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Grading 1st-Year QBs
Editor's Note: Don't miss out on pro football selections from Zack Cimini on VegasInsider.com this season. Click to win!

Week 1 featured triumphant wins by first year starting quarterbacks. Veterans such as Ryan Fitzpatrick of the Jets, Nick Foles of the Rams, Tyrod Taylor of the Bills, and rookie Marcus Mariotta of the Titans were all victorious.

Oddly enough all were on teams that were underdogs to win week one except the Jets.

Yet there were also three other first-year starting quarterbacks that lost. Jameis Winston and his Buccaneers were destroyed, Kirk Cousins and the Redskins went down to Miami, and Brian Hoyer lost his starting gig with the Texans before the game was complete against the Chiefs.

Only Miami were favorites against the Redskins.

Oddsmakers have a difficult task in September pinpointing how much to adjust lines based on first year starting quarterbacks play.

Here is a quick snapshot of how I’d evaluate all seven teams based on talent and operating in the month of September.

1) Buffalo

The Bills with Tyrod Taylor seem a notch higher than in prior years at quarterback. This will be a tough task for oddsmakers to pinpoint offering higher value on the Bills. Defensively they’ve already shown the ability to be able to win on its strength alone as they defeated Green Bay at home last year. Still, Taylor is going to have to show the ability to deliver when a deficit is faced or adversity off of his own turnovers.

Verdict: Jury is still out on Taylor that ATS spots have to be of high value or pass until late-September

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2) New York Jets


Ryan Fitzpatrick has shown this tease before. He has had numerous stints throughout the NFL with the Rams, Bengals, Titans, Bills, Texans, and now Jets. At just 32 this is typically when you see a veteran quarterback re-rise his level of play for one last career contract. There’s no reason to suggest that Fitzpatrick can’t do what he is asked of with a Todd Bowles led defense and a strong running game with Chris Ivory.

Verdict: The Jets remain a strong ATS selection for September

3) St. Louis Rams

In week one’s win Nick Foles took some physical hits that have to remain in the back of minds of sports bettors. He has already had a tough time staying healthy dating back to his starts in Philadelphia. Every week there are not going to be gadget or special teams touchdowns to bail the Rams offense out. It was a big win against Seattle but how much of that has to do with the regression of the Seahawks overall?

Verdict: Oddsmakers are onto the Rams. There are no loopholes to be discovered.

4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Let the Lovie Smith firing rants begin along with the Winston bust assumptions. I’m not ready to jump on that wagon yet. Sure the Titans throttled the Buccaneers but it was only one game. Mike Evans was injured and Winston started the game horribly with miscues and turnovers. Who is to say that other defenses in the NFL would have been prepared for a specific tailored offense to Marcus Mariotta? The Buccaneers are not going to be a perennial team but value is on them ATS similar to last season when they covered games against Pittsburgh, New Orleans, and others.

Verdict: Value ATS should be on the Bucs side for September

5) Houston Texans

I’m not a huge fan of Ryan Mallet but fans of the Texans should be elated that was not a further wait to bench Brian Hoyer. Last season the Texans defense led by JJ Watt had already endured a tough season. With Mallet’s strong arm he can deliver deep balls to breakout wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. It also shouldn’t be long before Arian Foster returns to the lineup.

Verdict: We still need time to see how Mallet handles regaining the starting job.

6) Tennessee Titans

The tailored offense of the Titans was fun to watch Sunday but how long will it run successfully before defenses catch up? All rookie quarterbacks struggle at some point. Bettors need to realize that this is the same Titans team that got nothing from Sankey and others a season ago. They punched the Buccaneers in the mouth but I doubt they score 42 points again this season.

Verdict: Overvalued ATS off of Week 1’s performance

7) Washington Redskins

The ugliness of the Redskins season is going to be profiled all season long. It was thought that the Cousins-McCoy-RG3 show was ending last year. Yet all three remain under an odd story line that oddsmakers have already fallen in love with. Keep that dreamy romance with the Redskins alive bettors, as the season has many more gifts ahead.

Verdict: Double-digit lines will still be deemed valuable throughout the season.


  
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