No Tom Brady, No problem. Patriots Look Good for 2016, In Their Total Predictions

New England Patriots

Sunday, July 31, 2016 8:24 PM GMT

Perennial faves Patriots hang a 10.5 projected season win total. Will they crack this total, in spite of Tom Brady’s suspension? Here’s our NFL betting preview complete with NFL picks

New England Patriots 2015 Look Back
The New England Patriots capped a successful 12-4 regular season record with a conference runner-up finish in the playoffs. It wasn't the dream finish to their title defense campaign, but they couldn't have lost to a more deserving team and quarterback – the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning, eventual Super Bowl champions.

Is it ever about what the Patriots do in a previous season that captures the imagination of NFL betting fans? Not necessarily. Each and every season the Patriots are amongst the top faves across NFL betting markets. That's down to one of the most successful coach-quarterback pairings – indeed, arguably, the best in history in the eyes of many – in the game: Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.

So, it's not without some surprise, following the confirmation of Tom Brady's four-game suspension to start the season, NFL betting fans, experts, and pundits, alike, are apprehensive about the Patriots and their prospects in 2016.

Although bookmakers, who roll out a 10.5 projected season win total, fancy the OVER at -130 NFL odds (a price currently available with Bet365), there are those NFL bettors that are turning towards the UNDER, available at the best price of +125 NFL odds with Bodog, as the value NFL pick.

Granted Tom Brady is synonymous with the Patriots' success – includes four Super Bowls – and the nervousness that prevails over the Patriots at the sports betting exchanges as a result of his suspension is a credit to him, to his undeniable quality, talent, and skill. But so too is Belichick synonymous with the Patriots' success and the rest of the team. Football isn't an individual sport, after all. One has to assume the brilliant tactician and the team as a whole will be able to adjust to this challenging prospect adequately enough.

The prognosticators eagerly writing off the Patriots in the first four games, seeing nothing but bad omens and serving up ominous visions that go so far as to suggest they would go 0-4 SU under the unheralded Jimmy Garoppolo, should be taken with reservation. The ‘deflategate' fiasco cannot define the Patriots.

Sure, an opening road game in Arizona is going to be a tough ask for Garoppolo and the Patriots, but the remaining three games are certainly winnable. Two feature teams that finished at .500 or less and, more importantly, all three are at Foxboro where the Patriots are simply one of the best teams in the NFL. Surely, a 3-1 SU record over the course of the first four games is not impossible. Heck, even a 2-2 SU record would be deemed respectable and give Brady 12 games with which to lift the Patriots towards yet another NFC East title.

In any event, let's just delve right into the NFL schedule and serve up our choice NFL picks for the Patriots in 2016, followed by our NFL betting verdict for the projected season win totals. Chin up Patriots nation, it's not all doom and gloom in 2016.

New England Patriots 2016 NFL schedule Game-by-Game Predictions At A Glance

Week 1 vs. Arizona (away), Sunday, September 11 PT
The Patriots open the season on the road against the Arizona Cardinals, a matchup of last season's conference finalists. By and large, this is going down as a LOSS now in NFL betting circles simply because of Tom Brady's suspension. Do the Patriots really have no shot with Garoppolo? Cards defense is to be respected, but so too is the Patriots' seasoned offensive line. Consider advantage of being an unknown quarterback. Game-planning against Tom Brady is easy with tons of tape to watch. What can Bruce Arians expect from Garoppolo though if he doesn't have a lot to go on, and how does he prepare his team for that? The more we think on it, the more we feel the Patriots actually have a better chance than the majority are giving them. Heck, it would be quite the statement win by the Patriots and sticking it so to the NFL powers that be.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 1-0

Week 2 vs. Miami, Sunday, September 18
The Patriots season home opener features the Miami Dolphins, to all intents and purposes a winnable game, you'd think? Of course, rookie head coach Adam Gase will relish a matchup with the mighty Patriots sans Tom Brady. He might even consider it a winnable game too. The combination of Foxboro, Bill Belichick at the side lines, and a Patriots side that will be chomping at the bit to give themselves a fighting chance in the AFC East before the return of their chosen quarterback might be just one too many obstacles for the Fins to overcome.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 2-0

Week 3 vs. Houston, Thursday, September 25
If there were a tricky game on the NFL schedule it might be the date with the Houston Texans in week 3. Brock Osweiler led the Broncos to a sensational win over Tom Brady and the Patriots at Mile High. Now, there are those that will point out Tom Brady struggles in the altitude and has never played particularly well at Mile High. Fair point. But one can't underestimate the value of the win for Brock Osweiler and what it must do to his confidence before this game. Legitimately, he might fancy his chances at the Foxboro. If there were to be a wobble in the first four weeks without Tom Brady, this might be the game against a stout defense and a young quarterback with a lot to prove. Having said that it wouldn't surprise us if Bill Belichick pulls out a tactically brilliant game to serve up the win. He's bested O'Brien under the headsets numerous times.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 3-0

Week 4 vs. Buffalo, Sunday, October 2
The Buffalo Bills descend on Foxboro in week 4 of the NFL betting season, marking the second divisional rival in three weeks. Once again, Patriots sans Tom Brady serve up a desirable prospect for the opponents. Still, it's Foxboro where the Patriots are tough to beat. The Patriots swept the series last season behind a combined score of 60-45.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 4-0

Week 5 vs. Cleveland (away), Sunday, October 9
It's the Cleveland Browns. Need one say anything more? Oh, Tom Brady is back too! Need one say anything more?

