Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson.
- Quarterbacks are the most valuable players towards the point spread in the NFL and all of sports betting in general.
- We spoke with William Bernanke of CG Technology in Las Vegas to determine how valuable all 32 NFL starting quarterbacks are towards the point spread.
The NFL season is finally here! In other words, the dog days of summer are over and prime betting season has begun.
Something that even the most casual of football fans realize is that the quarterback is a pretty important guy. If your QB stinks, you’re probably not going to have a good team.
Bettors know that quarterbacks are of vital importance, too. In fact, elite quarterbacks are the most valuable players in the betting world. To find out just how many points each starting QB is worth, I spoke with William Bernanke — Risk Analyst at Las Vegas’s CG Technology — who has helped me with similar projects in the past.
Things to keep in mind:
- These values are not set in stone. They could vary depending on the matchup and whether or not the spread would move through a key number or not.
- Other oddsmakers may have varying opinions.
- The QB’s backup is quite important. For example, Carson Wentz is worth much more this year with Josh McCown backing him up than he was last year with Nick Foles.
- Coaching staffs, play-calling tendencies and a team’s overall system also play a role.
Tier 1 (6+ Points)
- Career ATS Record: 88-66-4 (57.1%)
- Backup QB: Tim Boyle
- 2018 Tier: 1
Though the past couple of seasons have been ugly for Green Bay, I think I can say with certainty that the only people who say Aaron Rodgers is not among the league’s best QBs are looking for clicks. Rodgers is among the league’s best, and when it comes to gambling, there’s not one player in any sport who can move a spread more than he can.
The Packers do have some questions surrounding them this year, though. They have their first new full-time head coach since Rodgers took over as starter in 2008. Randall Cobb is out of town, marking the second straight season in which Rodgers has lost a trusted wideout. Heck, Rodgers himself is getting kind of old, set to turn 36 in December.
Oddsmakers expect the Packers to contend for the NFC North title along with the Bears and Vikings, but one thing is for sure — they are absolutely porked if Aaron Rodgers gets hurt.
- Career ATS Record: 10-6-1 (62.5%)
- Backup QB: Matt Moore
- 2018 Tier: 6
I would say Patrick Mahomes’ first full season was a success.
- 50 TD passes, 5097 yards, 113.8 QB rating
- NFL MVP, Offensive Player of the Year
- Division title, No. 1 seed in the AFC
Can’t get much better than that, can you? The Chiefs defense was quite porous last year, but Mahomes and his offense were able to outduel the competition week in and week out.
Though backup extraordinaire Matt Moore (not the one who works for us) has come out of retirement to join the Chiefs, the drop-off from Mahomes to any backup caliber QB would be immense.
- Career ATS Record: 61-45-6 (58.1%)
- Backup QB: Geno Smith
- 2018 Tier: 1
The Seahawks have had a lot of doubters over the past couple of seasons given the dissipation of the Legion of Boom. While they may not be a Super Bowl frontrunner like they used to be, one thing has remained a constant: Russell Wilson.
He hasn’t won an MVP like the other two Tier-1 play-callers, but he’s coming off perhaps the best passing season of his career. With a 9-5-2 record against the spread last year, Wilson boosts his career cover rate even closer to 60%. He’s one of just five quarterbacks we have on file dating back to 2003 who’s started more than 100 games and yielded a return on investment north of 10%. The other four are among the greatest of all time — Rodgers, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and uh … Andy Dalton.