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Prop Bet Picks for the 2018 NFL – Which Quarterbacks Will Start More Games?

By Noah Davis
Published on May 23, 2018
Tyrod Taylor, Joe Flacco, Josh Allen, Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen

The 2018 NFL Draft brought a lot of hype with it. It didn’t waste much time, either, as the Cleveland Browns made the bold move of making Baker Mayfield the top pick in the draft.

Scouts have been mixed on Mayfield. He’s a talented passer that was productive at a high level at Oklahoma, but he’s also undersized and has had some character concerns.

While Mayfield had some red flags, the Browns had their pick of the litter, and he’s their guy. The question now is when exactly the Baker Mayfield era will begin in Ohio.

Some would speculate it’d come about immediately. It’s hard not to see why, as the Browns haven’t had a viable quarterback to get excited about in years, and the worst organization in the league is fresh off of a mind-numbing 0-16 campaign.

Bettors can get in on the action, too. With a slew of quarterback battle prop bets at BetOnline, you can potentially profit off of a rookie winning a starting gig and a veteran losing his.

Here’s a look at all of the position battles at BetOnline, along with odds and my picks for which passers will start more games in 2018.

All odds that are referenced in this article were taken from BetOnline on 5/21/2018. These odds may have changed since the time of this writing.

Baker Mayfield (-140) vs. Tyrod Taylor (+100)

Mayfield has the talent and situation to put him in under center for week one, but the Browns have two massive priorities going into the new year: develop Mayfield and actually win some football games.

It’s anyone’s guess how quickly Mayfield will develop, but the Browns know full well how difficult it can be to win games with a first-year passer leading the charge.

Tyrod Taylor is not an elite NFL passer, but he’s a dangerous dual threat and a pretty competent starter. Truth be told, the Buffalo Bills never fully backed him, so there’s an argument to be made that he may be a lot better than people think.

Taylor has some weapons around him in Cleveland, as Carlos Hyde, Josh Gordon, Corey Coleman, and Jarvis Landry load up a pretty underrated Browns offense.

I doubt the Browns surge to the playoffs, but year one will likely be one on the sidelines for Mayfield.

Head coach , and given the value here with Taylor, I don’t mind taking the risk of believing him.

PICKTyrod Taylor+100

Joe Flacco (-1000) vs. Lamar Jackson (+500)

A lot has been made about the selection of Lamar Jackson by the Ravens.

That’s probably because Joe Flacco hasn’t made the team better in recent years, and Baltimore went out of their way to trade back into round one to land their proposed future franchise quarterback. The reality here is that Flacco is a Super Bowl MVP passer, but that’s what the PAST tells us.

In the present, Flacco is a 33-year-old quarterback that has hit a wall over the last few years. The Ravens have suffered because of this.

Baltimore’s struggles may not be completely hinged to Flacco’s slow regression, but they ranked 29th in the passing game in 2017 and missed the playoffs for the third year in a row.

I still think the Ravens believe . It’s not like they’ve been awful, either.

Baltimore has at least been competitive (8-8 and 9-7) over the last two years, and if some additions to the passing game (and Jackson’s presence) can help Flacco up his game, all the better.

Long-term, Lamar Jackson is a guy the Ravens love and will eventually get behind.

If Flacco can’t show marked improvement, that could come late in 2018 or early in 2019. I don’t think it comes soon enough to get Jackson more starts than Flacco, however.

PICKJoe Flacco-1000

Josh Allen (-140) vs. A.J. McCarron (+100)

Buffalo is a very interesting case. They traded away Tyrod Taylor this offseason and promptly signed A.J. McCarron before trading up to land arguably the most talented passer in the 2018 NFL Draft in Josh Allen.

Obviously, the Bills could play the waiting game just like I feel Cleveland plans to. The problem is that they don’t have much to turn to in the meantime.

Taylor would have been a viable, competent quarterback to start the season, but now all they have is McCarron.

Considering it’s his first season with the team and (assuming he initially wins the job) his first year as a full-time starter, the Bills just don’t have much reason to show loyalty here.

Buffalo is probably embracing a drop-off and a full rebuild on offense. McCarron may be part of that initially, but if he falters, there’s little reason to delay Allen’s NFL arrival.

PICKJosh Allen-140

Sam Darnold (-175) vs. Josh McCown (+135)

This is probably the easiest call of the lot. Sam Darnold had the talent to be the top pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, and if the Browns were smart, he probably should have been.

The Jets lucked into him, and for a team with zero quarterback prospects since the days of (gulp) Mark Sanchez, this is a pretty big deal.

Nobody wants to see Christian Hackenberg see the field, either, so the only thing stopping Darnold from making a lot of first-year starts is Josh McCown staying healthy and/or playing really well.

If New York is actually winning games with a 38-year-old McCown not breaking down, then sure, Darnold may have to wait a bit. However, McCown has been glass as his career has progressed, and the 13 games he started a year ago feel like quite the reach.

The wrench here is Teddy Bridgewater, who is rehabbing his knee as he tries to get his career back on track. With four passers on the roster, he’s not even a lock to make the team.

If Bridgewater gets cut or traded, I think Darnold sees a lot of action in 2018.

Even if Bridgewater sticks around, it makes sense for Darnold to see the field quite a bit on a Jets team that probably won’t be anything more than average.

Should they divide up the starts between Darnold, McCown, and Bridgewater, health woes point to Darnold. Besides, you just need him to start more games than McCown. How many games Teddy starts is irrelevant.

PICKSam Darnold-175

Sam Bradford (+100) vs. Josh Rosen (-140)

Last, but not least, is a showdown in the desert between the oft-injured Sam Bradford and Josh Rosen.

I still have my own reservations as to whether or not the confident (cocky) Rosen will actually be any good, but I find it hard to believe he doesn’t start a ton of games in 2018.

Trusting Sam Bradford to not only stay healthy but also lead a pedestrian Arizona team to a bunch of wins is asking a lot.

Bradford just can’t stay healthy. He’s looked very good inside the pocket at times, but his knees gave out on him in 2017, and he lost his confidence. He ended up playing just two games, and given his track record with health, he is just impossible to get behind.

If Bradford can stay on the field, he has a chance to play well and to live up to his $15 million in guaranteed money.

The second he gets hurt, however, Rosen has a chance to impress. If he passes initial tests, the Cards would have little incentive to turn back to Bradford.

PICKJosh Rosen-140

Summary

Ultimately, this could be a really fun year for this rookie quarterback class. There is a lot of tantalizing talent to cheer on, and in this case, to bet on and hope the wagers convert.

It’s tough to peg exactly how much every first-year quarterback will play, but there are clear paths for most of them to see the field early on in 2018. Of this group, the two I’d shy away from are Mayfield and Jackson.

Jackson probably needs a Flacco injury to see more than a handful of starts as a rookie, while Hue Jackson is too afraid of losing to turn to his rookie too early.

Hopefully that helps you through the betting process. Either way, good luck with your wagers, and enjoy the 2018 NFL season!

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Prop Bet Picks for the 2018 NFL - Which Quarterbacks Will Start More Games?
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Prop Bet Picks for the 2018 NFL - Which Quarterbacks Will Start More Games?
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Breaking down the matchups and odds between the top rookie quarterbacks and their veteran counterparts. Betting on these prop bets can be profitable. I’ve offered some thoughts and picks to help you.
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