Mac Jones or Cam Newton? Sportsbooks Place Odds on Patriots Quarterback Competition
Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images. Pictured: Cam Newton, Mac Jones
Bill Belichick insists Cam Newton will be the New England Patriots starting quarterback in Week 1. A former player apparently believes it will be Mac Jones. What do the sportsbooks think?
According to odds posted at DraftKings, the market is siding with Newton.
Jones to take the first regular season snap for the Patriots is +250 (28.57% implied odds). Jones not taking the first regular season snap is -350 (77.78% implied odds). Score one for Cam and Belichick, for now.
A $100 bet on Jones would net $250. It would take a $350 wager on 'no' to net $100.
Newton enters his second season with the Patriots after spending his first nine years with the Panthers. He started 15 games, going 7-8 in the process. The good? His 65.8 completion percentage was the second-best mark in his career. He also ran for 12 touchdowns, the most in one year since his rookie season.
The bad? He threw just eight touchdown passes, averaged 177 yards per game in the air and had his worst QBR of his career.
Enter Jones, the No. 15 overall pick in the NFL Draft.
A Heisman finalist and the QB of the best team in college football, Jones's draft stock rose all season. He's the first quarterback selected by New England in the first round since the team took Drew Bledsoe No. 1 overall in 1993. That's a vote of confidence in itself, but will Belichick hand over the starter's job this quickly?
The debate continues in Boston and was fueled by a tweet suggesting former Patriot Rob Ninkovich texted a radio show that Jones would be the starter. That's hardly definitive — was Ninkovich texting his opinion, what he heard from a fan outside of practice, or does he actually have intel before a preseason game has even been played? Remember, we're still waiting for that Aaron Rodgers trade to Denver that former player and now media member Mark Schlereth reported.
More likely, it's just August in sports talk radio. That doesn't mean Jones won't win the job, but bettors aren't running to DraftKings to bet on it. The line has stayed exactly the same since the tweet. If you're a Jones believer, there's still time to bet on it.