The New England Patriots are facing the Arizona Cardinals and they will be without their two best players in QB Tom Brady and TE Rob Gronkowski. If you take away the top two players on any team, never mind two of the top five or ten players in the entire NFL, they’re probably going to lose.
But do the Patriots have a chance to win?
The Cardinals opened up as 5.5-point favorites, but recent news about Gronkowski and LT Nate Solder not playing has pushed the line to Cardinals as 7.5-point favorites.
This is a pretty crazy line because the Patriots have been a touchdown underdog just once since Tom Brady took over at quarterback in 2001- the 2009 season finale against the Texans, where the Patriots had already clinched a playoff berth and were expected to rest their starters, but WR Wes Welker tore his ACL.
The Patriots covered, by the way.
But this is such a rare moment that it doesn’t make too much sense to compare the Patriots prior successes, or lack thereof, when playing as big underdogs. But for the sake of knowledge, the Patriots have covered eight of the ten times they have been 7-points-or-greater underdogs under head coach Bill Belichick and hold a 5-5 record.
The Cardinals have much more relevant information since they were a touchdown-or-greater favorites five times last season. They posted a 4-1 record and failed to cover any of the games.
So if I had to guess, the Cardinals are still going to win the game, but the Patriots are going to catch the snitch to cover.
Predict the score below!