In today's NFL, getting strong play at quarterback is one of the most important keys to a successful season. Coming off a 9-8 straight up and 9-6-2 against the spread season, the Buffalo Bills open the 2018 preseason with a full-fledged quarterback battle.
Buffalo is a 3-point favorite on the NFL Preseason Week 1 odds on Thursday night hosting the Carolina Panthers at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The Bills spent two second-round picks to trade up five spots in the 2018 NFL Draft to grab Josh Allen, a 6-foot-5 237-pound product out of Wyoming. Allen is clearly the future in Buffalo, but to see if he is the present as well he will need to outduel AJ McCarron and Nathan Peterman under center this preseason.
All three quarterbacks will have their work cut out for them against Carolina's always-stout defense. The Panthers are 5-2 SU and 4-2-1 ATS over their last seven preseason road games according to the OddsShark NFL Database.
Carolina at Buffalo is one of 12 games on the preseason schedule this Thursday night. As well, Andrew Luck will return from last year's season-ending injury in Indianapolis at Seattle (-2) and Deshaun Watson will do the same as his Houston Texans are 2.5-point road underdogs against the Kansas City Chiefs.
And first overall pick Baker Mayfield will take the NFL field for the first time on Thursday night when the Cleveland Browns (-1) visit the New York Giants.
Friday night's doubleheader features two quarterback battles; one for the starting role for the Jets as New York (-3.5) hosts Atlanta and one for the backup role behind Derek Carr as Oakland (-3) hosts Detroit.
Sam Darnold was selected with the No. 3 overall pick, and the Jets have indicated that they are willing to start him in Week 1 if he is ready. Darnold will try to fend off two experienced veterans in Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater for the starting job. The USC product has excellent talent, but will need to shake the turnover struggles he dealt with in Southern California. The Jets are just 2-5 SU and 3-4 ATS in their last seven preseason games.
Week 1 wraps up with a Saturday doubleheader featuring Minnesota at Denver (pick'em) and the Los Angeles Chargers at Arizona (-2.5). The Chargers are 1-5 SU and ATS in their last six preseason matchups.