2019 is one of the first years in a long time that the New England Patriots didn’t start the season as the odds-on favorites to win the Super Bowl.
The Pats opened at +850 at most betting sites, behind the Kansas City Chiefs and LA Rams at +750 each. Well, those odds have been adjusted and the Patriots are now the clearcut front-runners on the odds boards between +275 and +300. Since sports betting is rapidly legalizing, it should be noted that there are a ton of places to bet online and it’s wise to compare consumer reviews. You can start here, sportsbetting.ag review.
The next closest team remains to be the Chiefs, but there is some serious separation with their lines at +700. Can anybody in the NFC beat either of these teams? Surely not the Lions or Redskins, who were both defeated at the hands of the AFC’s best. But have the Pats lived up to expectations?
They have exceeded expectations. Most people saw 2019 as being well on the way towards the end of the epic dynasty. Even people like myself thought: ‘Tom Brady is in his 40s, Gronk retired, key members of the offensive and defensive fronts are all gone. Sure, we’ll probably make the playoffs, but the Super Bowl is probably going to be handled by the ‘new generation.’’
We were wrong.
Bill Belichick has always been an old defensive mind, but the Pats have been almost exclusively known for their offensive potential. But in 2019 the Patriots have the stoutest defense in the league. No. 1 in scoring at just 6.75 points allowed per game, No. 2 in passing yards allowed at only 181.75, and No. 2 in rushing yards allowed, just 61.25! The defense spends less time on the field than all but one team and they top the league in yards per play as well.
Now the defensive dominance the Pats have shown doesn’t detract from the offense. They are currently the No. 5 offense in the NFL putting up 30.5 points per game overall, and 31.5 points per game while at home. Which is why they are listed as double-digit favorites over the New York Giants in on Week 6 TNF.
Then they get the Jets who have thrown a touchdown pass in three straight games. The thing the Jets offense does best right now is throw INTs. After that, they get the Cleveland Browns at Gillette. The Browns were expected to compete for the AFC North, but have dropped the ball …. Literally. Most recently they got mined for points by the 49ers.
However, the middle schedule is pretty tough for the Pats, they get the Ravens, Eagles, and then Cowboys, Texans, and Chiefs all back-to-back. Can they pull into the postseason 16-0? If their defense stays healthy, yes. But it won’t be easy. And no one would fault Belichick for taking a loss during this tough, middle-season stretch.
After the Jets and Browns, if they make it through those next five games without a loss, they’ll cruise through the last three games into a perfect season. Pats fans can rejoice that the reign isn’t over, and haters can continue to shake their heads and blame nearly 20 years of success on cheating and whatever else they can think of as an excuse for why their team isn’t as good as New England.