Updated Odds for Week 1 NFL QB Battles: Giants, Dolphins, and Redskins
With NFL training camps underway, speculations over who will start at QB for Week 1 with the New York Giants, Miami Dolphins, and Washington Redskins is heating up like the summer temps. NFL betting sites have updated their odds over these battles based on the recent developments and camp news. Let’s check out these hotly-contested QB competitions to see if there’s any money to be made off the NFL prop bets provided by BetOnline.
Who Wins the Big Apple’s QB Battle: Manning or Jones?
At 38 years old, Eli Manning has been with the New York Giants for 15 seasons. As a rookie, he eventually took the starting spot from Kurt Warner and has held that position since. However, Manning’s numbers have declined over the years, and the Giants felt the need to draft his potential heir. So, they took Daniel Jones in the first round of this year’s NFL Draft.
Although there’s a young, talented QB looking to rip Eli’s spot from the veteran’s grip, Manning doesn’t look fazed by it. With all of preseason still left to complete, anything can happen. For now, let’s examine who we think will win this QB battle and start Week 1 of the regular season.
Giants Starting QB in Week 1 of 2019 Season
- Eli Manning (-1000)
- Daniel Jones (+500)
On the surface, Daniel Jones at 5-1 odds seems appealing based on what Eli did last year. Manning was sacked more times in 2018 than ever before in his career. He also only threw 21 touchdowns, which was the third lowest of his career. Manning’s odds offer no value, but Jones’ NFL betting odds could be appealing to those extreme risk takers. However, before placing a wager, check out the following analysis.
A Look at the Current Situation
In 2017, the Giants drafted Davis Webb in the third round, and critics believed he could potentially replace Eli one day. Well, that didn’t happen. Then, in 2018, New York took Kyle Lauletta in the fourth round with the same mindset. Like with Webb, that didn’t happen either. In this year’s draft, the Giants swung for the fences and took Daniel Jones in the first round with the hopes that he can become the team’s franchise QB. Many people wondered how Eli felt after Jones was drafted. According to Giants coach Pat Shurmur, Manning didn’t really have a response.
Through OTA’s and the early part of training camp, Eli has looked rejuvenated. Could a young replacement be the reason why?
Manning has actually impressed most onlookers more than Jones has, which is something that many critics and fans didn’t think would happen. It should be noted that Manning’s arm strength looks better than it has over the last several years. That’s largely attributed to his training with Al Leiter and a baseball trainer. These baseball exercises have made Eli’s arm look like he’s 28 again.
Coach Shurmer noted Manning’s improved arm strength and poise in this system. Manning himself stated that he feels stronger and better than before:
“I feel better, I feel stronger, I feel a bit stronger in a lot of the lifts that we’re doing. I had a good offseason, and right now, once you get to the season, you’re not trying to get stronger at this point, you’re just trying to keep your strength.”
As for Jones, members of the media have stated that the rookie QB is going through some growing pains. Additionally, the Giants’ brass have made it clear that they won’t rush Jones into the starting position.
Of all three NFL futures bets, this one appears to be the easiest one to select. Pick Eli Manning to start Week 1 and keep his spot for as long as the Giants still have hope in the 2019 season.
Who Starts for Miami in Week 1: Fitzpatrick or Rosen?
It seems that no matter what spin the Dolphins put on the 2019 season, everything comes back to their QB battle. Miami overhauled their coaching staff, front office, and many key players from last year. Most notably, the Miami Dolphins traded their former starting QB Ryan Tannehill and a sixth-round pick to the Tennessee Titans for a 2019 seventh-round pick and a 2020 fourth-round pick. It was a salary dump and a clear sign that the franchise was rebooting. But who will they hand the keys of the offense over to next?
Dolphins Starting QB in Week 1 of 2019 Season
- Ryan Fitzpatrick (-250)
- Josh Rosen (+170)
This is a close battle according to NFL betting sites. Fitzpatrick is the favorite, with Rosen as the underdog. There’s decent value with Rosen, but this is battle will need time to sort itself out.
Can Rosen Take the Reigns From Fitzpatrick?
