2018 was yet another landmark year in New England. The Patriots claimed their sixth Super Bowl title with a 13-3 triumph over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII, which put them into a tie with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most Lombardi Trophies in NFL history. At this point, it feels as though the Patriots will be a dominant force in the world of betting on the NFL as long as Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are still running the show together.
Unfortunately for the league’s 31 other teams, there is no sign that either man will be going anywhere any time soon. The fact that the Pats have managed to win six Super Bowls in less than 20 years’ time makes New England arguably the most dominant dynasty the league and has ever seen. With the exception of the 2008 season that was marred by Brady’s ACL tear, the Patriots have been relevant in the championship discussion for the better part of the last two decades and counting.
Thanks in large part to a weak AFC East, in which the team with the second-best record was the 7-9 Dolphins, the Patriots cruised to yet another division title in ‘18. New England went a relatively drama-free 11-5, including a perfect 8-0 record at home last season. The Pats did start the season 1-2 after back-to-back losses in Jacksonville and Detroit, but they subsequently reeled off six consecutive wins to put a stranglehold on the division. They weren’t nearly as dependable on the road (3-5), but that didn’t stop them from going into Arrowhead Stadium on a cold night in January and earning a 37-31 triumph over the Chiefs in the conference championship game.
Brady and Belichick are still here, which means the Patriots will be a factor in the championship picture once again in 2019. What can we expect from the reigning champions next season?
Patriots Offseason Moves
You might think that winning six Super Bowls in such a short amount of time might make a franchise complacent, but that’s certainly not the case with the Patriots. The team hasn’t been shy about getting aggressive with personnel, which is necessary in this day and age of constant player movement. The Patriots’ coaching staff and front office is always a target for other teams. Other franchises desperately try to replicate New England’s success.
The most notable departure for New England this offseason was Rob Gronkowski, who announced his retirement at the age of 30 following a number of injury-plagued seasons. Tom Brady also lost his left tackle in Trent Brown, who inked a lucrative free agent deal with the Raiders this offseason. Trey Flowers, one of the team’s most impactful forces along the defensive line, signed with Detroit, where he’ll be reunited with former Pats defensive coordinator Matt Patricia.
Veteran Austin Seferian-Jenkins was signed to try and replace Gronkowski, but there’s no replacing Gronk’s production. Gronkowski topped 1,000 yards receiving four times over the course of his illustrious career, while Seferian-Jenkins has just over 1,100 yards receiving for his entire career. Last year, he caught 11 passes for 90 yards in five games with the Jaguars. Matt LaCosse and Benjamin Watson were also signed to compete for tight end duties.
Flowers was replaced by former Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett. The 33-year-old racked up nine sacks as a member of the Eagles a season ago, and the Patriots will be his fourth NFL stop. Bennett joins New England in the second year of a three-year, $30 million deal he signed with Philadelphia prior to last season. Brown will be replaced at left tackle by Isaiah Wynn, who missed all of last season after tearing his Achilles during a preseason game. The Patriots were fine with letting Brown walk because Wynn was the team’s first-round pick (23rd overall) out of Georgia.
The Patriots re-signed corner Jason McCourty, which means he’ll continue to play alongside his twin brother, Devin, in the defensive backfield. New England still has Patrick Chung and Stephon Gilmore back there, so the starting DBs will be the same as they were before. Eric Rowe signed with Miami, which hurts the team’s depth, but he appeared in just four games last season due to injury. Linebacker Jamie Collins, who has spent the last few years in Cleveland, signed on to return to New England this offseason.
New England also signed veteran receiver Demaryius Thomas, who tore his Achilles late last season as a member of the Texans. Chris Hogan and Cordarrelle Patterson both left as free agents, and the Patriots are hopeful that rookie N’Keal Harry will be able to step in and contribute right away. Harry was the No. 32 overall pick out of Arizona State, and he should compete for a starting job in camp.
Patriots 2018 Statistics
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Passing Yards Allowed per Game
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Patriots 2019 Schedule
Sun, Sep. 8
vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Sun, Sep. 15
at Miami Dolphins
Sun, Sep. 22
vs. New York Jets
Sun, Sep. 29
at Buffalo Bills
Sun, Oct. 6
at Washington Redskins
Thu, Oct. 10
vs. New York Giants
FOX, NFL Net.
