The New England Patriots are favored to conclude the 2017 season the same way they last year: hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.
Tom Brady, now a 40-year-old quarterback, doesn’t appear to be showing signs of slowing down, and coach Bill Belichick is still the best in the game.
Arguably the greatest dynasty in the NFL, the Patriots have five Super Bowl titles since 2001, all orchestrated by the Belichick-Brady duo. According to Covers.com, New England opened as the favorite to win the Super Bowl at +500.
The bettors jumped all over those odds, and the Pats are now listed at +310, making them overwhelming favorites over the Pittsburgh Steelers (+901) and Seattle Seahawks (+950).
While many bettors are all over New England, almost no one wants a piece of the New York Jets. If the Jets win the Super Bowl and you wager $100 on it before the season starts, you will win $300,000 (3000-1 odds).
But don’t expect that to happen. The Jets will struggle to win a game with virtually no talent at quarterback and most other positions.
And the organization clearly isn’t in win-now mode, making virtually no significant off-season acquisitions. New York is likely to go down as one of the worst NFL teams ever.
Can Anyone Beat the Defending Champs?
New England (-1200) is the biggest divisional favorites in NFL betting history. The Jets aren’t the only AFC East team in rebuilding mode.
Miami and Buffalo have about as much of a chance to win the Super Bowl as Donald Trump had to win the 2016 presidential election. Oh, wait…
AFC East Odds to Win the Division, per Covers.com
New England Patriots (-1200)
Miami Dolphins (+800)
Buffalo Bills (+1500)
New York Jets (+7500)
A Cupcake Schedule
There’s really no such thing as a “cupcake schedule” in the NFL, but the Patriots’ schedule might be as close to one as they come. The defending champs play six of their 16 games against expected-to-be weak divisional foes.
The only team on the schedule among the five title favorites is a Super Bowl rematch against Atlanta (+1010) on October 22. It’s possible the Patriots will only face three or four playoff all season.
It’s hard to imagine anyone but New England winning the AFC East. The bettors certainly don’t expect it to happen. But upsets do happen. Just ask Hillary Clinton, the 1969 Baltimore Colts, and Mike Tyson after losing to James “Buster” Douglas in 1990.
The bettors don’t expect an upset to happen this year. New England is the overwhelming favorite to win it all for the sixth time in 17 years.