The New England Patriots winning the AFC East and playing in January has been a staple in the NFL since 2001; just twice had they not won their division since then and just once had they missed the playoffs. Though the Pats were able to move right past the last couple times, 2020 seems different. Could this be the end of the dynasty? Or will Bill Belichick reload his team and get back to their winning ways?
One thing seems clear– Cam Newton is not a long term fix. The former-MVP has not played up to par and he reportedly will not return to the team for the 2021-22 season. Staple players like Pro Bowl center David Andrews, running back Rex Burkhead, and pass rusher Adam Butler are unrestricted free agents this coming year; corner J.C. Jackson is a restricted free agent. This coming offseason will be of particular interest in how the future of the Patriots is shaped.
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Patriots Super Bowl odds
The New England Patriots were eliminated from the AFC Playoff picture for the first time in 11 years.
AFC East odds
For the first time since 2008– and just the second time since 2001– the Patriots did not win the AFC East.
New England Patriots 2020 schedule and betting odds
|1||Sunday, Sept. 13||1:00 ET||vs. Miami||Patriots -6.5|
|2||Sunday, Sept. 20||8:20 ET||at Seattle||Seahawks -3.5|
|3||Sunday, Sept. 27||1:00 ET||vs. Las Vegas||Patriots -5|
|4||Sunday, Oct. 4||4:25 ET||at Kansas City||Chiefs -8|
|5||Sunday, Oct. 11||1:00 ET||vs. Denver||Patriots -5|
|7||Sunday, Oct. 25||4:25 ET||vs. San Francisco||49ers -2|
|8||Sunday, Nov. 1||1:00 ET||at Buffalo||Bills -1.5|
|9||Monday, Nov. 9||8:15 ET||at NY Jets||Patriots -4|
|10||Sunday, Nov. 15||8:20 ET||vs. Baltimore||Ravens -3.5|
|11||Sunday, Nov. 22||1:00 ET||at Houston||Patriots -1.5|
|12||Sunday, Nov. 29||1:00 ET||vs. Arizona||Patriots -7|
|13||Sunday, Dec. 6||4:25 ET||at LA Chargers||Patriots -2.5|
|14||Thursday, Dec. 10||8:20 ET||at LA Rams||Rams -1|
|15||Sunday, Dec. 20||1:00 ET||at Miami||Patriots -5.5|
|16||Monday, Dec. 28||8:15 ET||vs. Buffalo||Patriots -2|
|17||Sunday, Jan. 3||1:00 ET||vs. NY Jets||TBD|
How to bet on the New England Patriots
For years, the Patriots have been one of the most popular options in the NFL futures market. These bets refer to season-long options such as a team’s win total, or betting that they will win the conference or the Super Bowl.
There should still be plenty of value when betting the Patriots in individual games. The most simple way to bet the Pats would be to take the moneyline, which means picking a winning team without a point spread. Bettors get varying odds on the moneyline based on how lopsided the matchup may be, and for example, the Pats were a whopping -1117 in their regular season finale against the Dolphins last season. Of course, Miami won that game, meaning a bet on the Dolphins would’ve paid off handsomely, whereas a $100 bet on the Pats would’ve only paid a profit of $11 if successful.
While they were favored in every single game last year, the Patriots will likely get some points on the spread in a few matchups this season. The point spread is a way to handicap matchups by forcing action on either side of a line, usually around key numbers such as 3.5 or 7.5. If the Patriots are +3.5 at home against Baltimore this season, there could be some value in taking them to play a close game.
The point total refers to the over/under line set by books. The Patriots routinely went under their point total last season because their defense was so strong and their offense struggled. That trend could reverse this season if they struggle on both sides of the ball. Keep an eye on their totals and look for value.
DraftKings has a pre-season prop bet on Newton and whether or not he can put up better numbers than the man he is replacing, Brady, this season. Cam is also getting considerable Comeback Player of the Year buzz.
Parlays and teasers
You can always string bets together in the form of parlays or teasers. Usually during busy Sundays, bettors can parlay several teams to win or cover against the spread and if all bets are successful, the payouts are multiplied. Teasers function similarly, except they allow bettors to move each point spread to a more favorable line in exchange for diminished odds.
Patriots 2019 recap
Last season, the Patriots went 12-4 before losing in the playoffs. They were an even 8-8-1 against the spread (ATS) and were favored in each of those games. After starting 9-1 overall and 7-3 ATS, they dropped 4 of their last 6 and went 1-6 ATS over their last 7 games. Patriots games topped the assigned point total 7 times in 17 contests, with their defense finishing atop the league in most meaningful categories.
New England topped its assigned win total (11.5) but most offensive players came up well short of their propositions. Tom Brady tossed 24 touchdowns, well short of his 29.5-touchdown prop and he came up around 100 yards short of his prop for 4,150.5 passing yards. Julian Edelman finished right at his prop with six receiving TDs. Stephon Gilmore cashed in on his rising odds to be named Defensive Player of the Year.
Patriots 2020 offseason moves
Key trades: S Duron Harmon (to DET)
Key re-signings: CB Devin McCourty (two years, $23M); WR/ST Matthew Slater (two years, $5.3m)
Key free-agent losses: QB Tom Brady (to TB); LB Kyle Van Noy (to MIA); LB Jamie Collins (to DET); DT Danny Shelton (to DET); LB Elandon Roberts (to MIA)
Key free-agent signings: Cam Newton, QB (from CAR); Lamar Miller, RB (from HOU); Damiere Byrd, WR (from ARI); Beau Allen, DT (from TB); Brandon Copeland, DE (from NYJ), Adrian Phillips, S (from LAC)
Key draft picks: S Kyle Dugger (2nd round), DE Josh Uche (2nd round), LB Anfernee Jennings (3rd round), TE Dalton Keene (3rd round)
Losing Brady and adding Newton are the clear headliners, but the Patriots also lost their best linebacker in Dont’a Hightower as Hightower opted to sit out the season due to worries about COVID-19. Danny Shelton is also gone, and Shelton played a huge role as a run-stopping tackle on a defense that allowed the second-fewest rushing TDs (0.5) per game last season. Retaining McCourty and signing Phillips to replace Harmon should help the Patriots remain elite in pass defense, but they’re bound to struggle in the intermediate areas.
Belichick and the front office did bolster their diminished defense by drafting a top pass rusher in Uche and a solid OLB in Jennings. The Pats provided a head-scratcher by taking a DII safety in Dugger in the second round, but likely have eyes on him for a special teams role immediately.