Mon, Oct 21
at New York Jets
Sun, Oct. 27
vs. Cleveland Browns
Sun, Nov. 3
at Baltimore Ravens
Sun, Nov. 17
at Philadelphia Eagles
Sun, Nov. 24
vs. Dallas Cowboys
Sun, Dec. 1
at Houston Texans
Sun, Dec. 8
vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Sun, Dec. 15
at Cincinnati Bengals
Sun, Dec. 22
vs. Buffalo Bills
Sun, Dec. 29
vs. Miami Dolphins
The Patriots’ bye week will come in Week 10, which essentially gives them a break right at the season’s halfway point. The bye last season came in Week 11. On paper, the schedule looks quite manageable at first for the defending champs, but things get progressively more difficult as the campaign progresses. Kicking things off with a rivalry game against the Steelers won’t be easy, but the Pats should still come in as betting favorites on their home field. The Patriots then get three straight divisional games before back-to-back fixtures against NFC East teams in Washington (away) and the New York Giants (home).
As they get closer to the bye, though, things get more daunting. Week 8’s matchup with the Cleveland Browns should be a stellar matchup, as the Browns are expected to be one of the more improved teams in all of football this season. After the off week, the Pats face four straight games against teams that made the playoffs a season ago, including a rematch of Super Bowl LII in Week 11 against the Eagles.
The final three games of the season against what could be some of the worst teams in the NFL (Cincinnati, Buffalo, Miami) should give the Patriots some momentum heading into the playoffs.
Patriots 2019 Outlook
In news that should surprise nobody, the Patriots will enter the 2019 season as massive betting favorites to win the AFC East. New England has won this division 10 years in a row, with the Miami Dolphins being the last non-Patriots team to do so. Miami went 11-5 in 2008, the same season in which Brady tore his ACL. Before that, the Pats had reeled off six straight division titles. The Patriots being listed at -500 to win the AFC East again this season speaks for itself.
In addition to the six games against divisional rivals, the Patriots will square off with each of the eight teams from the NFC East and AFC North. The Week 13 clash with Houston and the Week 15 rematch with the Chiefs make for tough one-offs on the Pats’ schedule.
Because the rest of the division looks so overmatched, it’s not crazy to expect the Patriots to go 4-2 at worst in those games. 5-1 or a perfect 6-0 are well within reason, as well. New England went 5-1 against these jokers last season, with the lone loss being a “flukey” last-second defeat in Miami at the hands of the Dolphins. The Jets look improved, but it’s still difficult to see New England losing more than two divisional matchups, at the very most.
The Patriots’ over/under is currently listed at 11 wins. Since 2001, Brady’s first season, New England has won at least 11 games an incredible 15 times. The only seasons in which they failed to reach that benchmark were 2002 (9 wins), 2005 (10) and 2009 (10).
Of the non-divisional games, the Patriots will welcome the Steelers, Giants, Browns, Cowboys, and Chiefs to Gillette Stadium. The road matchups will take them to Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Houston, and Cincinnati. The Chiefs look like the most daunting opponent on the non-divisional home schedule, while the games in Baltimore and Philadelphia look particularly tough away from home.
Even so, it’s not unreasonable to expect New England to enter as the betting favorite in most of these contests. Given the relatively easy first half of the schedule, it’s very possible for the Patriots to enter the bye week in Week 10 8-1 or 7-2. If they get to 8-1, a 4-3 finish after the bye would get them over 11 victories.
Patriots 2019 Win Total Odds and Pick
Here’s what oddsmakers have for the Patriots heading into the 2019 regular season:
Honestly, it feels like the Patriots are able to win 11 games every year in their sleep. Having 5-to-6 wins baked into the schedule thanks to an inept division is a luxury that most other teams aren’t afforded in this league. Injuries can always rise up and affect things, of course. It’s also fair to wonder whether the Patriots will even need to try and win their games in Weeks 16 and 17 if they already have their playoff seed locked up.
Those are things we can’t necessarily account for as bettors, however. The relatively difficult second half of the schedule does give me a bit of pause, but where has betting against the Patriots gotten anybody over the last two decades? This team is timeless. Unless Tom Brady starts to decline rapidly, there is no reason to expect them to suddenly falter. There is still plenty of talent around him, and Belichick has been a master of adjustments for years.
If the team can get some semblance of consistent production out of their tight ends, and if some of the youngsters on the offensive side of the ball (Harry, Sony Michel) can step up, New England shouldn’t miss a beat.
Take the over on 11 wins for New England in 2019. Never bet against the Patriots.
Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...
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