The New England Patriots will be without starting quarterback Tom Brady for the first four games of the season due to suspension. Back-up quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will be at the helm of the offense and BookMaker.eu has set the prop odds for the Patriots first quarter of the season.
If Garoppolo plays as well as he did against the New Orleans Saints in the preseason, I could see the Patriots going 3-1. If he plays like he did against the Panthers, 2-2 and 1-3 are very real possibilities. There’s a lot of work to do, and hopefully the integration of tight end Rob Gronkowski will elevate the offensive production.
Here are the prop odds for the Patriots record over the first four games of the 2016 regular season:
Patriots (4-0) +1150
Patriots (3-1) +180
Patriots (2-2) +145
Patriots (1-3) +335
Patriots (0-4) +1500
The most expected outcome is 2-2, followed closely by 3-1. The oddsmakers give roughly an 80% chance that the Patriots will start the season 2-2 or better. The Patriots are also more likely to go 4-0 than to go 0-4.
The last time the Patriots started a season worse than 2-2 was all the way back in 2001, so remember that all is not lost with a 1-3 record.
The Patriots started 2-2 in 2003, 2005, 2012, and 2014, which includes two Super Bowl titles and another AFC Championship game appearance, so 2-2 is a fine place to start.
The Patriots went 4-0 in 2004, 2007, 2013, and 2015, which is pretty great company. Injuries derailed 2013 and 2015, while the 2004 and 2007 Patriots are among the best seasons in NFL history.
Starting the year 3-1 actually seems to be the kiss of death for the Patriots, including the years 2002, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. Those years include two missed playoff trips (02, 08), two early playoff exits (09, 10), and then two of the most heartbreaking losses in franchise history (06 AFC Championship game, 11 Super Bowl).
If Garoppolo can lead the Patriots to a 2-2 record, they’ll be fine- and it seems like the odds makers think this is the most likely outcome.