Pittsburgh Steelers: Mitch Trubisky vs. Kenny Pickett
All indicators from the Steelers training camp suggest that Mitch Trubisky prefers to start as a quarterback. As of now, Trubisky has only worked with the first team offense, while QBs Kenny Pickett and Mason Rudolph have spent most of the week sharing reps with Pittsburgh’s second and third team offensive squads.
Rudolph shared the first-team replays with Trubisky later in the week and even outperformed the favorite pick in some cases. Rudolph was the more consistent of the two, while Mitch nearly threw three interceptions.
A direct comparison to Pickett was difficult as he works almost exclusively with the third team. Still. Pickett seemed composed and consistent.
So why isn’t Rudolph listed as a potential Week 1 starter on most NFL odds boards? Speculation suggests he could serve as a benchmark for Trubisky and allow for a consistent comp when splitting reps with Pickett.
NFL opportunities currently favor Trubisky taking the QB1 title, but Pickett is well within reach. Don’t be surprised to see this strange sudden change when Kenny is called to work with the first team squad, possibly a strong case for taking the position.
Steelers start QB in week 1
- Mitchell Trubisky -250
- Kenny Pickett +170
Seattle Seahawks: Geno Smith vs. Drew Lock
Oddsmakers say Russell Wilson’s departure from Seattle has created the most contentious quarterback battle in the league, with Geno Smith and Drew Lock vying for the starting position.
Geno Smith is currently favored to take over with the 31-year-old journeyman getting the most reps in the camp. Smith joined the team in 2019, which gave him an advantage over Lock, who made his way to Seattle through the Wilson trade.
The team is still gagged on their preferred option at this point, with the Seahawks apparently keeping all things in-house. Offensive Coordinator Shane Waldron only answered “Denver” when asked about possible deadlines to name a starter, in reference to their Week 1 battle against the Broncos.
Waldron noted that Lock had acclimated well to the new offense, and while it looks like the team will give Lock a fair shot at earning the position, Smith seems to have a little nod about the new guy in town.
The planning gods were kind enough to pit Russell Wilson against his former team in Week 1, giving fans an immediate chance to compare Seattle’s new QB to “Mr. Unlimited”.
Seahawks start QB in Week 1
- Geno Smith -175
- Drew Lock +135
Atlanta Falcons: Marcus Mariota vs. Desmond Ridder
After failing to lure Deshaun Watson, the Falcons brought in former Titan starter Marcus Mariota to take over below center. Mariota is a long-time favorite in securing the QB1 roster, a position that has remained vacant after the team traded Matt Ryan to the Colts during the off-season.
Before being named Head Coach of Falcons in 2021, Arthur Smith worked as the offensive coordinator of the Titans. His familiarity with Mariota’s skills only supports the argument that Marcus will be the signal summoner in Week 1.
Still, oddsmakers haven’t completely written off rookie Desmond Ridder, with the third round pick from Cincinnati currently listed at +550 to get the start of Week 1.
Mariota gained valuable NFL experience during his time with the Titans, but his move to the Raiders made him a backup to Derek Carr for two seasons. Entering this season, it’s now been over two years since Mariota last started an NFL game.
The Falcons clearly intend to develop Ridder into their franchise quarterback, and the team has already indicated that both options will see great success in the preseason.
Given that next year’s draft class has the potential to feature a promising QB class, the Falcons will want to test Knight early to know if he should be factored into their long-term plans or the team should stop with ace.
Should Mariota show signs of rust or if his durability issues appear to be significant, the choice to play against Ridder is in the best short and long term best interests of the team.
Falcons start QB in week 1
- Marcus Mariota -1200
- Desmond Knight +550
NFL Quarterback Battle Bets via BetOnline