When it comes to the New England Patriots, some sportsbooks are taking a stand.
Playoff betting markets — “make” or miss” — are available at lots of American books and the odds vary depending on the amount of dollars wagered at a certain shop. A sportsbook can also shade a betting line behind its opinions. So if a book has a higher plus-price than its competitors, the number is telling you a story.
Patriots odds to make the NFL playoffs:
FOX Bet +130
FOX Bet is spotting you an extra 30 cents ($100 wins $130) than PointsBet ($100 wins $100) to entice you to bet New England with them. The FOX Bet traders clearly aren’t as high on the Patriots as everybody else. And as you can imagine, most doubters are either shorting rookie quarterback Mac Jones or thinking the AFC East is too tough.
“It’s a combination of the two (for us),” FOX Bet content integration specialist Jacob Blangsted-Barnor told NESN. “I think our trading team is very high on Buffalo and there’s a lot to like down there in Miami, too. And while Mac Jones looked good in the preseason, he has to answer some of the question marks we have about the regular season.
“Will he be able to move the ball down the field at the professional level? This isn’t DeVonta Smith wide open with 30 yards of open space like it was at Alabama. That’s where things get interesting. It doesn’t mean he can’t be a winner, but the team around a young player like that has to perform at a very high level and I’m not sure this team is there yet.”
That’s valid skepticism.
There will undoubtedly be growing pains for a young quarterback like Jones who will no longer have the luxury of having the best players on the field at every single position like he did in college. I also think Jones deserves plenty of patience in the early going because the offense will benefit in the long run from Cam Newton being long gone.
“If Jones is better than we think and he balls out in the first few weeks, that playoff number will absolutely improve in a hurry,” JBB admitted. “Especially against divisional opponents in the first two games where New England could add some separation.
“Early games against Miami, New Orleans and Tampa Bay will give you a pretty good indication where the Patriots are at as a team.”