You gotta wonder if Tom Brady officially confirming he would play in 2018 in that Jim Gray interview last week after he officially confirmed that he would play in 2018 back in February 2018 raises these odds a bit.
So OBVIOUSLY the draft must’ve boosted New England’s Super Bowl odds because there’s no way they’d be Super Bowl favorites without picking up offensive line road-grading Swiss Army Knife Isaiah Wynn and his roommate running back Swiss Army Knife Sony Michel and defensive back Swiss Army Knife Duke Dawson, not with that defense that can’t rush and can’t cover and can’t spell C-O-V-E-R-2-M-A-N without a set of alphabet magnets.
According to Bovada, by way of Forbes, the Patriots’ odds of winning the Super Bowl this year started the football sabbatical known as the offseason at 5-1. For reference purposes, that’s before free agency, as of February 5th, 2018, the day after the Super Bowl, and Forbes seems to have this whole money thing down pretty well.
So then, after a wild free agency period that saw Nate Solder, Dion Lewis, and Malcolm Butler get paid a combined $143 million to go to Patriots Kryptonite Inc and Patriots South, respectively, and the Patriots returning to the classic sit-back-and-let-everyone-else-go-crazy free agency strategy that’s served them rather well over the past couple decades, and the aforementioned draft, did anyone get ahead of the Patriots for Super Bowl favorite?
Not even enough to move the needle, when all the dust settled and everyone went home and had some pizza and went to bed, actually.
New England’s odds to win the Super Bowl are currently chilling at 5-1, still. Same as they were right after the Super Bowl.
This is the part where it’s important to clarify what that means:
- Following the Super Bowl, even though New England’s defense was barbecued by a backup quarterback by the name of Nick Foles who’s somewhere between Game 1 starter and trade bait this season, as everyone’s roster, coach, and everything else stood, New England was the odds-on favorite to win the Super Bowl this upcoming season immediately following last year’s Super Bowl. 5-1 odds, as we have stated somewhere between 5 and 30 times previously.
- After not only the Patriots’ free agency and draft additions, but everyone else’s free agency and draft additions - nobody had gained enough ground on New England to even overtake them as the AFC favorite. Obviously, that includes the fantasy-football-darling Steelers and the DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS YALL Jaguars.
- After the 2018 NFL schedule was released in full, with the Patriots dueling with the up-and-coming AFC South (don’t laugh), the Kirk-Cousins-edition Vikings, and of course, Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, that...didn’t really move the needle for Vegas either.
For what it’s worth, the 2017 Patriots - they of the play-Monopoly-with-real-cash acquisitions of Stephon Gilmore, Brandin Cooks, and, um, Dwayne Allen and Phillip Dorsett, were ranked at 7-2 Super Bowl favorites. That, of course, was before the Patriots defense revealed that they were woefully unprepared to play any kind of zone defense and also surprisingly terrible when playing man-to-man, never mind a pass rush that may still be trying to get a sack as we speak, but hey, so it goes when you’re making projections on paper.
And, with the necessary buzzkill caveat that that’s all these are - projections on paper - it’s hard to not smile at least a little bit knowing that Vegas sees the New England Patriots as not only superior to the Eagles, but the rest of the league that’s been trying to catch them for however many years as well*.
*even if, you know, Harold Landry and Maurice Hurst and Lamar Jackson and Josh Jackson and Mason Rudolph were just there for the taking last week.