Ryan Fitzpatrick signed on with Tampa Bay in 2017 to be the backup QB to Jameis Winston. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Fitzpatrick actually started 10 games over the last two seasons and played in 14 total games. He actually put up decent numbers and lived up to his moniker of “Fitzmagic.”
Following the 2018 season, the Miami Dolphins signed Fitzpatrick to a two-year deal once free agency began. Miami knew they needed to upgrade their QB position. Whether that came via free agency or the NFL Draft, Miami believed that Tannehill was no longer the answer.
For most of the offseason, Miami was linked to possibly taking a QB in the first round of the NFL Draft. However, that was eventually proven to be untrue as Miami went in a different direction. One reason for that was because they had a capable QB in Fitzpatrick. Another reason was because Miami was interested in trading for Josh Rosen who was available after the Arizona Cardinals drafted Kyler Murray first overall in the NFL Draft.
Miami gave up very little to get Rosen, as it was a draft day steal. Rosen was taken 10th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft and still has plenty of potential to win this starting position before Week 1. However, Dolphins’ first year head coach Brian Flores says that Ryan Fitzpatrick is in the lead for the starting spot, as reported by ESPN:
“It’s pretty clear to me that Ryan Fitzpatrick is leading the way. He’s done that in a lot of areas, from leadership to production on the field to the meeting rooms to the walk-throughs. This is an ongoing competition, but right now, he’s leading the way.”
Fitzpatrick has looked the part of a starting QB according to coaches, teammates, and the media. Despite this praise, Fitzpatrick is not taking anything for granted. As for Rosen, he’s handling the competition like a seasoned veteran:
“I’m going to be proud of myself (if I win the battle). If I don’t, I know I’ve got a really good guy to learn from.”
If Rosen can get the time to develop, then he certainly has the potential to be at least as good as Fitzpatrick. However, it remains unclear as to how committed Miami will be to Rosen in the future. They could easily draft a QB in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft and walk away from Rosen like the Cardinals did.
As for now, the pick is clearly Fitzmagic and his magical beard.
Who Starts in the Nation’s Capital: Keenum, McCoy, or Haskins?
Of the three available QB competitions to wager on through BetOnline, this one is the hardest. Additionally, it’s also going to be the most fun to watch during the preseason. Washington has three quarterbacks battling it out for the starting spot. Case Keenum, who was acquired in a trade this March, and the highly touted rookie Dwayne Haskins joins the returning Colt McCoy for this battle. Last year’s starter Alex Smith will miss the entire season due to a gruesome leg injury he suffered in 2018.
Redskins Starting QB in Week 1 of 2019 Season
- Case Keenum (+100)
- Colt McCoy (+200)
- Dwayne Haskins (+250)
All three of these betting options offer value. Even the favorite Case Keenum still nets you a positive return on your money. McCoy might be the sneaky play here, but Haskins has the most potential for starting and the highest return on investment.
Three QBs, but Only One Starting Spot
This three-headed monster will most likely head late into the preseason before being “officially” settled. With that said, there are some factors at play that could contribute to the decision on who starts in Week 1.
The latest buzz heading into the preseason is that this year is going to be a make-or-break season for head coach Jay Gruden. If he doesn’t make the playoffs, then I believe Gruden will get fired. With that in mind, how can Gruden roll out rookie QB Dwayne Haskins as the starter for Week 1 if his job is on the line?
Other than injuries, the only way Haskins starts the season opener is if he seriously outplays veterans Case Keenum and Colt McCoy. In all honesty, I don’t think that McCoy is really a threat to win the starting position. If Washington was confident in McCoy as their starter, then they wouldn’t have made a big move to get Keenum in free agency or draft Haskins in the first round.
In my opinion, this battle comes down to Keenum and Haskins. Right now, most pundits believe that Keenum will win the starting job. Former GM and current NFL analyst Charley Casserly believes in this as well. However, he also states that Keenum will most likely lose the starting spot during the season with Haskins taking over:
“Keenum will eventually, I think, play himself out of the job because of turnovers. But my feeling is Keenum would start the opener. I think they fully expect Haskins to play this year, but I’d think you’d have to see where he is.”
As of this writing, Haskins has impressed more than he has disappointed. Nevertheless, I believe the money that Keenum is owed this year, and consistent play in the preseason, will get Case a starting job with his third team in as many seasons.