NFL Win Totals: Why Bill Belichick Could Have Worst Patriots Season

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Written By Stephen Andress | Last Updated
new england patriots odds

Fans will not be pleased when they see where sportsbooks and bettors are projecting New England Patriots odds for the 2023 NFL season. Among NFL win totals, the Pats’ line is set at Over/Under /. The under coming home would mark only the third time the Pats have won seven or fewer games under Bill Belichick (since 2000). New England is also favored over the field to finish last in the division, something that’s only happened in Belichick’s first season as Patriots head coach.

Are these sports betting odds too bearish on an all-time great head coach, creating a rare buying opportunity? If not, what is going into the betting market fading Belichick in 2023? I’ve made up my mind and placed my bet on the Patriots. Let’s dive into the research.

New England Patriots Odds: To Finish Last In AFC East

Below are the odds to finish fourth in the AFC East from BetMGM, but you can also find NFL futures across the best sports betting sites, ahead of the upcoming NFL season.

Patriots Strength of Schedule Is Brutal

Never mind analysis of New England’s strength of schedule based on their opponents’ records last season. We don’t use that around here, because it’s basically useless information with so much roster turnover from year to year in the NFL.

What matters more is SOS based on opponent win totals, which are being shifted into place this time of year by real money from professional bettors. We should value those opinions, to an extent, far more than the SOS rankings we see on ESPN and NFL Network.

By this measure, the Patriots have the toughest schedule in the NFL. Their division opponents are all projected to have winning records, and New England plays each twice. New England must also play the AFC West and NFC East, two of the best projected divisions top to bottom heading into 2023. And the final three cross-over games are no picnic either. The Saints and Steelers are no pushovers, but perhaps the Colts with a rookie quarterback represents the most winnable game on the schedule.

Lines for every NFL game are already out, and the Patriots are projected to be at least 3-point underdogs six times. NE is only projected to be favorites of three points or more three times. The remaining eight games currently have spreads of less than three points. So to hit eight wins, the Pats likely must win five of those eight closely-lined games.

This is just one reason to be skeptical of the Patriots going over their win total.

Patriots 2022 Record Inflated By Poor Quarterbacks

The Patriots may have won eight games last year, but a deeper look reveals massive schedule luck vs. some pretty poor quarterbacks. Within the 8-9 campaign, seven of those wins came against these quarterbacks:

  • Mitch Trubisky
  • Jacoby Brissett
  • Zach Wilson twice
  • Sam Ehlinger
  • Colt McCoy
  • Teddy Bridgewater

I don’t see a game in 2023 against a QB like this until Week 9 vs. Sam Howell, then Anthony Richardson Week 10. That’s about it. Perhaps starters will get injured before New England plays them, but you can’t count on that in handicapping a win total.

I’d even argue the schedule right now is a murderers’ row of quarterbacks:

  • Tua twice (with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle)
  • Aaron Rodgers twice
  • Josh Allen twice
  • Jalen Hurts
  • Dak Prescott
  • Patrick Mahomes
  • Justin Herbert

That doesn’t include offenses likely to be better than New England’s, helmed by Derek Carr, Daniel Jones and Russell Wilson. Yet another knock against betting the Patriots to win 8+ games.

Is The Roster … Good?

It’s quite possible that Bill Belichick the general manager has made life much harder for Bill Belichick the head coach. PFF ranks the Patriots roster at No. 18 heading into the season, so below average.

On offense, Mac Jones now has a real offensive coordinator in Bill O’Brien. Jones ranked above average in 2021 as a rookie in adjusted EPA, Success Rate and CPOE with Josh McDaniels. If he can get back to that, New England will have a chance. The offensive line was average in Pass Block Win Rate and dead last in Run Block Win Rate. New England only spent Day 3 picks in the NFL Draft to improve it. Plus, the wide receivers look below average, unless they land DeAndre Hopkins.

On paper, it appears to be a roster that will rely on the defense again to keep it in games. Last season, this was a top-five overall group by EPA and Success Rate, including vs. the pass. It was also above average stopping the run in those advanced metrics.

Is that enough to win eight or more games with the other above concerns? You decide.

How I’m Betting New England Patriots Odds

I’ve locked in a wager on under 7.5 wins on New England. Originally at plus money, the market seemingly has agreed with me, as the best available price is now: /.

I have many reasons to be skeptical about those eight wins in 2022, and this offense’s ability to repeat it. Maybe New England doesn’t finish last in the division for the first time since Bill Belichick’s first season in New England, but I am not betting on better than 7-10. Best of luck betting New England Patriots odds.