When would Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Philip Rivers find themselves on the bottom of a list ranking NFL quarterbacks? When we’re talking about NFL Preseason betting, of course!
One of the most important factors to consider when betting on the NFL preseason is the quarterback rotations. And while a lot of square or public bettors look at a team’s name on the board and instantly associate that team’s starting quarterback, the most important guys to handicap in the preseason can be the backups and even third-string QBs.
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Starting quarterbacks get precious little time on the field during the preseason. The general rule of thumb is that starters play the first series or two in the preseason opener, and then they may make it into the second quarter or to halftime in Game 2. Game 3 of the preseason, usually the “dress rehearsal” for the season opener, generally sees the starter play the entire first half and then maybe a series or two in the second half. Finally, Game 4 is a toss-up as to whether the starters will even take the field.
That all means that the backup quarterback will usually get the most snaps of any quarterback on the roster throughout the balance of the preseason. And in the first three games the odds are that the third- or even fourth-string signal callers will be on the field for “winning time” in the fourth quarter, when most spreads are won or lost.
Most bettors aren’t used to trying to handicap backup and third-string quarterbacks. And the rules are a little different for gauging how these guys will perform during the NFL Preseason as opposed to the regular season. Basically: just because a guy like Sage Rosenfels, Curtis Painter or Seneca Wallace might be a disaster as a team’s starter in the regular season that doesn’t mean that they can’t shred some third-string defenses and outmaneuver opposing defenders who will likely be driving delivery trucks within the next month or so.
Having a third-string quarterback with starting NFL experience is a huge advantage. Especially when that veteran – who knows they need to play well in order to keep a job; some teams only carry two quarterbacks with a third on the practice squad – is matched up against some rookie who is just getting a feel for the speed of the NFL.
The NFL makes teams produce a depth chart prior to each game in the preseason. (Thank you for the gambling help, NFL!) With the most recent depth charts just released this week, I was able to go through and rank each team based on how I think that their quarterback rotation stacks up for Week 1 of the preseason. I obviously gave special consideration to depth, with a secondary consideration given to teams that have a legit quarterback competition for either the starting or the backup gig.
Here are my NFL Preseason Week 1 betting rankings for each team’s quarterback rotations:
1. Atlanta – Matt Ryan, Chris Redman, John Parker Wilson, Dominique Davis
2. Buffalo – Ryan Fitzpatrick, Vince Young, Tyler Thigpen
3. Baltimore – Joe Flacco, Tyrod Taylor, Curtis Painter
4. Chicago – Jay Cutler, Jason Campbell, Josh McCown, Matt Blanchard
5. Pittsburgh – Ben Roehtlisberger, Byron Leftwich, Charlie Batch
6. New England – Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett
7. Cleveland – Brandon Weeden, Colt McCoy, Seneca Wallace
8. Carolina – Cam Newton, Derek Anderson, Jimmy Clausen
9. Houston – Matt Schaub, T.J. Yates, John Beck
10. St. Louis – Sam Bradford, A.J. Feeley, Kellen Clemens, Tom Brandstater
11. Seattle – Matt Flynn, Tarvaris Jackson, Russell Wilson
12. Minnesota – Christian Ponder, Joe Webb, Sage Rosenfels
13. Dallas – Tony Romo, Kyle Orton, Stephen McGee
14. Philadelphia – Mike Vick, Nick Foles, Mike Kafka
15. New York Jets – Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, Greg McElroy, Matt Simms
16. Tennessee Titans – Jake Locker, Matt Hasselbeck, Rusty Smith
17. Arizona – Kevin Kolb, John Skelton, Richard Bartell
18. Detroit – Matt Stafford, Shaun Hill, Kellen Moore
19. Miami – David Garrard, Matt Moore, Ryan Tannehill
20. New Orleans – Drew Brees, Chase Daniel, Luke McCown
21. Oakland – Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart, Terrelle Pryor
22. Cincinnati – Andy Dalton, Bruce Gradkowski, Zac Robinson, Tyler Hansen
23. New York Giants – Eli Manning, David Carr, Ryan Perrilloux
24. San Francisco – Alex Smith, Josh Johnson, Colin Kaepernick
25. Kansas City – Matt Cassel, Brady Quinn, Ricky Stanzi
26. Denver – Peyton Manning, Brock Osweiler, Caleb Hanie
27. Tampa Bay – Josh Freeman, Dan Orlovsky, Brett Ratliff
28. Green Bay – Aaron Rodgers, Graham Harrell, B.J. Coleman
29. San Diego – Philip Rivers, Kevin O’Connell, Jarrett Lee
30. Washington – Robert Griffin III, Rex Grossman, Kirk Cousins
31. Jacksonville – Blaine Gabbert, Chad Henne, Jordan Palmer, Nathan Enderle
32. Indianapolis – Andrew Luck, Drew Stanton, Chandler Harnish
Robert Ferringo is a professional handicapper and has posted back-to-back profitable seasons (college and pro). Robert has turned a profit in three of four football seasons and over the last nine months his clients have earned nearly $10,000 in profit with his football selections. He is looking forward to building on his stellar football handicapping resume again this fall and you can check him out here. Also, you can also get $60 worth of free Robert Ferringo member picks (no salesman, no credit card, no obligation!) by clicking here for more info.