With Tom Brady now a Tampa Bay Buccaneer, the Patriots enter uncharted territory. For the first time in 20 years, TB12 is no longer under center in Foxboro. Bill Belichick must find a way to win with Jarrett Stidham.

Are the Patriots doomed for a losing season? Or can Belichick’s genius earn them double-digit wins just like in 2008 when New England went 11-5 with Matt Cassel?

While we’ll have to wait until the regular season to find out, the next-best thing is to consult the oddsmakers.

The Patriots’ 2020 win total is set at 9 across the market. This means if you bet the over they would need to go 10-6 or better in the regular season. If you bet the under, the Pats would need to go 8-8 or worse.

What’s interesting is the juice is -110 on both sides at virtually every single sportsbook. The juice, also known as the vig or vigorish, is the tax or commission that you must pay the sportsbook in order for them to accept your bet. Juice that is -110 is considered standard “10-cent juice,” meaning you would have to risk $110 in order to win $100 betting on either side of the win total.

Why is the -110 juice significant? Because many team win totals are juiced up to -120 or more on either the over or the under, indicating some sharp action and liability. But the Pats are right down the middle at -110, signaling even money with the books likely taking in split action on both sides. In other words, the smart money looks to be on a 9-7 season for New England.

Unfortunately for the Pats, they have the toughest schedule in the NFL this season. Their opponents went 137-118-1 last year (.537).

Here are their 2020 opponents:

at Bills
at Dolphins
at Jets
at Texans
at Chiefs
at Chargers
at Rams
at Seahawks
vs Bills
vs Dolphins
vs Jets
vs Cardinals
vs Ravens
vs Broncos
vs Raiders
vs 49ers

Despite the tough schedule and growing narrative that New England can’t win without Brady, oddsmakers still like the Patriots to make the playoffs. The Pats are a -205 favorite to make the postseason at both DraftKings and FanDuel (and a +165 underdog to miss the playoffs). Remember, thanks to the recent NFL rule change, there are now seven teams that make the playoffs each season, not six.

The Patriots odds to win the division aren’t the same shoo-in they used to be, but New England remains the favorite to win the AFC East. The Pats are +115 to win the division at DraftKings, with the Bills in second at +160 and the Jets and Dolphins both +700. At FanDuel, New England is +120 and Buffalo +130, followed by New York +750 and Miami +900.

New England is +1200 to win the AFC at DraftKings, trailing only the Chiefs (+280) and Ravens (+333). The Patriots are tied with the Seahawks at +2200 to win the Super Bowl, trailing only the Chiefs (+600), Ravens (+700), 49ers (+1000), Bucs (+1200), Saints (+1400), Cowboys (+1800) and Eagles (+2000).

It may look bleak in New England with Tom Brady now in Tampa. But the oddsmakers aren’t giving up on Belichick. In fact, he’s the favorite to win Coach of the Year (+1000 at DraftKings).

Josh Appelbaum writes for VSiN.com, The Sports Betting Network.

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