It will surely be a different feeling around the Patriots going into the fall. With longtime quarterback Tom Brady gone, it’s a new era in New England, with Jarrett Stidham now tasked with leading them team behind center. However, they still have the bulk of their defensive core in place from last year, which was among the best in football, as well as head coach Bill Belichick.
According to the latest NFL odds, New England’s over/under win total is set at 9.5. Let’s take a look at some of the additions and subtractions they’ve made this offseason, their schedule, and whether the over or under is the more likely bet.
Brady’s departure to the Buccaneers is by far and away the biggest storyline for the Patriots. Joining him in Tampa Bay will be tight end Rob Gronkowski, who came out of retirement and whose rights were trade by New England. In addition, the defense lost a couple of starting linebackers, as Jamie Collins and Kyle Van Noy each left town and signed with a team coached by a former Belichick assistant; Collins with Matt Patricia’s Lions and Van Noy with Brian Flores’ Dolphins.
The Patriots were able to bring in some fresh faces, however. New England signed former Bucs DT Beau Allen to a two-year deal, and the following day inked S Adrian Phillips from the Chargers to a two-year contract. They were also able to keep some of their own free agents, most notable S Devin McCourty, who they re-signed for another two years. They also slapped the franchise tag on G Joe Thuney and re-signed key special teamer Matthew Slater.
As for the draft, New England came out of the weekend with 10 selections. After trading out of the first round, their first pick near the top of the second round was Lenoir-Rhyne S Kyle Dugger. Later in the round, they added Josh Uche, an edge rusher from Michigan. Among other selections, they added Alabama OLB Anfernee Jennings, as well as a pair of tight ends in UCLA’s Devin Asiasi and Virginia Tech’s Dalton Keene.
Unlike last year, when they had one of the league’s easiest schedules, New England has the league’s toughest schedule this season. The combined winning percentage of their opponents this year is .537, a sharp increase from the .473 winning percentage they were scheduled against in 2019.
Over the course of their schedule, the Pats will match up against the three teams with the highest over/under win totals this year in the Chiefs, Ravens, and 49ers. They will host Baltimore and San Francisco, but will travel to Kansas City. New England will also have road games against the Seahawks, Texans, as well as both the Rams and Chargers.
There are no easy games on the schedule this year for the Patriots, giving Stidham some pressure right from the start. With a new quarterback and tougher schedule, the defense will be counted on to deliver another stellar season. However, their defense accounted for a ton of their points last year to make up for a struggling offense, so there is reason to think there will be regression.
Overall, the 12 wins they earned last year seem like a reach, as do double-digit wins in general. Even though they will be very competitive and still have a legendary coach at the helm, I think the Patriots project more as a nine or even eight-win team now. So I’m picking the UNDER 9.5 wins for New England this upcoming season. Take the UNDER at our recommended pay per head bookie site at realbookies