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Odds Favor Cam Newton Starting Week 1 for Patriots Over Jarrett Stidham – Is There Any Value in Stidham?

Cam Newton in a Patriots uniform
Now that he's officially a member of the New England Patriots, Cam Newton is the -125 favorite to be the Week 1 starter for the team. Photo by @NFL_Stats (Twitter).
  • Cam Newton is the -125 favorite to be the Week 1 starting quarterback for the New England Patriots
  • The bar on Newton’s total starts for the season is set at 8.5
  • Which of these two props is the better bet to play?

It’s official. Cam Newton is a member of the New England Patriots.

What does that mean for Jarrett Stidham’s future? Is Newton healthy enough to carry the load? Is he simply a Plan B in case Stidham implodes?

All of these questions and more are being posed now that the long-rumored signing of Newton has finally been consummated.

The speculation has led to the creation of a couple of prop wagers on Newton’s future in New England. The first prop asks whether he’ll be the Game 1 starter for the team. The second is an over/under on how many games Newton will start for the Patriots during the 2020 NFL season.

Odds on Patriots Week 1 Starting QB

Quarterback Odds
Cam Newton -125
Jarrett Stidham +110
Brian Hoyer +1000

Odds taken June 29th.

Newton or Stidham – Who’s Under Center?

The moment news broke that Newton had signed his name on the dotted line, people began anointing him as the heir apparent to Tom Brady. Is it really that simple, though?

Yes, Newton is a former NFL MVP. However, that accolade came in 2015, a time period in American history when the thought of President Donald Trump seemed just a quaint, silly notion.

A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then. Last season, Newton started two games before his year was scuttled by a season-ending Pedal Lisfranc sprain. His 2018 campaign was cut short after 14 games due to the need to undergo shoulder surgery.

Ultimately, the Carolina Panthers opted to cut bait with Newton.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick remained steadfast throughout the offseason. He insisted that 2019 fourth-round draft pick Stidham will be his starting QB to begin the 2020 campaign. In March, Stidham was +200 to fill that role.

It’s Stidham’s Job to Lose

A traditional pocket-style QB, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Stidham seems a better fit for New England’s offense. The Pats run a very complicated system. Stidham’s had a year-plus to learn it.

Thanks to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the chances for Newton to dive head first into the New England playbook with both feet are limited.

Forget the hype. Unless Stidham is an unmitigated disaster in preseason play, he’ll get first crack under center. Newton makes an ideal Plan B, a veteran coming off the bench to give opposition defenses a completely different look.

If the Pats get off to a slow start under Stidham, turning to Newton takes the pressure off both QBs. Doing it the other way, replacing an ineffective Newton with Stidham, could prove a recipe for disaster.

Pick: Jarrett Stidham (+110)

Total Cam Newton 2020 NFL Starts

Total Odds
Over 8.5 -115
Under 8.5 -115

Newton Will Get His Chance

It might not be in Week 1 but Newton’s opportunity under center for the Patriots will arrive. There are projections from some football people that Stidham is nothing more than the second coming of Blake Bortles.

If that assessment proves correct, Newton’s time will arrive sooner rather than later.

Newton insists he’s healthy. Up until last year, he’d only missed five games to injury during his first eight seasons.

The Patriots get the Seahawks, Chiefs, 49ers, and Bills in the first seven weeks of the season. If Stidham falters against a tough slate, they won’t stick with him for long.

Pick: Newton over 8.5 starts (-115)

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