The first wave of the NFL’s 2019 free agency period is over and it saw the New England Patriots lose a combined six players — among them three starters in standout defensive edge Trey Flowers, left tackle Trent Brown, and defensive tackle Malcom Brown. While the club brought some players on board from the outside as well as its own list of free agents, it faces more questions today than it previously did.
If the Patriots have shown one skill in the past, though, it is their ability to adapt to whichever challenges come their way. Look at last year, when New England lost four offensive starters but found a way to replace them over the course of the following months to once again field a unit capable of winning the Super Bowl. And it is this ability that oddsmakers apparently also value when it comes to this season’s evaluations.
After all, New England still sits atop the list of teams with the best odds to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy this season (via BetOnline): at 8/1, the club’s numbers are a bit worse than they were right after it won Super Bowl 53 last month (when they sat at 6/1), but they are still tied with the Kansas City Chiefs for best in the NFL. This reflects the confidence bookmakers have in the club’s ability to once again figure it all out.
Rounding out the top-six at the moment are the New Orleans Saints at 9/1, the NFC champion Los Angeles Rams and 10/1, as well as the Chicago Bears and Cleveland Browns at 14/1. Cleveland in particular is noteworthy: not only was the club among the most active ones during the early portions of free agency, it also saw its odds improve from 25/1 to 14/1 due to transactions such as acquiring star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. via trade.
Also improving greatly are the New York Jets’ numbers, which went from 100/1 to 50/1 — making the team the second best in the AFC East behind the ten-time reigning division champion Patriots. The Buffalo Bills sit at 80/1, while the Miami Dolphins and new head coach Brian Flores have the worst Super Bowl odds in the NFL at the moment: together with the Arizona Cardinals, the team sits at 100/1.