New England Patriots NFL Betting Preview: Real MVP – Bill Belichick or Tom Brady?
Posted on: August 26, 2020, 07:05h.
Last updated on: August 26, 2020, 01:14h.
In 2000, Bill Belichick’s first season as coach, the New England Patriots went 5-11. Then Drew Bledsoe went down in the second game of 2001, Tom Brady moved into the lineup and the Patriots started winning. And winning. And winning.
The Patriots have posted 19 consecutive winning seasons, including 17 in a row with at least 10 wins. They qualified for the playoffs in 16 of those 17 seasons, with the exception being 2008 when Brady was injured in the opener and the Patriots went 11-5 with Matt Cassel.
Following a run of unprecedented success comes a season of unprecedented change. Brady, a six-time Super Bowl champion, signed with Tampa Bay during the off-season. Just like that, the perennial championship contenders became long shots.
When Westgate SuperBook released its 2020 odds on Jan. 13, the Patriots were +1,200 to win the Super Bowl. Now they’re +4,000.
Over/Under: 9.5 Wins
The Patriots are the great unknown. Who was the real MVP – Most Valuable Patriot? Was it Belichick or was it Brady?
That uncertainty is reflected in the odds. At DraftKings, for instance, New England is +1,800 to win the Super Bowl, much shorter odds than at SuperBook.
The Patriots have won 11 consecutive AFC East titles. Buffalo is the slightest of favorites to win at most sportsbooks this year, though FanDuel gives New England the edge at +115 to Buffalo’s +125.
Brady’s had a significant impact on them,” Andrew Mannino, the senior sports content analyst at PointsBet, told Casino.org. “We had them -200 for the division; they’re now at +135 and riding behind the Bills to win the AFC East.
“Obviously, Brady’s a generational talent and his departure, once it became certain, really caused the kind of uncertainty in New England that we haven’t seen there in quite some time.”
No different than the divisional odds, the over/under win totals vary depending on the sportsbook. It’s 8.5 at DraftKings (-143 over; +118 under), 9.0 at PointsBet (-130 over; +105 under) and 9.5 at William Hill (+100 over; -125 under) and FanDuel (+135 over; -160 under).
Of course, with Belichick, the Patriots can’t be counted out. He and Packers legend Vince Lombardi are considered the greatest coaches in NFL history. At BetMGM, Belichick is the favorite to win Coach of the Year at +1,000.
This will give people a real opportunity to see how much is Tom and how much is Bill over the last 17 years,” Mannino told Casino.org.
While Belichick has raved about incumbent backup Jarrett Stidham, veteran Cam Newton is the favorite to replace Brady. Newton, his career in decline after winning the 2015 NFL MVP, had been released by Carolina. In 2015, he threw for 35 touchdowns and ran for 10 others. From 2016 through 2018, he averaged 21.7 touchdown passes and 5.0 touchdowns runs. He missed most of last season with a foot injury.
Nonetheless, at DraftKings, Newton is +400 to win Comeback Player of the Year, odds that trail only Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger and Washington’s Alex Smith (+300 apiece).
Brady wasn’t the only big loss for New England. It was hit harder than any other team by COVID-19 opt-outs. The losses hit the defense especially hard. One star who will play is cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who is fifth on BetMGM’s Defensive Player of the Year board at +1,600.
Editor’s Note: This is the 14th of 32 NFL team previews and the second of four on the AFC East.
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