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NFL quarterback battle odds updated after conclusion of OTAs

profilephotocropby:Suzanne Halliburton07/02/24


USA Today Network

You can get giddy at the thought. When NFL teams begin training camps later this month, there will be some huge quarterback competitions. What’s more fun?

It’s what happens when a record-tying six quarterbacks go in the first round of the NFL Draft. And toss in other high-profile QBs (we’re talking about you, Kirk Cousins) swapping teams. There will be competition from coast to coast.

Our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook picked the seven best competitive quarterback competitions. Then they established odds on who will emerge as the starter for week one. Keep in mind, the odds reflect anything that happened during OTAs and minicamp. However, they can’t predict future injuries that can impact who might start.

Denver Broncos: Zach Wilson (+450), Jarrett Stidham (+650), Bo Nix (-400)

USA Today Network

Broncos coach Sean Payton gave all three of his quarterbacks time with the first team offense during OTAs and minicamp. In fact, sometimes he’d give each quarterback an entire day as QB1.

Nix, the former Oregon star, was the 12th pick of the first round. His odds improved from -400 to -300 since Draft Kings published its original lines back in early May. Stidham is the lone holdover from Payton’s first year in Denver. The Broncos traded for Wilson, the former No. 2 pick in the draft who fell out of favor with the Jets.

Raiders: Gardner Minshew (-200), Aidan O’Connell (+150)

Minshew is the true NFL journeyman. The Raiders are his fourth NFL team. Oddsmakers like his chances to earn the starting job. His odds before OTAs were -400. Now, they’re -200. And why not. Minshew stepped in for an injured Anthony Richardson last season and nearly led the Colts to the divisional title.

You probably can’t discount O’Connell. He started 10 games as a rookie in Vegas, leading the Raiders to a 5-5 record. His odds tightened, too, going from +270 to +150.

Vikings: J.J. McCarthy (+220), Sam Darnold (-300)

Because the Vikings lost Kirk Cousins in free agency, they were desperate for a quarterback. They signed Darnold, who had been the backup to Brock Purdy at San Francisco. And they used the 10th pick of the draft to select Michigan’s McCarthy.

Darnold is the definite favorite to start week one. He was at -160 to start OTAs and the odds are now -300. The former No. 3 pick in the NFL Draft definitely has the experience having played for the Jets, Panthers and 49ers. McCarthy probably needs more time to live up to his draft status.

New England Patriots: Jacoby Brissett (-260), Drake Maye (+200)

It’s interesting. Two quarterbacks — Caleb Williams and Jayden Daniels — went ahead of Maye in April’s draft. But the No.’s 1 and 2 picks are favorites to win the starting jobs. Maye, the No. 3 pick, isn’t.

Maybe it’s because Brissett, who is on his second stint with the Patriots, has a ton of experience. After all, he’s started 48 games in his career. His last full season as a starter was 2022, when he was with the Browns. Meanwhile, Maye still needs to adapt his game to the NFL. It sounds like he has a cushion.

New York Giants: Daniel Jones (-425), Drew Lock (+275)

Basically, if Daniel Jones regains his health, he probably won’t have any problems holding off Lock. But that still is a big if because Jones could be called injury-prone. He had neck and knee injuries last season. Jones missed 11 games in 2023. And in 2021, he also spent a chunk of the season on IR with neck issues.

The Giants didn’t pursue a quarterback in the draft. But they did sign Lock, a one-time second-rounder, from the Seahawks. Lock is a capable backup who can do spot starts. But is he a full-time kind of guy?

Pittsburgh Steelers: Justin Fields (+450), Russell Wilson (-750)

The Steelers quarterbacks will be closely watched during training camp. That’s because Pittsburgh revamped the position, taking two quarterbacks who needed a change of scenery.

Wilson seems to have solidified his claim to No. 1 with good performances at OTAs and minicamps. But Fields remains intriguing, especially as a change-of-pace player in Arthur Smith’s new offense.

Seattle Seahawks: Sam Howell (+450), Geno Smith (-700)

Smith revived his career when the Seahawks traded Wilson to the Broncos in 2022. He doesn’t appear to be in any danger of losing his starting job, but with a new coaching staff, who knows?

Meanwhile, the Seahawks traded for Howell as the Commanders went all in on Jayden Daniels. Howell started all 17 games for Washington last season, compiling a 4-13 record.

You can see the full odds from DraftKings here. And for comparison’s sake, here are the odds from early May. To catch up on NFL coverage from, click it here. Remember, training camps open later this month and all these quarterbacks are back in competition for the top of the depth chart.