NFL Picks: Win
Record 5-0

Week 6 vs. Cincinnati, Sunday, October 16
The Cincinnati Bengals descend on the Patriots in week 6, their toughest matchup to date in the 2016 season. Fortunately, Brady is back already with a game under his belt. It's Brady's home opener at the Foxboro too after serving his suspension. He'll be fired up. The Bengals are coming off a Thursday home game with the Dolphins. They'll be well rested and raring to go, so they shouldn't be underestimated. Still, we can't bet against Brady and the Patriots at home given their undeniable credentials at Gillette Stadium.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 6-0

Week 7 vs. Pittsburgh (away), Sunday, October 23
An away trip to Heinz Arena marks Brady's first real road test in 2016. It's their third AFC North opponent in as many weeks and, arguably, the toughest of the lot. Last year, Brady served up a 30-21 win at Gillette Stadium in week 1 over the Pittsburgh Steelers. This time, the Steelers have home advantage and the atmosphere should be electric for this matchup in Pittsburgh.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record 6-1

Week 8 vs. Buffalo (away), Sunday, October 30
The Buffalo Bills always play the New England Patriots tough it seems. They'll relish the chance in week 8 at home to serve up a surprise. In Tom Brady, we trust. In Tyrod Taylor, not so much. This should be a riveting AFC East contest but the Patriots dominate as they seem to do each and every year.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 7-1

Week 9 BYE

Week 10 vs. Seattle, Sunday, November 13 PT
The Seattle Seahawks descend on Tom Brady and the Patriots for Sunday primetime football. This will be a game NFL betting fans the nation over a circle, a rematch of the Super Bowl two years ago that the Patriots won in remarkable fashion. There are plenty of angles to take in this matchup and it could go either way. Seattle getting their own back here is a popular soundbite already. This one has us on the fence: Patriots should win but Seahawks could win. When in doubt, home advantage is the decider.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 8-1

Week 11 vs. San Francisco (away), Sunday, November 20
San Francisco figures to be a beatable team according to most NFL insiders, despite Chip Kelly's credentials as a legitimate ‘turnaround' coach. There are many question marks hanging over the Niners in 2016, but by week 11 they should be coming to terms with all the changes. This could be one of those games that go against the grain. Instinctively, the Patriots are the smart NFL pick. However, if Colin Kaepernick does somehow tap into the form that saw him emerge as a Super Bowl quarterback four years ago, would it be that surprising if they win at Levi Stadium? As it is, that's a lot of what ifs. Go with the smart NFL pick now unless proven otherwise.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 9-1

Week 12 vs. NY Jets (away), Sunday, November 27 PT
The New York Jets stunned the Patriots in week 16 at MetLife Stadium, beating the Patriots in OT. Can Ryan Fitzpatrick do it again? Under the watchful gaze of national television, no less? It's not impossible. Consider the Jets have a bye week ahead of this game. The benefit of rest and preparation can yield the win.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record 9-2

Week 13 vs. Los Angeles, Sunday, December 4
The Los Angeles Rams are likely to trot out their No.1 NFL draft pick Jared Goff this season. How that will go, who knows. By our reckoning, the Rams are slated to have a tough season, highlighted by many growing pains. A lot of arduous travel doesn't help their cause either, not to mention a trip to Foxboro is a daunting prospect alone.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 10-2

Week 14 vs. Baltimore, Monday, December 12 PT
Monday Night football ushers in a date with the Baltimore Ravens, a game John Harbaugh always relishes. He loves being the underdog on the road, apparently. The Ravens typically rise to the occasion in this matchup. Should be a riveting contest on Monday Night football for NFL bettors to sink their teeth into.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 11-2

Week 15 vs. Denver (away), Sunday, December 18
It's the dreaded altitude that has given Tom Brady so much trouble at Mile High. It could again. However, the uncertainty at quarterback in Denver does give Brady perhaps his best chance to stem the negative trend.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 12-2

Week 16 vs. NY Jets, Saturday, December 24
Once again, the Patriots get the Jets in week 16. This time at Foxboro, where home advantage is potentially the decider. The Jets will be up for this clash but with the season winding down and the playoffs looming the Patriots get the job done.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 13-2

Week 17 vs. Miami (away), Sunday, January 1
The Patriots close the season against the Dolphins for a second straight year. Last year, they lost 20-10 to the Dolphins in Miami. Strangely, the Patriots have lost three in a row in Miami. Surely, that negative trend stops here.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 14-2

NFL Projected Season Win Total for the Patriots: No Tom Brady fo a month. No problem. You can't put paid on ominous projections any better than by giving the Patriots a healthy 14-2 SU record and, potentially, the No.1 seed in the AFC. Granted it's a rather bright outlook all things being considered, but where the Patriots are concerned we must be able to agree nothing is impossible. Put it this way: if the Patriots put in a double-digit season when all is said and done, effectively letting all and sundry know they are legitimate contenders, will anybody be really that surprised? Hardly. NFL reporters and NFL panels across all media channels will revert to the same old script, waxing lyrical about the genius that is Bill Belichick and the amazing resilience of a Patriots team that perennially brings out the best from its individual parts.

Whether you agree with this exact lofty record or not – perhaps, 13-3 SU or 12-4 SU is more up your street – is neither here nor there. Surely, we must all be able to agree the Patriots remain a good bet to crack the 10.5 season win total until proven otherwise. Why else is the OVER fancied so richly across sports betting platforms, or, for that matter, why else would NFL bettors be pounding the OVER on their NFL picks?

Free NFL Picks: OVER 10.5 at -130
Best Line Offered: at bet365