Patriots' Season Win Total Prediction
With Tom Brad suspended for the first four games of the season, are the New England Patriots still a good bet to win over 11 games this season?
According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Patriots' win total for 2016 has been set at 10.5. They're also 13/2 favorites to win Super Bowl 51, are +325 favorites to win the AFC Conference Championship, and are -240 money line favorites to win the AFC East Division once again.
A Look Back
The Patriots had another banner season in 2015, winning 12 games in route to a AFC East Division crown and a postseason berth. Brady threw for 4,770 yards with 36 touchdowns and just seven interceptions, while tight end Rob Gronkowski racked up 1,176 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. In the playoffs, Brady threw for 302 yards in a 27-20 win over the Chiefs in the division round before the team was edged 20-18 by the eventual Super Bowl champion Broncos in the AFC title game.
A Look Ahead
The Patriots signed pass-rusher Chris Long this offseason and also traded former edge-rusher Chandler Jones to the Cardinals in exchange for interior lineman Jonathan Cooper and a second-round draft choice. The Patriots didn't have a first-round pick this April due to the "Deflategate" scandal, but found a starter in the third round with the selection of guard Joe Thuney from N.C. State.
Even with Jimmy Garoppolo starting the first four games of the season with Brady suspended and Dion Lewis starting the year on the PUP, does anyone want to bet against the Patriots? The AFC is wide open this season but the conference title is once again New England's to lose. The Bills could be a sleeper playoff team and the Jets will finish around nine wins again, but the Dolphins are a wildcard and some of the 2015 playoff teams listed on New England's schedule have question marks as well. (The Broncos have quarterback issues, the Bengals could take a step back given the amount of changes they endure this offseason and the Seahawks have to come to Foxboro in November.) If Garoppolo can go 2-2 as a starter in place of Brady, then you know the veteran will come back in Week 5 hell-bent on terrorizing the league like he did in 2007 when the Patriots were coming off "Spygate."
2016 NFL SEASON WIN TOTAL PREDICTION: NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS OVER 10.5