Here is some good and bad news for Patriots fans as we move into Week 11 of the NFL regular season. The bad news is that pre-season favorites, as the Patriots were this year, rarely go on to win the Super Bowl. In fact, only twice in the last 17 seasons have the sportsbooks’ top pick gone on to lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy. There is good news on a couple of fronts though: First of all, the last team to buck that trend were the 2016 Patriots, and we all know that ended up with one of the most thrilling Super Bowl victories in living memory.
The second bit of good news is that the pre-season favorites will almost always do well, with the majority actually making a date in February for the Super Bowl, although they statistically end up losing. However, let’s be honest about it: the Belichick/Brady era has made most Patriots fans have different expectations about what constitutes success. Put simply, if Brady, Gronkowski and the rest of the team aren’t swigging beer while parading on a float in downtown Boston in February, Patriots fans are going to call it a bad season.
Three teams ahead of Patriots in latest odds
Anyway, the Patriots started the season as favorites, but have dropped back a little since then. In the lasted NFL betting odds provided by 888sport, the Patriots find themselves behind the Rams (+350), the Saints (+400) and the Chiefs (+500). Belichick’s men are currently at +600, not far off where they were at the start of the season, with most sportsbooks putting them at +700 or so back in August.
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Of course, as most of you are aware, the season started with a decent victory over the Texans for the Patriots, making most sportsbooks happy with their choice. But things started to change once defeats came in Week 2 and 3. However, it’s important to realise that the team was way out on its own in those preseason odds, with the Steelers, Vikings and Rams all next best at around +1000. Only the Rams, who have been terrific, have moved forward from that bunch and most would agree that they deserve the favorites tag at this stage.
Bears big movers
Incidentally, the big movers from the pre-season betting markets were the Eagles and Packers, who dropped significantly from about +1200 to +2500 and +3000 respectively. The Bears, meanwhile, were given little chance, but have earned more respect as the season has wore on, with 888sport effectively cutting their odds in half, currently sitting at +2000.
Going back to the Patriots, it seems that inconsistency has hurt them. While many will point out the fact that the odds have remained fairly similar (the odds did tumble after those defeats to the Lions and Jaguars, but have since gone back up), it should also be noted that a top team’s odds are supposed to decrease as we approach the Playoffs. That was the case for the Rams, Saints and Chiefs, all of whom have seen their odds cut in half – at least.
What does this mean for the team’s chances? Nothing at all. No player is thinking of what the betting markets say when they take to the field, and Patriots fans know that they have won before when the underdog and lost before when the overwhelming consensus was that they would win. But, if you truly believe the team can win a sixth Super Bowl, then the static nature of the Patriots’ odds means you can get the same betting value as you could at the start of the season. That’s significant as we approach the Playoffs.