For much of the last two decades, no one would fault another person for betting on the New England Patriots. Whether it was to win a game, the division, the AFC, or even the Super Bowl, the Patriots have been the picture of success. However, that all may be subject to change this season.

The Patriots’ potential downfall began with Tom Brady leaving town and taking his considerable skills to Tampa Bay. But the Bill Belichick believers have insisted the team would be fine without Brady.

However, in light of several players opting out over coronavirus concerns, is Bill Belichick’s genius enough to ensure success?  Or is it finally time to bet against the possibility of the Patriots having a good season?

Sportsbooks have been split on who the favorite is to win the AFC East this season. The current odds at BetRivers still favor the Patriots, but the Bills are not far behind:

  • AFC EAST WINNER
    • New England Patriots +115
    • Buffalo Bills +130
    • New York Jets +750
    • Miami Dolphins +1000

As far for the Super Bowl, the Patriots opened at +1200. BetRivers now has them listed at +2000, and some books have them as high as +2200. Their AFC Championship odds have not suffered as much (from opening at +700 to +1000 at BetRivers).

Confidence in them covering their win total (nine) is not terrible (over -125; under +105). New England’s odds of making the playoffs (-216) are still better than their odds to miss (+175). Oddsmakers don’t seem to think the Patriots will win a championship this year (-2500).

Oddsmakers don’t seem to be too confident in the Patriots. The media certainly isn’t. So, does that mean it is time for gamblers not to bet on them? Or should they have faith that Bill Belichick will find a way to win?

Belichick is the best at what he does. However, even his evil genius has limits. The offense will likely not be as good as it has been in recent years, but it will not be terrible with Jarrett Stidham or Cam Newton at quarterback.

As for the personnel losses due to guys opting out with coronavirus concerns, most of them were players that just added depth to the roster. The only loss that really stings is Dont’a Hightower, the leader of the defense. With the defense losing a few guys in free agency, losing him could hurt.

So– how should you bet?

Bill Belichick will figure out some way to get the most out of his roster. With the division not being particularly strong still, there is a good chance they can still cover the over on their win total. But that may be a bet best left alone this year. It may be wishful thinking to say they can win the division this year without an implosion by the Bills.

As for the playoffs, 8-8 or 9-7 will get them in the playoffs, so take them to make the postseason. However, do not bank on them to win the AFC or the Super Bowl. That also means you could take them not to win the championship if you don’t mind the minuscule payout at those odds.

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