Some Things Never Change with Patriots: Go 'Over' Win Total Again

Swinging Johnson

Wednesday, July 11, 2018 8:02 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jul. 11, 2018 8:02 PM UTC

New England is once again the odds-on-favorite to win the Super Bowl and have the highest win total. Let’s see if this season will be another winning campaign or the beginning of the end of a dynasty.

The Patriots' offseason was unlike any over the past two decades in that Tom Brady skipped the voluntary workouts, Rob Gronkowski floated the idea of retirement, and a rift the size of the Charles River between Brady and head coach Bill Belichick appeared after TB-12’s personal trainer was banished from the sidelines near the end of last season. Add into the mix the profoundly mystifying decision to keep a starting cornerback in Malcolm Butler on the sideline during the entire Super Bowl, save for one special teams play. Oh, and as long as we’re throwing a little shade on Bill B, how about getting a second-round draft pick for a quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo that many teams had valued as a first-rounder?

There is an unfamiliar vibe heading into camp and the vultures continue to circle regarding Brady’s career as a soon-to-be 41-year-old man playing against kids half his age. But all of that said, there is one overriding factor: Bill Belichick and Tom Brady win more games than anyone else. The oddsmakers tend to agree as the major online sportsbooks are listing New England with the lowest NFL odds in terms of winning the division, conference and Super Bowl as well as tagging the Patriots with the highest win total in the league, even above the reigning Super Bowl champion Eagles at 10½.

Odds to win AFC East: -670 (1st)
Odds to win AFC: +275 (1st)
Odds to win Super Bowl: +650 (1st)
Total season wins: 11 (O-130)

Let’s take a look at New England’s recent seasonal records vis a vis the total wins for each season:

2018: 11 (O-130)
2017: 12½ (O-135) (13-3 record)
2016: 11 (O-120) (14-2 record)
2015: 10½ (O-130) (12-4 record)

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PFW picks 5 CBs sure to make the #Patriots 53-man roster.

Positional predictions:

— New England Patriots (@Patriots) July 9, 2018

Patriots Outlook

Offense: Some of the tools were stolen from the woodshed during the offseason as Danny Amendola signed with Miami, Dion Lewis stepped to Tennessee, and Brady’s blindside protector Nate Solder is now a New York Giant. Oh, and Julian Edelman is out on suspension for the first four games. But other than that, things are just swell in Foxboro. Yet, the Pats did draft a top end offensive lineman in Georgia’s Isaiah Wynn (23rd overall) and tabbed another Bulldog, Sony Michel (31st overall) to replace Lewis in the backfield. The Pats then traded for mammoth tackle Trent Brown by sending a third-round pick to the 49ers to shore up their offensive line. It should also be noted that No. 2 receiver Chris Hogan will be back healthy and the Patriots have plenty of depth on the wings, although no field stretching superstar ala Antonio Brown. Overall, things have changed but not enough to rattle a legend like Brady.

Defense: New England lost Malcolm Butler to free agency when he signed with Tennessee but that was no surprise. The counter for that was drafting Florida corner Duke Dawson in the second-round and acquiring Jason McCourty from Cleveland to add to a defensive backfield that includes brother Devin. New England fans are hoping that the loss of Matt Patricia as defensive coordinator won’t derail the team’s inevitable march towards the postseason. However, last season didn’t start great defensively yet the Pats wound up No. 5 in the league in points allowed after some tinkering by Patricia.

Bottom Line: The last time New England won less than 11 games was way back in 2009 when they went 10-6. This current over/under sits at about 11 at most shops with some dealing the Pats at 10 ½ but you will have to pay -150 for that privilege in your NFL picks. I believe New England can notch 12 wins and then begin their march through the playoffs. Belichick and the New England brass focused on what they lost in the offseason and seemed to have reaped potentially high rewards. We will go "over" 11 wins and cash a ticket at season’s end.

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