Here’s who sportsbooks believe will win these NFL quarterback battles around the league

Written by on June 30, 2024

We are now through most of the long slog of the NFL offseason, and training camps are a mere few weeks away. Even though we are still technically in the ramp-up phase of the 2024 campaign, there’s a lot we already know, like who the most important players are on most of the league’s teams.

But there are some teams where we don’t yet know that. In fact, on some of them, we don’t yet know who will be the single-most important player on the team this season: the starting quarterback. There are several open (or potentially open) competitions this summer, and while we don’t yet know with 100% certainty who will win them, the folks out in Las Vegas believe they have a pretty good idea. 

DraftKings sportsbook has placed odds on the quarterback competitions in Denver, Vegas, Minnesota, New England, New York (Giants), Pittsburgh, and Seattle, and using Action Network’s implied betting odds calculator, we can also see the percentage chance that they give each player of taking their team’s first snap in Week 1. 

(Note: The percentages won’t add up to 100% because sports books like making money.) 

Denver Broncos

Team QB Odds Implied Odds
Broncos Bo Nix -400 80%
Broncos Zach Wilson +450 18%
Broncos Jarrett Stidham +650 13%

It’s unsurprising that the rookie is the favorite to start for Sean Payton’s team. They have much more invested in Nix than either Wilson or Stidham, and it’s not like either veteran can be counted on to be a steady hand in Payton’s second season. 

Las Vegas Raiders

Team QB Odds Implied Odds
Raiders Gardner Minshew -200 67%
Raiders Aidan O’Connell +150 40%

I feel like these odds should be reversed. The Raiders gave Minshew a free-agent deal, sure, but they didn’t pay him all that much; and unless he’s so far ahead of O’Connell in training camp that they have no choice but to start him, it seems like they should at least lean toward seeing what O’Connell has for another year so that they can make an educated decision on their long-term QB situation next offseason.

Minnesota Vikings

Team QB Odds Implied Odds
Vikings Sam Darnold -300 75%
Vikings J.J. McCarthy +220 31%

This one surprised me a bit. Darnold got a decent-sized contract this offseason, but the Vikes maneuvered their way up the board for McCarthy, and we have seen a pretty significant sample of Darnold in the NFL at this point and it’s not pretty. Minnesota does have a relatively early (Week 6) bye, though, and it plays tough defenses in San Francisco and the Jets in Weeks 2 and 5, so maybe there is an argument for letting McCarthy sit until Week 7, at which point he can return for a home game against the Lions defense.

New England Patriots

Team QB Odds Implied Odds
Patriots Jacoby Brissett -260 72%
Patriots Drake Maye +200 33%

These odds, on the other hand, seem way off. The Patriots have all but announced that Brissett will be their starter to begin the season. Maye will obviously take over at some point, whether this year or next; but Brissett is almost assuredly starting Week 1 barring an injury.

New York Giants

Team QB Odds Implied Odds
Giants Daniel Jones -425 81%
Giants Drew Lock +275 27%

There was some smoke around this potentially being an open competition when Lock first signed with the Giants, but he walked that back and declared himself Jones’ backup. Of course, the Giants then tried desperately to move up to land Maye in the draft, only to end up staying put and taking Malik Nabers. So unless Jones’ ACL recovery goes poorly, he still seems like a strong bet to start.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Team QB Odds Implied Odds
Steelers Russell Wilson -750 88%
Steelers Justin Fields +450 18%

The Steelers have also been pretty forthright about their expectation that Wilson will start under center. That seems unwise to me given that he is on a one-year deal and will turn 36 years old this season, and is therefore definitely not the team’s long-term answer.  But the Steelers love nothing more than ensuring that they don’t fall under .500 no matter what instead of shooting for upside, so Wilson probably will indeed start.

Seattle Seahawks

Team QB Odds Implied Odds
Seahawks Geno Smith -700 87%
Seahawks Sam Howell +450 18%

I’m somewhat confused as to why the Seahawks are even on this list. Smith took a step backward last season, but Howell has not shown starter-level ability. It makes sense for Seattle to see if Smith can bounce back, given the ceiling he’s shown.

The post Here’s who sportsbooks believe will win these NFL quarterback battles around the league first appeared on CBS Sports.

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