NFL Week 1 starting QB odds: Jones, Lance making push for top spot

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With just over a month left until the NFL season begins, there are still a handful of quarterback competitions yet to be decided - including a couple that could result in a surprise starter come Week 1.

Here are the odds for every major quarterback competition and our best bets for each.

New Orleans Saints

Player to take 1st snap Yes No
Jameis Winston -140 +110

This is easily the most interesting quarterback competition in the NFL. Jameis Winston has been the prohibitive favorite for much of the summer, but his odds have been slashed as Taysom Hill earns more first-team reps for the Saints in camp.

When we broke down this competition two months ago, we liked Hill's chances as a clear underdog thanks to his past experiences running Sean Payton's offense and the coach's adulation for the 30-year-old. Since then, the two have split first-team reps, and both have shown moments worthy of the starting job.

It's clear that this job is yet to be decided, and Hill appears to have the inside track, however small. Until this competition is priced as a true coin flip, I'm fading Winston as the favorite.

Pick: No +110

New England Patriots

Player to take 1st snap Yes No
Mac Jones +200 -350

The Patriots have continued to declare Cam Newton as the team's starter, though it's always come with the caveat that things could change if Mac Jones outplays him in camp. That appears to be happening - the first-round pick has improved with increasing first-team reps, while Newton has struggled in his own chances.

Jones is a better fit in this offense, anyway, and with the way Newton played for much of last season, he'd have to show improvement to justify getting another crack at it. Bet on the better quarterback at a better price.

Pick: Yes +200

San Francisco 49ers

Player to take 1st snap Yes No
Trey Lance +225 -300

This is one of the few spots on the board where it might be worth taking a shot. Jimmy Garoppolo has run his course as the 49ers' starter after four injury-riddled seasons in San Francisco, including an uninspiring six-game run in 2020 when he had nearly as many interceptions (five) as touchdowns (seven).

Trey Lance, meanwhile, has dazzled in camp and will earn this job sooner or later. It's always been a matter of readiness, as he's the superior talent with a better feel for the game and is a better fit in Kyle Shanahan's offense. If he proves ready in the coming weeks, he could steal this job as early as Week 1.

Pick: Yes +225

Chicago Bears

Player to take 1st snap Yes No
Justin Fields +300 -450

The Bears have been adamant that Andy Dalton is the team's starting quarterback despite spending a premium pick on Justin Fields, much like they were about Mike Glennon after drafting Mitchell Tribisky at No. 2 in 2017. Glennon ended up starting the first four games of the season, and Dalton seems to be following the same trajectory.

The three-time Pro Bowler showed flashes in nine starts with the Cowboys last season and has played well enough in camp to earn the team's confidence as the declared starter, even with Fields knocking on the door. Betting +300 here is tempting, but given this front office's history with handling young quarterbacks, it's likely a losing ticket.

Pick: No -450

Washington Football Team

Player to take 1st snap Yes No
Ryan Fitzpatrick -900 +500

Is this really a competition? Yes, Ron Rivera says this is an open contest between Ryan Fitzpatrick and Taylor Heinicke, who showed enough in last year's playoff loss to the Buccaneers to earn his chance at the starting job.

He won't win it, though, after Washington wooed Fitzpatrick with $10 million for one year to be the team's starting quarterback. The ever-present threat of injuries makes it tough to lay such a short number on "yes," but betting no at this price isn't worth your time.

Pick: Pass

Denver Broncos

Player to take 1st snap Odds
Drew Lock +120
Teddy Bridgewater +120
Any other QB +300

Oddsmakers are pricing this competition as a true dead heat, but do the Broncos see it that way? Coach Vic Fangio has said as much in camp, though if this team plans to compete in 2021, it seems like Teddy Bridgewater would have the early edge after how he played with the Panthers in 2020.

Denver only spent a sixth-round pick to acquire Bridgewater, but it was hardly a vote of confidence for incumbent starter Drew Lock, who finished tied for the NFL lead in interceptions (15) and had the third-lowest QBR (48.8) of any quarterback with at least 10 starts.

"Any other QB" was a compelling play before Aaron Rodgers ended his standoff with the Packers' front office. With Rodgers out of the picture, it's hard to envision another quarterback moving the needle for the Broncos more than these two, and Bridgewater seems like the better bet.

Pick: Bridgewater +120

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NFL Week 1 starting QB odds: Jones, Lance making push for top spot
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