New England Patriots Betting Preview, Week 1 Odds, Super Bowl Chances & Schedule
The Bill Belichick vs. Tom Brady debate was a persistent debate hanging over the New England Patriots during their nearly two-decade long run of domination in the AFC East and the wider NFL proper, like an angry cloud ready to rain down on their parade at a moment’s notice. And it didn’t go away last year, despite the pair’s highly publicised divorce ahead of the start of the 2020-21 NFL season with Tom Brady leaving for the greener pastures of Tampa Bay. Quite the opposite, it seemed to gather more momentum. For finally, growing consensus of opinion maintained, a definitive answer would be reached to the long-running question about who was really more important in this very successful head coach-quarterback partnership.
If the outcome of 2020 is the benchmark against which the debate about “Bill Belichick or Tom Brady” is settled…well, the answer is self-explanatory. The Patriots whimpered to a 7-9-0 SU finish, which put them in third place in the AFC East and out of the playoff frame, while Tom Brady marched the Buccaneers to Super Bowl 55 glory and his seventh Lombardi trophy. So, there you have it. Case closed your Honour, Brady wins!
Or does he?
Is such a simplistic viewpoint, based on a tiny cross-section of results – and played out against the backdrop of an unprecedented global pandemic, mind you – really sufficiently explorative to answer such a loaded question. Seems rather convenient to brush aside Belichick’s influence in the creation of the Patriots dynasty. To dismiss the hooded curmudgeon in favour of the affable Tom Brady who wears the boy-next-door charm as effortlessly as his designer kit.
One of the basic rules of MMA is that you must fight within your weight class, otherwise it’s an unfair fight. This was the case when looking at the contrasting fortunes of Belichick and Brady going into 2020. While Brady got to cherry pick the players he wanted, such as Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Brown, Belichick was flattened by a mass exodus of players. It wasn’t only Brady’s departure that turned the Patriots’ season upside down, but also the large number of players that opted out of the 2020 season due to the Covid-19 crisis. Belichick quite simply was left in the lurch even before the season got underway. Then there was the covid outbreak during the season, the injuries…la, la, la…the list goes on.
The reality therefore is that the Patriots were bound to struggle without Tom Brady at the helm. That’s a fact. Add to that everything else that happened after Brady bid adieu to the New England Patriots in March…and well, it was advantage Brady all along. A philosophical Brady once sagaciously said that “coaches don’t play and players don’t coach.’ So, inasmuch as Belichick is a brilliant coach, he can only do so much from the side lines. Even less when he doesn’t have the personnel to do it with.
So, why is this trip down memory lane relevant? Well, odds makers typically base in part opening Super Bowl odds for any given season on what transpired in the preceding season. Bearing in mind New England’s disastrous account for 2020, their stock has predictably fallen into middling range across various markets. For instance, Patriots Super Bowl odds are priced at +3500 while their odds to win the AFC are tipped at +1800 and to win the AFC East at +360 – the latter of which puts them on a level in the betting with the Miami Dolphins.
New England Patriots Super Bowl odds and other futures markets 2021
- Odds to win Super Bowl: +3500
- To win AFC: +1800
- To win AFC East: +360
- To Make Playoffs: Yes +110/ No -140
- Patriots win total: 9.5 OVER (+100)/UNDER (-125)
New England Patriots Super Bowl Odds
The New England Patriots aren’t exactly written out of the race to SBLVI, but admittedly they’re bobbing around like a cork in the water, never staying still but being moved around by every ripple in the sea of Super Bowl contenders.
Depending on the choice sportsbook, the Patriots went to press as low as +2200 in opening Super Bowl betting markets but quickly jumped up to +3000. Most recently, they’re seen drifting further out to sea with odds cracking the +3000 mark. Pinning down one reason for this trend is impossible but, at the same time, the developing quarterback battle between Cam Newton and rookie Mac Jones likely has played some part in the NFL odds and lines moving. It doesn’t help that Belichick’s silence on the matter only fuels speculation about which quarterback is going to get the nod for the Patriots in week 1 of the season.
Betting on a team with a quarterback controversy isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it does come with a measure of risk. As far as New England’s Super Bowl 56 odds are concerned, any bettor placing a flutter on those must be expecting Cam Newton to enjoy a renaissance of some kind. Recapture the form of 2015 that saw him lead the Carolina Panthers all the way to Super Bowl 50 (l. to Denver Broncos). It can’t possibly be a bet on Mac Jones to lead the Patriots to Super Bowl glory in his rookie season. That would be the longshot bet to end all longshot bets. Never mind, it’s practically unheard of in the modern game.
|Super Bowl Odds||Implied Probability|
New England Patriots Division Odds
The Buffalo Bills are tipped as the team to beat in the AFC East at -150, while the Patriots are just behind the second favorite Miami Dolphins at +360. The New York Jets, in the meanwhile, prop up the division as the huge underdogs at +2500. Overall, the overarching market serves up no surprises, falling as it does in line with last season’s results that saw the Bills finish at the top with a 13-3-0 SU mark, the Dolphins behind a 10-6-0 SU mark, the Patriots on a subpar 7-9-0 SU mark and, finally, the Jets on woeful 2-14-0 mark.
That said, no two seasons are mirrored reflections. That alone might give Belichick some wiggle room as he plots the Patriots comeback. In particular, the Bills will be challenged to replicate their standout 2020-21 run. They’re in unchartered waters, so it remains to be seen whether they can handle the weight of expectations. Much of the same applies to the Dolphins, who defied the odds to finish second in the table. This season though, the onus falls on Tua Tagovailoa but the jury is still out on the second-year quarterback There is no “Beard” to fall back on, if the going gets tough. Only the Jets are free of any external pressure. It’s all cheery bonhomie ahead of the debut of their new-look under head coach Robert Salah and rookie quarterback Zach Wilson.
|Team||AFC East Odds||Implied Probability|
|New England Patriots||+360||21.7%|
|New York Jets||+2500||3.8%|
New England Patriots Win Total
The Patriots have owned the AFC East in the Belichick era. A quick dive into the archives is to see the Patriots, since 2003, boast a whopping 85-25-0 SU mark and a 10.2 winning margin on average against their neighbours. Over the last five seasons, the record stands at 23-7-0 SU with an 11.6 winning margin on average. Granted last year’s disappointments did skew these stats with a 3-3-0 SU mark and a 2.5 losing margin on average against the division.
All told though, past seasons have no bearing on the 2021 Patriots. So, the above stats are a moot point. And yet, the Patriots are projected to 9.5 wins for the season, which is relatively high in comparison to their otherwise modest NFL odds elsewhere. It’s also two wins more than their 7-9-0 SU finish last season as the league expands the NFL schedule to 17 games over 18 weeks for the first time.
|Year||Patriots Regular Season Wins|
New England Patriots Schedule & Odds
The only way the Patriots crack 9.5 wins is if the rest of the AFC East implodes somehow or Newton does actually enjoy a renaissance. On the flipside, it helps either way that the Patriots Schedule isn’t daunting in the least. According to Strength of Schedule rankings, the schedule is the 19th toughest in the league.
Patriots Week 1 odds versus Miami at the Foxboro are favourable with the hosts tipped as field goal faves. The outcome of the first week is likely going to set the tone for the immediate future. As it currently stands, over the 17-game schedule, the Patriots are intermittently favoured or disadvantaged depending on the opponent and/or whether they’re playing at home or on the road. Of course, these odds aren’t set in stone. They’re going to change and change quickly as the season gets underway.
|3||vs. New Orleans||OTB||OTB|
|4||vs. Tampa Bay||OTB||OTB|