The New England Patriots may have suffered their first defeat of the season against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night, and subsequently fell from the top position in numerous power rankings, but at 8-1 they are still in a comfortable position heading into their bye week. After all, the reigning world champions are still in prime position to earn the top overall playoff seed in the conference and to make another deep postseason run.
As a result, the oddsmakers still show confidence in the Patriots even after their 37-20 loss in Baltimore: New England is still favored to win the division, conference, and ultimately the Super Bowl according to numbers compiled by SportsBetting.ag. The team is ahead of the last remaining unbeaten team and two others that already entered the season among the favorites to take the Vince Lombardi Trophy home when all is said and done:
New England Patriots (8-1): 3-1
New Orleans Saints (7-1): 5-1
San Francisco 49ers (8-0): 6-1
Kansas City Chiefs (6-3): 9-1
Baltimore Ravens (6-2): 10-1
Seeing the Patriots on top may come as a surprise given that a) the 49ers remain undefeated, and b) the Ravens have just beaten them. However, the team still has a valid claim as the best in the NFL despite the primetime defeat in Baltimore: the defense had its issues against the run but is still leading the league in numerous categories, while the offense has had some impressive stretches of play.
And just look at it this way: last year through nine weeks, the Patriots were 7-2 with a +68 point differential; this year they are 8-1 and +172. New England ultimately got hot at the end of the 2018 season and with a new-found offensive identity and a defense that played its best football went all the way to winning the Super Bowl. If the 2019 version of the team can develop in similar fashion, seeing the same end result is certainly possible.
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