Updated June 6, 2020 - 11:39 am
Lamar Jackson is the reigning NFL MVP, and Patrick Mahomes is the clear favorite next season to win his second such award ln three years.
But when it comes to the NFL’s most valuable quarterbacks in relation to the point spread, Jackson and Mahomes are in the middle of the pack, according to South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews.
The longtime Nevada bookmaker made point values for all 32 starting QBs based on a one-game adjustment to the line from each team’s starter to backup.
Three-way tie at top
Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger and Russell Wilson are tied as the most valuable QBs to the spread at seven points apiece. Their backups — Tampa Bay’s Blaine Gabbert, Pittsburgh’s Mason Rudolph and Seattle’s Geno Smith — don’t inspire much confidence.
“Gabbert is just a barely competent backup, and Geno Smith is another guy who’s barely a competent backup,” Andrews said. “The Steelers’ offense was 30th in the league last year without Big Ben. I know they had other injuries, but a lot of that falls on Mason Rudolph.
“He got hurt, but he deserved to be replaced by Duck Hodges, an undrafted rookie. They looked terrible. At this point, I don’t think (Rudolph) is a viable NFL quarterback.”
Brady turns 43 in August and is coming off one of his worst seasons, but Andrews believes he’s still got some good football left.
“I’m not sure how much to take away from last year because he really had no help,” he said. “He could be worth more than seven points over Gabbert.”
Andrews is very high on Wilson.
“I just think Russell Wilson is fantastic,” he said. “He should be in the MVP conversation every year.”
Love for Rodgers
Six QBs were assigned a value of six points, including Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, whose backup this season is first-round draft pick Jordan Love.
“Rodgers is still playing great football, but he didn’t look as good last year as he had in the past,” Andrews said. “I question the move up to draft Jordan Love. But if he proves worthy of that, it’s probably less than six points.
“Historically, about half of these first-round quarterbacks don’t pan out. If he’s one of those guys, Rodgers will be worth a lot more than six.”
Hail to the Chiefs
Mahomes is worth five points to the spread for Kansas City. Chad Henne is the backup.
“I got a lot of heat over that,” Andrews said. “But let’s say the Chiefs are 10-point favorites and Mahomes is out that week. Does the line go down to 2 or 3? I don’t think so. I still think they’d be a 4- or 5-point favorite because of all the other weapons on that team and Andy Reid’s history.
“He’s had a lot of success with multiple backup quarterbacks. I think the world of Mahomes, but another quarterback could come in and get decent results, too.”
RG3 to rescue
Andrews assigned a value of 3½ points to Jackson, who is backed up in Baltimore by fellow Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III.
“RG3 certainly has some talent. He could step in for a game,” Andrews said. “But when you get guys like that who’ve had injury problems, anything more than a game and some of his flaws would start to show.”
Commitment to mediocrity
Raiders starter Derek Carr, worth two points to the line, is one of a dozen QBs with values of two points or fewer. Andrews said he doesn’t think much of Carr or Raiders backup Marcus Mariota.
“Carr has shown some ability but, at this point, he is what he is. He’s just a very midlevel quarterback,” he said. “I really liked Mariota coming out of college and in his first year. But he really never got any better.
“Maybe he just needed some new surroundings. He hasn’t written the last chapter of his career. He could turn it around under the right circumstance.”
Cry me a Rivers
The Colts signed Philip Rivers to replace Jacoby Brissett as their starting QB. But Andrews said the veteran is worth only two points.
“I’m not even sure he’s better than Brissett,” he said. “They think he is, but I’m not sold on that. I wouldn’t make a big adjustment if Rivers went out and Brissett stepped in.”
Dak vs. Dalton
Likewise, Andrews would make only a two-point adjustment to the line if new Cowboys backup Andy Dalton replaced Dallas starter Dak Prescott.
“I think Dak Prescott is a good quarterback, but I don’t think he’s a great quarterback,” he said. “Andy Dalton has gotten knocked a lot, but this guy won a lot of games for the Bengals.
“The Cowboys have a lot of weapons. I think Dalton would jump in and do a darn good job in place of Prescott.”
NFL QB point spread values
Rated by South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews
Team Starter/Backup Points
Buccaneers Tom Brady/Blaine Gabbert 7
Seahawks Russell Wilson/Geno Smith 7
Steelers Ben Roethlisberger/Mason Rudolph 7
Cardinals Kyler Murray/Brett Hundley 6
Packers Aaron Rodgers/Jordan Love 6
Rams Jared Goff/John Wolford 6
Texans Deshaun Watson/A.J. McCarron 6
Titans Ryan Tannehill/Logan Woodside 6
Vikings Kirk Cousins/Sean Mannion 6
Chiefs Patrick Mahomes/Chad Henne 5
Eagles Carson Wentz/Jalen Hurts 5
49ers Jimmy Garoppolo/Nick Mullens 5
Saints Drew Brees/Jameis Winston 4
Falcons Matt Ryan/Matt Schaub 3½
Ravens Lamar Jackson/Robert Griffin III 3½
Bengals Joe Burrow/Ryan Finley 3
Bills Josh Allen/Matt Barkley 3
Browns Baker Mayfield/Case Keenum 3
Lions Matthew Stafford/Chase Daniel 3
Panthers Teddy Bridgewater/P.J. Walker 3
Broncos Drew Lock/Jeff Driskel 2
Colts Philip Rivers/Jacoby Brissett 2
Cowboys Dak Prescott/Andy Dalton 2
Dolphins Ryan Fitzpatrick/Tua Tagovailoa 2
Giants Daniel Jones/Colt McCoy 2
Jaguars Gardner Minshew/Mike Glennon 2
Raiders Derek Carr/Marcus Mariota 2
Redskins Dwayne Haskins/Kyle Allen 2
Chargers Tyrod Taylor/Justin Herbert 1
Jets Sam Darnold/Joe Flacco 1
Patriots Jarrett Stidham/Brian Hoyer 1
Bears Mitchell Trubisky/Nick Foles 0