Baker Mayfield vs. Sam Darnold Win Total Odds, Projections: How Many Victories Is Each Expected To Produce?
Pictures courtesy of Getty Images. Pictured: Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield.
One of the most compelling preseason quarterback competitions has calcified this week.
On Tuesday, Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer said the team’s starting quarterback has yet to be determined. The organization expects a dogfight between newly acquired Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold, whom Carolina traded for last summer.
Darnold entered the 2021 season as the starter before injuring his shoulder in November and losing the job to Cam Newton. Darnold returned as the team’s main man for the season’s final two games — to bad results.
Meanwhile, Mayfield had a mixed season in Cleveland, too, ranking among the league’s worst starting QBs amid an 8-9 season after battling through injury.
These are two once-highly touted quarterbacks who haven’t quite lived up to expectations. They have chips on their shoulders and are fighting each other for their careers.
So, how does the competition shape up? The Action Network’s director of predictive analytics Sean Koerner ran the numbers to determine which quarterback is expected to be more valuable for the upcoming season.
And the result? In a nutshell: Baker Mayfield.
Mayfield is expected to generate about 6.62 wins this season compared to Darnold’s 5.52, according to Koerner.
Mayfield is most likely to win six, seven or five games — in that order — according to the algorithm. There’s a 60% chance the Panthers win five to seven games under a Mayfield regime, said Koerner.
Baker Mayfield Expected Win Total Percentage
Darnold is projected to win about one fewer game than Mayfield is.
The former No. 3 overall pick from USC’s most likely result is to win five games. He has a 21% chance to do so, according to our metrics.
Like Mayfield, his most likely outcomes are to finish with between five to seven wins. Darnold’s odds to win within that range are 65%.
Sam Darnold Expected Win Total Percentage
The disparity between the two quarterbacks is also reflected by the Panthers’ Week 1 odds.
Ironically, Carolina faces off against Cleveland. The Browns had been 2.5-point favorites to win their opener with Darnold at the Panthers’ helm.
With Mayfield now in tow, Koerner pits Cleveland as just one-point favorites.
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