The Pats are handicapped at 11 ½ wins this offseason by the sportsbooks, and New England is more than capable of getting that many wins and more. So, do we think the Pats will cruise to another AFC East title with 12 or more wins, or are New England’s chances in doubt this season?
If the Patriots have one thing going for them this offseason, it’s their schedule. I think they and the Broncos both have very easy schedules based on how good they are. Part of that is because the two teams play in bad divisions, but New England is playing the NFC South and the AFC North this season. These games could likely be easy ones for the Pats with the exception of a few.
The good news for the Pats is their road schedule is not as taxing, and they get most of their tough games at home. They play Atlanta on the road early in the season along with Cincinnati, and they head to Houston and Baltimore near the end, but other than that, their other four road games are cake walks against the Jets, Dolphins and Bills of course, along with a trip to Carolina.
The Patriots head into Buffalo during Week 1, and the NFL Odds favor the Patriots at -7, with a total of 53. While the total seems extremely high for the first week of the regular season, the spread seems like the books are begging me not to like the Patriots. Obviously it’s extremely early, but the Pats have gone 3-1-1 ATS in their last five trips to Buffalo, and the Bills don’t even know who their quarterback is going to be during the season.
The Sharp Pick
I’m seeing some sports betting value with the Pats in both their season wins totals and their Week 1 odds. New England looks to have about 10 wins in the bag this year before the season even begins, which means that among their remaining six games, can they win two of them? I think they can. Those six games include trips to Atlanta, Cincinnati, Houston and Baltimore, along with home games against the Broncos and Saints. I think they could surely won two or even three of these games. New England might be in store for another great season, and I think +115 is enough to get me to back the ‘Over’ with my NFL picks.
On the Week 1 front, I am also giving my early lean to the Pats, but I see an even better bet on the under in this game. 53 points seems like a lot for a Bills offense that likely won’t be that much better than a year ago, and because both teams will likely have much better defenses than a year ago. Even though the over is 6-4 in the last ten times these two teams have played, I think the Week 1 jitters will be just enough to keep this one from being a high scoring affair.
My Pick: OVER 11.5 wins +115
Week 1 Lean: UNDER 53