship games, the senior is expected to top the majority of them. 

The Heisman debate going into Saturday surrounds the order of players beneath Burrow in the voting process. 

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields and Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts are the two likeliest finalists alongside Burrow.

                   

Heisman Trophy Favorites

Odds via OddsChecker

1. Joe Burrow, QB, LSU (-2000; Bet $2,000 to win $100) 

The best time to place money on Burrow was before the Alabama game. 

Since November 9, the senior transfer from Ohio State has been the overwhelming favorite for the award. 

In the 46-41 victory, he went 31-for-39 with 393 passing yards and a trio of scoring throws. 

Burrow eclipsed 300 passing yards in his last six contests and has 11 touchdowns in his last three outings. 

If he shines Saturday versus Georgia, he could turn in his most impressive performance to date since the Bulldogs boast a better defense than any of LSU's previous opponents. 

The SEC East champion ranks second behind Clemson in points allowed at 10.4 points per game

Even if he struggles in Atlanta, Burrow has enough wiggle room between himself and the other candidates to garner a majority of first-place votes. 

He has four wins over Top 10 teams, and in three of those clashes, he threw for at least three touchdowns. 

If he wins, Burrow would be the second Heisman winner to come out of LSU. Billy Cannon is the only one to do so in 1959.

                  

2. Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State (+1200; bet $100 to win $1,200) 

On Saturday, Fields faces a Wisconsin team he earned 167 passing yards and two scores against October 26. 

Since that win, the sophomore has 995 passing yards and 13 touchdowns, with one of his two 300-yard outings coming against Michigan. 

Fields' increased production against ranked foes at the back end of Ohio State's schedule has pushed him ahead of Hurts on the odds chart. 

Even if he delivers a perfect performance Saturday, the best the Georgia transfer can finish is second. 

However, it would set a good foundation for next season's Heisman campaign that may be dominated by Clemson's Trevor Lawrence. 

The only problem facing Fields this year is splitting votes with his teammates, as J.K. Dobbins and Chase Young are also worthy of invitations to New York. 

After Saturday's triumph over Michigan, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day claimed all three players should be finalists, per The Athletic's Ari Wasserman.

The last time teammates finished in the top four was 2016, when Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield and Dede Westbrook were third and fourth, respectively. 

                     

3. Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma (+3000) 

If Hurts leads Oklahoma to the Big 12 championship, he will land in New York next weekend. 

The senior has been the top dual-threat quarterback of the three at the forefront of the Heisman discussion.

Hurts has 3,347 passing yards and 1,217 rushing yards, and in two of his last three games, he hit triple digits on the ground. 

On five occasions, the transfer from Alabama produced a pair of scores with the arm and legs, including the recent home triumphs over TCU and Iowa State. 

What could hold Hurts back from receiving second-place votes is the turnovers committed against Baylor November 16.

In Oklahoma's biggest game to date, Hurts lost two of his three fumbles and threw an interception, but he did rectify that by leading a second-half comeback. 

If he avoids giveaways and replicates his form in both aspects of the offense Saturday, Hurts should lock up a finalist nod.  

                 

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

Statistics obtained from ESPN.com

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