The New England Patriots second straight attempt at a come-from-behind win in the Super Bowl came up just short. A year after completing the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history against the Atlanta Falcons, the Patriots fell 33-41 to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl 52.
New England has won the title twice in the last four years and been the last team standing in the AFC three times during this stretch. This is just the latest chapter in what’s been a remarkable run under current head coach Bill Belichick, who is entering his 19th season on the job.
You would think there would be nothing but positive vibes surrounding this organization, but that’s not been the case. There’s been constant media attention given to the potential feud going on with Brady and Belichick.
Brady doesn’t feel appreciated enough and Belichick isn’t happy with the team’s decision to trade Jimmy Garapollo. A move many feel was forced by owner Robert Kraft to protect Brady’s legacy and tenure with the team.
Not to mention the talks regarding star tight end Rob Gronkowski and his desire to still play.
All that aside, let’s focus more on what the Patriots did in the offseason on both sides of the football.
I think New England caught a big break when offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels decided to back out of his deal to become the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. The continuity that McDaniels has with Brady is a key competent to Brady continuing to put up MVP like numbers.
While Brady is still under center, the offense will have a new feel to it in 2018. Just one year after trading a 1st round pick for wide out Brandin Cooks, New England flipped him for a 1st rounder this year with the Rams. The offense also parted ways with veteran wide out Danny Amendola, running back Dion Lewis and left tackle Nate Solder.
The Patriots added wide out Jordan Matthews, who they think can thrive in their scheme and will welcome back Brady’s favorite target in Julian Edelman, who missed all of last year.
As far as Solder’s replacement, the Pats traded for 49ers offensive tackle Trent Brown and used their 1st round pick on Georgia offensive lineman Isiah Wynn.
New England’s defense was exposed early in the year, seemed to right the ship and then laid an egg in the Super Bowl against Nick Foles and the Eagles. Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is now the head coach of the Detroit Lions. The Patriots haven’t hired a replacement for Patricia, which has to make you think Belichick will be taking over that role.
New England made a point to get better up front, adding veteran Adrian Clayborn and acquiring Danny Shelton in a trade with the Browns. The Patriots also made a serrate deal with Cleveland for corner Jason McCourty, who will help fill the void of Malcolm Butler, who walked in free agency.
Will this be the year one of the greatest dynasties implodes or will another season with Brady and Belichick playing in the only game that matters?
2018 Patriots Schedule & Projected Odds
Below you will find the early odds released by Vegas for Weeks 1-16, as well as my projected number for Week 17. Using the lines we are able to give a game-by-game win probability, which we used to come up an expected win total.
|3||at Lions SNF||-4||0.66|
|8||at Bills MNF||-4.5||0.67|
Projected Wins: 11.54
Over/Under Wins Prediction: OVER 11
I know there’s a lot of people out there who would love nothing more than for the Patriots reign to come to an end. Due to this hate, I think a lot of people would rather take the UNDER on New England’s win total than stomach having to cheer for them to win another 12+ games in the regular season.
If you can’t put your hate aside for the Patriots, I’m going to recommend looking for another win total to bet on. I just don’t know how you can feel confident that New England is going to go 10-6 or worse. The Patriots have won at least 12-games in each of the last 8 seasons. You have to go all the way back to 2009 to find the last time NE didn’t go 12-4 or better in the regular-season.
I’m also not reading into all the drama with Brady and Gronkowski. Brady could despite Belichick and he’s still going to go out and give it everything he has. The guy simply hates losing that much. As for Gronkowski, as long as he’s going to play, which all signs are that he will, there’s nothing to be worried about for 2018.
I also love the idea of Belichick taking back over the defense. When this guy was a defensive coordinator back in the day, his defenses were some of the best in the league. No one is more upset about how their defense played in the Super Bowl than this guy and my money is on him fixing the problem.
Odds to Win the Super Bowl: +600
The Patriots have been so good for so long, that as long as Brady and Belichick are with the organization, they are going to be the favorites to win it all. The problem with that is you are never going to get big time value with New England’s odds to win the Super Bowl.
Despite all the off-field drama and how poorly they played against the Eagles without Carson Wentz, the Patriots are the overwhelming favorite to win the title at +600. Philadelphia is a close second at +850 and the Rams at +900 are the only other team with odds better than 10 to 1.
While I mentioned there’s not a ton of value betting the Patriots, it is worth noting that New England was at +400 this time a year ago.
Odds to Win the AFC: +260
It’s hard to not like chances with New England playing in the Super Bowl, seeing how they have done so each of the last 3 years. The other thing to consider is that the Patriots have made it to the AFC Championship Game each of the last 7 years. If they were to make it again this year, chances are they will be favored in the game, which means you will have a golden opportunity to hedge this bet and guarantee a profit.
Odds to Win the AFC East: -750
Most will just skip over this prop given the price. You would have to risk $750 just to win $100, which is a steep price to pay for a relatively small profit.
With that said, you could argue that it’s free money. New England has won the AFC East nine straight times and have finished on top the division 15 times in the last 17 years. None of the other 3 teams in the division (Dolphins, Jets, Bills) look like even the slightest playoff contenders.
I would go as far to say that the Patriots could still win the AFC East with backup Brian Hoyer at quarterback.