Those engaged in NFL betting have to be keenly aware of who is at the trigger of the league’s offenses; several QB’s made their season debut last Sunday, and we’ve got our eye on them as they move into their second week as starters. Sometimes it’s a flash in the pan, but sometimes it’s also the kind of spark that can ignite an offense. Three of these guys will be at the helm of NFL betting underdogs this weekend.
Charlie Batch did a great job for the Steelers against the Bucs, which confounded many NFL bettors, including myself. he went 17 for 28 for 211 yards a three touchdowns, though we should note that he threw a pair of interceptions. He got the nod to start again on Sunday against Baltimore. Mike Tomlin said, “We won last week. That’s a good place to start.” Yup. Batch will warm the seat until Ben Roethlisberger returns from his four-game suspension, and he was chosen for that ahead of Brian Leftwich. The Steelers are 1.5-point NFL betting favorites over Baltimore this Sunday.
Ryan Fitzpatrick seemed to light a fire under the Buffalo offense, hitting 20 of 28 passes for 247 yards. That was good for a 92.4 quarterback rating, which is better than he chalked up the last couple of seasons (70.0 and 69.7) for the Bengals and Bills. You have to remember that Fitzpatrick was not unfamiliar with being Buffalo’s starter; he threw 227 passes last year, with nine TD’s. When the Bills’ training camp began, there was supposed to be a battle between Fitzpatrick and Trent Edwards for the starting job, but it was more or less given to Edwards. Chan Gailey must have seen that as a mistake during the opener against Miami, and he liked what he saw out of the Harvard guy against New England. So did some of the players. “He did a great job out there operating the offense and keeping the defense off the field,” rookie C.J. Spiller told the Boston Globe.
Gailey obviously seems confident enough in Fitzpatrick (he’s also got Brian Brohm on the roster) that he placed Trent Edwards on waivers rather than wait around and try to make a trade for him. There was intense interest in Edwards, and it seemed rather coincidental. It came from the Jets (laying 5.5 points to the Bills in NFL betting this week) and Jaguars, who happen to be Buffalo’s next two opponents. Jacksonville won out, and they’ll get the benefit of Edwards’ insight before they play the Bills. that kind of thing goes around in the NFL.
Bruce Gradkowski completed just half his passes, but helped to keep the Raiders in the game and with a chance to win. His was probably the strangest quarterback change of last week, since Oakland was so excited about acquiring Jason Campbell in the off-season. But the Toledo alum is known among the players as someone who brings some energy into the huddle, something he demonstrated last year when subbing for JaMarcus Russell, who was benched. The Raiders are a three-point home underdog in NFL betting as the Texans come to town. Houston is giving up more than nine yards a pass attempt, so a lot of people are using Gradkowski in their fantasy leagues.