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LSU’s Joe Burrow, Ravens’ Lamar Jackson liabilities for sportsbooks

Updated November 14, 2019 - 10:02 pm

Perhaps the most impressive numbers shared by Heisman Trophy favorite Joe Burrow and NFL MVP candidate Lamar Jackson are 200-1.

Those were the odds earlier this year at the Westgate sportsbook on each quarterback to win his sport’s highest individual honor.

One Westgate bettor placed a $150 wager to win $30,000 on Burrow to win the Heisman, and two others placed $100 wagers to win $20,000 each. After Burrow led top-ranked Louisiana State (9-0) to a 46-41 upset at Alabama on Saturday, he initially soared to the minus 1,000 favorite at the Westgate and on Thursday was moved to minus 1,500.

“That’s basically our way of trying not to write any more money on Burrow,” Westgate sportsbook director John Murray said. “The liability on Burrow is pretty ugly right now. It’s a loss of nearly six figures for us.”

Circa Sports offers yes-no propositions on players to win the Heisman. After taking a big bet before the Alabama game on Burrow not to win the Heisman, ‘yes’ was plus 150. But after he threw for 393 yards and three touchdowns against the Crimson Tide, ‘yes’ is the minus 600 favorite and ‘no’ the plus 410 underdog.

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields is the 7-1 second choice at the Westgate to win the Heisman. and Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts is the 8-1 third choice.

Tua soars to 100-1

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s Heisman odds skyrocketed to 100-1 at the Westgate on Thursday, as he remains a game-time decision to play Saturday at Mississippi State.

That probably won’t matter if Burrow, who leads the nation in completion percentage (78.9) and is second in passing yards (3,198) and touchdown passes (33), leads LSU to wins in its final three games against Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas A&M.

“It’s hard to believe that anyone else can win unless Burrow gets injured,” Murray said. “We’re certainly not hoping for that, but I don’t see any way another player can win the Heisman Trophy right now.”

$55 to win $11K

The NFL MVP race remains relatively wide open with seven weeks left in the regular season. Russell Wilson is the 2-1 favorite and Jackson the 5-2 second choice at the Westgate, followed by Deshaun Watson (6-1) and Aaron Rodgers (7-1). Patrick Mahomes, Christian McCaffrey and Dak Prescott are each at 12-1.

One Westgate bettor placed a $55 wager to win $11,000 on Jackson to win the MVP at 200-1 odds, and two gamblers placed $50 bets to win $10,000 each. Two other bettors placed $200 wagers to win $20,000 on Jackson at 100-1.

“Of people who can realistically win, he’s definitely our worst option,” Murray said. “We lose mid-five figures on Lamar Jackson. It’s not as bad as Burrow.”

Wilson has an NFL-leading 23 TD passes and two interceptions and has rushed for 256 yards and three TDs while guiding the Seahawks to an 8-2 record.

Jackson has 15 TD passes and five interceptions and is 11th in the league in rushing with 702 yards and six TDs while leading the Ravens to a 7-2 record.

“Wilson is in the best position right now. He’s kind of carrying that team,” Murray said. “Seattle’s defense hasn’t been that good, and Wilson doesn’t have playmakers. It’s just him pretty much.”

Other MVP contenders

Jackson’s Ravens will square off against Watson’s Texans on Sunday. Watson is the 20-1 fifth choice for NFL MVP at Circa, which has Wilson and Jackson as the 3-2 co-favorites, followed by Rodgers (11-1) and Mahomes (12-1).

“To me, there’s two guys that are clearly the favorites right now in Russell Wilson and Lamar Jackson,” Circa sportsbook manager Chris Bennett said. “If the Texans beat the Ravens this week and Watson has a good game, I think we’ll change his odds dramatically. He’s kind of like Mahomes. They’re on good teams, but they each have a handful of losses.”

Circa took a “meaningful amount” on Jackson at 125-1, but would do significantly worse if Dalvin Cook earned MVP honors.

The Vikings running back is at 25-1 at Circa and the Westgate, but Circa took action on him at 400-1 odds.

Murray wouldn’t count out Rodgers, who has 17 TD passes and two picks and has led the Packers to an 8-2 record.

“If the Packers finish with the best record in the NFC, it’s not impossible,” Murray said. “I do think he can win the MVP.”

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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