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Wentz Heavily Favored in Odds to Be Washington Commanders Starting QB – Is There Value in Howell?

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in NFL Football

Updated Jul 11, 2022 · 8:29 AM PDT

Commanders starting QB odds
Jun 16, 2022; Ashburn, Virginia, USA; Washington Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz (11) passes the ball during drills on day three of minicamp at The Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
  • Veteran Carson Wentz is the overwhelming -1100 odds-on favorite to be the starting quarterback for the Washington Commanders to begin the 2022 NFL season
  • Rookie Sam Howell is given +550 odds of filling the same role
  • Washington is guaranteed to have a sixth differing opening-day starter in as many seasons

No quarterback has started in more Washington NFL season openers over the past five seasons than Carson Wentz. Oddsmakers are expecting that trend to continue.

Newly-signed by the newly-minted Washington Commanders, it’s the veteran Wentz who is pegged as the overwhelming odds-on -1100 favorite to be the team’s 2022 Game 1 starting QB. Rookie Sam Howell, the club’s 145th overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft out of North Carolina, is given a +550 betting line of unseating Wentz for the position.

Washington Commanders Week 1 Starting QB Odds

Quarterback Odds
Carson Wentz -1100
Sam Howell +550

Odds as of July 11th at DraftKings Sportsbook. See this DraftKings Sportsbook promo code before wagering


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At an NFL betting line of -1100, the implied probability that Wentz will be the Game 1 starting QB for the Commanders is 91.67%. Wager $10 on Wentz in this play and a payout on a successful wager would be $10.90. On the other hand, Howell is offering an IP of winning the job that is sitting at 15.38%. Bet the same $10 on him and if he’s the Game 1 starter, that wager will payout at $65.

In the NFL wins totals odds, Washington is set at 7.5. Bet the over and the odds are +104. With a wager on the under  -134 odds will apply. In the NFL playoff odds, the Commanders are given a betting line of +210 to make the playoffs and -260 to miss out on postseason play.

Washington went 7-10 last season, finishing third in the NFC East.

Wentz Familiar With Washington Openers

Three times in the past five years, Washington opened the NFL season facing the Philadelphia Eagles – in 2020, 2019 and 2017. In each of those games, Wentz was the starting QB for the Eagles. He went 2-1 against Washington.

Meanwhile, five different QBs have started the season opener for Washington over the past five seasons – Ryan Fitzpatrick (2021), Dwayne Haskins (2020), Case Keenum (2019), Alex Smith (2018) and Kirk Cousins (2017).

In fact, there’s been a carousel ride under center for the Commanders over the past five seasons. They’ve seen three QBs start a game in each of the past three seasons. In 2018, Washington utilized four different starting QBs.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, last year’s opening-day starter for Washington, didn’t even make it through one game. He suffered a hip injury and later underwent season-ending surgery.

Howell’s Time Is Not Now

At one time speculated to be a contender for first-round selection. Howell slid all the way to the fifth round before he heard an NFL team call his name. There is a coach out there saying that all Howell needs is a chance to show he’s got NFL ability.

Unfortunately, that coach isn’t Commanders head coach Ron Rivera. It’s Phil Longo, Howell’s offensive coordinator with the Tar Heels, who’s touting the QB’s skillset.

It’s not unheard of for a mid-round pick to end up as an NFL starting QB. But they don’t get the nod in the opener of their rookie season.

Even the GOAT, Tom Brady, didn’t gain the starting job in New England until his second NFL season.

Commanders Will Go With The Carson Show

Last season, his first with the Indianapolis Colts, Wentz passed for 27 touchdowns against just seven interceptions. That’s less than half of the NFL-worst 15 picks he threw in his last season with the Eagles in 2019.

As well, his passing yardage totals (3,563) were Wentz’s best total in three years. His passer rating (94.6) was at its highest level in four years.


He could make an instant connection with Commanders’ wide receiver Terry McLaurin. And Wentz also fits the mold of the typical Washington starter. He’s on his third NFL team. Three of the past four opening-day starters for the Commanders – Fitzpatrick, Keenum and Smith – all played for at least three NFL teams.

If Wentz is healthy, he’s under center when the Commanders play host to the Jacksonville Jaguars on September 11. Case closed.

Kept your wallet closed as well. At odds of -1100, this isn’t a bet worth making.

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