The New England Patriots are the darlings of oddsmakers as they are three-times more likely to win Super Bowl LII than any other franchise, and are projected to record the most wins in a decade. Sportsbook operator CG Technology just announced their lines for every game in 2016, except for week 17, and the Patriots are favored to win every single game.
Odds aren’t released for the final week of the season because those games are toss-ups based upon whether or not teams feel a need to play for playoff seeding, so we’ll have to wait to find out how the Patriots are favored at home against the New York Jets (my guess? by a lot).
But for the Patriots first 15 games, we now have the betting lines. My thoughts are after the list.
Week 1: Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots (-7, 49)
Week 2: New England Patriots (-4.5) at New Orleans Saints
Week 3: Houston Texans at New England Patriots (-9)
Week 4: Carolina Panthers at New England Patriots (-9)
Week 5: New England Patriots (-3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 6: New England Patriots (-9.5) at New York Jets
Week 7: Atlanta Falcons at New England Patriots (-6.5)
Week 8: Los Angeles Chargers at New England Patriots (-12.5)
Week 9: BYE WEEK
Week 10: New England Patriots (-3) at Denver Broncos
Week 11: New England Patriots (-1.5) “at” Oakland Raiders
Week 12: Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots (-9)
Week 13: New England Patriots (-7) at Buffalo Bills
Week 14: New England Patriots (-4) at Miami Dolphins
Week 15: New England Patriots (-1.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 16: Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots (-11.5)
The Patriots are the biggest favorite (-12.5) in week 8 against the Chargers, which I’m surprised by. The Chargers have always had all the pieces for a good team, but they struggled to win on the field. Sure, they have a rookie head coach, but they still have Philip Rivers at quarterback, explosive players at every level of the offense, a pair of great cornerbacks in Casey Hayward an Jason Verrett, and a great pass rush with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram.
I’m not saying the Chargers should be the favorite, but I’m not sure I support them being the Patriots easiest opponent.
Of course, the week 17 game against the Jets isn’t listed, but if they follow the same pattern as the Bills and Dolphins of giving up 4.5-5.0 points home versus away, then the Patriots could reasonably be projected as 14.0-point favorites at home against the Jets in any other week of the season, which would make more sense.
The Patriots are only 1.5-point favorites in week 11 against the Raiders and week 15 against the Steelers, which makes some sense. Those are the Patriots two biggest competitors in the AFC, the Patriots are at the end of major road trips in both. I think the Patriots win both by more than 1.5 (Tom Brady-led Patriots are 9-2-1 against the spread vs the Steelers), but I’m actually more surprised by a different line.
I’m interested in the Patriots as mere 3-point favorites against the Buccaneers in week 5. It’s a Thursday Night game, so you know it’ll be ugly, but are the Buccaneers really that good? Mike Evans is a top wide receiver and they just added DeSean Jackson and rookie tight end O.J. Howard to the mix, but the Patriots are 7-point favorites over the Chiefs in the season opener- and does anyone think the Buccaneers are going to play the Patriots tougher than Kansas City?
Oh, and the Patriots are 6.5-point favorites over the Atlanta Falcons. I don’t care where the game takes place or on what day of the week, the Patriots should not be greater favorites against the Falcons than against the Buccaneers.
What do you think of these lines?