Trubisky favored over Pickett to start in Week 1

BetOnline has Mitch Trubisky listed as the favorite over Kenny Pickett to start at QB for Pittsburgh in Week 1.

The 2022 NFL Draft is a distant memory at this point, which means the regular season is rapidly approaching.

Several teams still have decisions to make regarding their starting quarterbacks, though. Offshore sportsbook BetOnline released odds for several teams that are expected to have quarterback competitions heading into the season.

The Pittsburgh job is viewed as the closest race in the eyes of oddsmakers following Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement. The Steelers used their first-round pick to select Pitt’s Kenny Pickett, but he might not be rushed onto the field right away.

Free-agent addition Mitchell Trubisky finished his time with Chicago with a winning record, so he could provide stability before Pickett takes over. BetOnline opened Trubisky as the -140 favorite to start the opening game of the season, while Pickett was listed at +100. There has been some slight movement since then, with Trubisky now priced at -175/+135 as of June 21.

“Camp and preseason games are one thing, but Trubisky has NFL game experience,” Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote. “I’m not saying Pickett sits for long, but he’d have to blow their doors off to beat out Trubisky to start the season opener.”

The Pittsburgh prop is the only one out of the four props that has seen movement since they opened at BetOnline last week. There is likely still value on Trubisky at -175, especially considering what a beat writer close to the team believes.

Another team moving on from a veteran is Seattle following the departure of Russell Wilson. The Seahawks have not made any big moves, leaving them with either Geno Smith or Drew Lock as the Week 1 starter. Offensive coordinator Shane Waldron told KJR Radio that Smith has a “head start” over Lock after getting some valuable reps last season.

The betting market agrees with that assessment, pricing Smith at -200 and Lock at +150. Smith threw for five touchdowns, one interception and a 103.0 rating during a three-game stretch when Wilson was sidelined last year. He heads into the summer as the projected starter based on his familiarity with the team.

There are also going to be quarterback competitions in Carolina and Atlanta, but neither one of those races is expected to be as close. The Panthers are likely to roll with Sam Darnold, who finished with nine touchdowns, 13 interceptions and a 71.9 passer rating in 11 starts last year.

Darnold is a heavy -400 favorite to be the Week 1 starter, although rookie signal caller Matt Corral (+250) could take over at some point. The Panthers replaced offensive coordinator Joe Brady with veteran coach Ben McAdoo.

Meanwhile, Atlanta is moving on from the Matt Ryan era after the veteran was traded to Indianapolis this offseason. The Falcons will be holding a competition between free-agent Marcus Mariota and third-round rookie Desmond Ridder.

BetOnline does not expect this to be a close race, pricing Mariota as a -550 favorite. The second overall pick in the 2015 draft has started 61 games in his career, giving him an edge over the rookie heading into the season. Ridder (+325), who led Cincinnati to a College Football Playoff berth in 2021, might take over at some point in the year.

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