Much like pitchers in baseball and goalies in hockey, quarterback play can make or break a team. And if you happen to be betting on or against that team, QBs are at the core of your capping.
As NFL Week 1 approaches, there are a number of teams with unsettled situations under center. We look at the top sportsbooks worst quarterback situations entering the start of the season and how bettors should wager on those Week 1 odds:
We knew the Dolphins were going to be a mess, even before they traded for second-year quarterback Josh Rosen and added veteran gunslinger Ryan Fitzpatrick. Throughout camp and the preseason, the two jockeyed for the starting role and at least for now, Fitzpatrick is the No. 1 guy in South Beach.
Miami opens the 2019 schedule at home against the Baltimore Ravens, one of the NFL’s defensive heavyweights. Baltimore finished the 2018 season ranked fifth versus the pass, allowing an average of just 206.7 yards per game and tallied 43 sacks and 12 interceptions.
Fitzpatrick underwent a career resurgence in the first few weeks of the season in Tampa Bay last year, filling in for suspended QB Jameis Winston. While his yardage totals were impressive, “Fitz Magic” threw 12 interceptions to 17 touchdowns in his eight games for the Bucs. Books are currently listing the Dolphins as 5-point home underdogs with the total at 37.5 – the lowest Over/Under on the Week 1 board.
The Redskins quarterback questions started last season when Alex Smith went down with a broken leg. That left the team to add journeyman QB Case Keenum in the offseason and draft Ohio State passer Dwayne Haskins. Washington has struggled to find a replacement for Kirk Cousins, who left the team in free agency to join the Minnesota Vikings in 2018.
The QB race was neck and neck for most of the summer (with third QB Colt McCoy also making a push for the first-string spot), but head coach Jay Gruden recently announced that Keenum would be the No. 1 guy when Washington visits division rival Philadelphia in Week 1. Bookies are giving the Skins 9.5-points on the road with the Over/Under at 45.5.
The Eagles defense wasn’t great defending the pass last season, allowing 271.2 yards per game which ranked 30th in the NFL. Philly relies on the front seven to get pressure and rush opposing passers, finishing with 44 sacks but only 10 interceptions. The Eagles faced Keenum when he was with Minnesota in 2017, limiting him to 28 of 48 for 271 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in the NFC Championship Game.