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Should We Care What Bookmakers Say About Quarterback Battles?

Source: 49ers QB competition odds: Colin Kaepernick favored over Blaine Gabbert offshore – Niners Nation

The 49ers are wrapping up their first week of practice, and mixed reviews means we really don’t know who is leading this QB competition. The folks at Bookmaker.eu decided to post odds on three notable quarterback competitions. They installed Colin Kaepernick as the favorite at -180 (bet $180 to win $100), and Blaine Gabbert as the underdog at +140 (bet $100 to win $140). Gabbert is tempting if I had to pick one of the two to bet on.

[Editor’s note: RotoViz is not familiar with the above named bookmaker and they are only mentioned in this article due to inclusion in the source material mentioned above. That mention is not an endorsement, and the online bookmaking business is known for being extremely shady.]

Here are the quarterback competitions for which odds are available.

49ers
Blaine Gabbert: +140
Colin Kaepernick: -180

Rams
Case Keenum: +625
Jared Goff: -1150

Broncos
Mark Sanchez: +190
Paxton Lynch: +115
Trevor Siemian: +285

The 49ers odds contradict early drafters’ opinions on the Gabbert-Kaepernick competition:

Gabbert-Kap

I made my case in May that Gabbert may actually be the better QB for Chip Kelly’s system, but I’ll side with the bookmakers and draft Kaepernick over Gabbert as my third QB in MFL10s going forward.1 Especially after Justin Winn’s sobering reminder about just how bad Gabbert has been. Still, if Kaepernick is gone, pivoting to Gabbert isn’t a terrible move. Whoever’s taking snaps in San Francisco has major fantasy upside. The team projects to be in the top 10 in pass attempts, and there will be plenty of QB rushing production. Even a projected seven or eight games of high-end QB2 numbers is probably worth a pick in the 18th round of an MFL10.

The Broncos odds actually fit with MFL10 ADPs, but I can’t understand either of them.

quarterback battles

Siemian and Sanchez are splitting first-team reps in training camp, with Lynch bringing up the rear. Indeed, Lynch being the favorite at +115 is downright silly to me — and I drafted Lynch in the Scott Fish Bowl. In MFL10s, I’m staying far away from this mess. As long as both are open competitions, I’d take the second-drafted 49ers QB over the first-drafted Broncos one.

In dynasty or deep redraft leagues, though, I’m on board with Lynch as a potential late-season starter. For more on why, check out Justin Winn’s prospect profile, which shows why Lynch’s small-school stigma is overblown. Also look at Winn’s work projecting San Francisco’s offense for 2016.

  1. If you live in a jurisdiction where sports betting is legal, I’d also drop $20 on Gabbert at +140. Not quite true arbitrage, but a nice hedging opportunity.  (back)
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