Tua Tagovailoa Out for the Season: How Will Alabama’s Odds Change?


Matt Bush-USA Today Sports. Pictured: Tua Tagovailoa.

Nov 19, 2019, 11:25 PM EST

Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa is reportedly out for the season after sustaining a dislocated hip in the Crimson Tide’s 38-7 win over Mississippi State on Saturday.

With their star player sidelined and only two games remaining in the regular season, how will Alabama’s playoff chances and betting odds change?

The Tua Drop-Off

The Crimson Tide offense may have historically great skill position talent, but the drop-off from Tagovailoa to back-up QB Mac Jones is significant. There’s no Jalen Hurts to bail the Tide out now.

How significant? The Action Network’s Collin Wilson, the gatekeeper of our college football power ratingsdowngraded Alabama 5.5 points after news of Tua’s injury dropped. Under our current projections, Wilson expects Alabama to be around a 2-point favorite against Auburn on Nov. 30. Entering the week, we would’ve made the Alabama-Auburn spread Bama -7.5.

What Do We Know About Mac Jones?

The drop-off when a quarterback gets hurt has as much to do with the backup as anything, whether you’re talking about point spreads or just overall outlook.

The drop-off to Hurts — if he still played for Alabama — might be miniscule.

But to Jones, a 3-star pro-style quarterback in the Class of 2017, the drop could be steep. The backup filled in well for Tagovailoa on Saturday, finishing 7-for-11 for 94 yards, but he entered the game after Alabama had a 35-7 lead. In his one start of the season, Jones finished 18-for-22 with 235 yards and three touchdowns against hapless Arkansas.

How Are Alabama’s Playoff Odds Affected?

Entering the week, the New Jersey sportsbook PointsBet set the odds of Alabama making the College Football Playoff at +250 odds, which is equivalent to a 28.6% chance.

With one loss and Tagovailoa out for the season, the Tide’s chances of a playoff berth will sink dramatically. It’s unlikely the College Football Playoff committee will choose a one-loss, non-SEC-champ Alabama without its star quarterback over other options such as Oklahoma, the Pac-12 champion or Georgia.

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