- Win Over/Under: 11.5 (-110/-110)
- Make AFC Playoffs: -1500 (94%)
- Win AFC East: -800 (89%)
- Win AFC Championship: +300 (25%)
- Win Super Bowl: +600 (14%)
The Action Network’s 2018 New England Patriots Projected Wins: 11.23 (1st)
A lot of people hate the Patriots, which is interesting, because I think we can all accept the following two truths as universal.
- Everyone loves winning.
- Everyone loves money.
The only logical explanation, then, is that all those people who hate the Patriots aren’t betting on them nearly enough.
And I’m not even talking about the bets no one wants to make because you have to lay a ridiculous amount of money, like division or playoff odds (although the Pats have cashed each of those tickets for nine years and counting). I mean the plain old spread bets, win totals and plus-money futures.
If you look at what the Patriots have done, it’s pure gambling porn.
- The Pats are 24-8 against the spread (ATS) over the last two seasons and don’t have even one losing ATS record in the BetLabs database, which dates back to 2003. The Pats are 144-88-5 over that span for a 21.8% return — more than double that of the next team.
- The Pats’ 2018 win total is 11.5, but they’ve won at least 12 games in each of the past eight seasons. The public tends to bet overs too often, but in this case it’s warranted: The Pats haven’t gone under their win total since 2009, and the over is 13-3-1 since 2001.
- The Pats’ implied odds to win the AFC Championship are 25%, but they’ve won three of the past four (75%), four of the past seven (57%), five of the past 11 (45%) and eight of the past 17 (47%).
- The Pats’ implied odds to win the Super Bowl are 14%, but they’ve won two of the past four (50%) and five of the past 17 (29%).
Given the Patriots’ polarizing nature, you’re probably either aroused or sickened by those numbers, but if you’re still with us, let’s talk about the most pressing question for 2018: Is this the year quarterback Tom Brady finally slows down?
History says probably not.
Sure, Brett Favre flamed out at age 41 after throwing for over 4,000 yards for a Super Bowl contender at age 40, but that’s because Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams had the brilliant idea of trying to murder him (not really).
Brady, meanwhile, threw for more than 500 yards in the Super Bowl and had no attempts on his life (that we know of), so he’s more likely to follow in the footsteps of Warren Moon, who led the league in passing yards per game at age 41.
The Pats will be thin at wide receiver until Julian Edelman returns from his four-game suspension, but a defense that seemed a lot worse than its fifth-place finish in points allowed should improve with the additions of defensive tackle Danny Shelton and defensive end Adrian Clayborn and the return of Pro-Bowl linebacker Dont’a Hightower.
Lookahead lines have the Patriots favored in every game except for Week 15, when they travel to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers, a team they’re 3-0 against over the past two years and haven’t lost to since 2011. Aside from the Steelers, their two toughest opponents (Vikings, Packers) will play the Pats in Foxborough, where they have just nine regular-season losses in the past nine years. – Chris Raybon
The Bets: Over 11.5 wins, Win AFC +300, Win Super Bowl +700 and (if you have the ‘roll for it) Win AFC East -600 and Make Playoffs -1500
New England Patriots 2018 Schedule
- Games favored: 14
- Avg. spread: -6.0
- Strength of schedule: 1st (1 = Easiest, 32 = Hardest)
Survivor Pool 101
- Use the Patriots: Week 4 vs. MIA, Week 16 vs. BUF
- Use Patriots’ opponents: Don’t you dare.
Fantasy Football Outlook
- Top Pick: TE Rob Gronkowski
- Sleeper: RB Rex Burkhead
- Potential Bust: WR Julian Edelman
Best of “I’ll Take That Bet” on ESPN+
“We’ve taken money on every team to win the division except New England because of how short their odds are.”
“The public is betting the over on New England’s win total.”
“They are our only single-digit Super Bowl team and we’re seeing the usual support for them there.”
– Westgate bookmaker Jeff Sherman to The Action Network’s Michael Leboff
Tom Brady Over/Under 4,674.5 Passing Yards? (-105/-125)
It’s never fun betting against arguably the greatest player in NFL history, but at 41 years old, Brady is going to decline at some point, right? There is certainly a chance that he can stiff-arm MVP regression in 2018, but his passing-yard prop is a tad high considering the team’s situation at wide receiver.
Edelman is returning from an ACL tear and will miss the first four games due to suspension, forcing the Pats to rely on Chris Hogan and turn to Kenny Britt, Phillip Dorsett and/or the recently signed Eric Decker to start the year. If tight end Rob Gronkowski misses any time this year (which seems more likely than not), this prop will be a slam dunk. – Sean Koerner
The Bet: Under 4,674.5 Passing Yards (-125)
Stack Hogan with Brady in DFS
Hogan put up top-10 numbers over the first half of last season. You should refrain from drafting him in your league only if you don’t enjoy scoring fantasy points. But if you miss out, don’t worry: You can still pair him with Brady in your daily fantasy lineups.
According to the FantasyLabs NFL Correlations Dashboard, Brady and his No. 1 wide receiver have a .43 correlation since 2014, which is strong but standard for QB-WR1 pairings. However, Brady has an even stronger .51 correlation with his No. 2 wide receiver, so when Edelman returns to the field, Hogan and Brady could be an exploitable stack, especially since Hogan is likely to get more downfield opportunities with Brandin Cooks gone. – Ian Hartitz
More on the 2018 New England Patriots
- 10,000 Simulations Reveal the Best Super Bowl 53 Bets
- The New England Patriots and Value at -500 Odds
- Rex Burkhead: The RB to Own in New England?
- Julian Edelman: Who Benefits From His Expected Suspension?
- Mark Wahlberg Already Bet the Patriots, Eagles and Browns in 2018
- Patriots Top 2018 Regular-Season Win Totals
- Where Will Bill Belichick Coach After th e 2018 NFL Season?