NFL preseason betting: Best quarterbacks to back in August

Aug 8, 2017 |

Many NFL fans were wondering what the Philadelphia Eagles were doing in the offseason leading up to the 2016 campaign. They still had quarterback Sam Bradford but elected to sign career backup Chase Daniel to a three-year contract worth $21 million.

Daniel’s resume did not include much regular season experience. In fact, it would be fair to say Daniel was signed entirely based on the positive reviews from former coaches and, of course, his reps in the silly season – the NFL preseason.

When you’re backing up Drew Brees in New Orleans – a future Hall of Famer who’s missed two games in 10 years – you’re going to have to make the most of your game snaps in August.

Daniel owns a 93.9 career preseason QB rating with 22 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. His teams are 16-9-1 against the spread and the over is 16-10 in preseason games Daniel’s played in.

The Saints reacquired Daniel this offseason and he’s listed as their No. 1 backup to Brees.

Knowing who else qualifies as a so-so starter but a sensational performer in the preseason can be valuable information for NFL bettors this August.

Here’s a quick look at three other backup QBs who shine brightest this time of year. One additional note here - quarterbacks who have been starters for the majority of their careers were dismissed from qualifying in our list. Starters only play significant time in Week 3 and even then coaches appear to be lightening the number of snaps their No. 1 guys get.

Colt McCoy

Current team: Washington Redskins

Preseason career stats: 92.8 QB rating, 68 percent completion percentage

The former Texas Longhorn and Heisman finalist has carved out a career for himself as a reliable backup and spot starter in the pros. McCoy is entering his fourth season in Washington and he’s well versed in head coach Jay Gruden’s offense. The Redskins are 7-3 ATS in preseason games McCoy has appeared in.

NFL teams are a collective 15-10 ATS and the over is 13-11-1 in preseason games McCoy has either started or played in. 

McCoy is listed as Washington No. 2 quarterback meaning he should get significant playing time this week when the ‘Skins play the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday. Washington is a 1-point road underdog and the total is 37.5.

Luke McCown

Current team: Dallas Cowboys

Preseason career stats: 92.9 QB rating, 27 TD/7 INT*

The asterisk is to indicate McCown stats only go back as far as 2007. He put up some numbers in the preseason in 2005 and 2006 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but that was before NFL stat guys thought it was a good idea to record the game logs in August games. What a bunch of amateurs.

At any rate, McCown is the original gangsta when it comes to preseason excellence. He’s been compiling stats in pro exhibition contests since 2004 and his teams are 21-18-2 in games he’s made appearances in. The over is 24-17 in those 41 preseason games.

McCown was signed by the Cowboys at the end of July to either slot in as their QB3 or to compete for the No. 2 spot behind starter Dak Prescott.

McCown didn’t play for the ‘Boys in the Hall of Fame game but bettors should expect him to see some game action this week when Dallas visits Los Angeles to face the Rams on Saturday. Oddsmakers have the Cowboys as 2.5-point favorites with the total set at 37.5.

AJ McCarron

Current team: Cincinnati Bengals

Preseason career stats: 99.4 QB rating, 7.7 yards per attempt

McCarron, also known as Katherine Webb’s husband, is the new kid on the block with just two years of preseason action under his belt. He’s put up great numbers but the Bengals are 3-4 ATS and the over is 2-5 in McCarron’s seven preseason contests.

Cincinnati is a 2-point favorite Friday against the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The total is set at 37.

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