I’ve always said that the more cereal in the aisle, the more likely you are to leave with cereal.
This analogy directly applies to a sportsbook when they create their season-long football propositional wagers. If there are only one or two options on the shelf, you might leave without betting any of them.
Luckily for you, DraftKings Sportsbook has a plethora of regular-season props for us to discuss. There are no quarterback-related bets because of the uncertainty around Cam Newton or Mac Jones starting Week 1, but I still counted 17 different wagers for the New England Patriots.
Here are the ones that caught my attention:
Chase Winovich Under 6.5 sacks (+105)
Hat tip to my colleague Dakota Randall on this one. He’s adamant that Winovich won’t sniff this number as a Patriot. There are plenty of concerns about Winovich not being able to stop the run and Bill Belichick currently has the former Michigan Wolverine buried on the depth chart behind Matt Judon and Kyle Van Noy. There doesn’t appear to be an avenue to seven sacks given the roster construction.
Damien Harris Over 845.5 rushing yards (-110)
Those used to “running back by committee” will be in for a surprise when Harris takes this job and runs with it. No pun intended. Harris rushed for 691 yards in only 10 games last season and he’ll have every opportunity to get a larger workload in 2021. The only thing that worries me is an injury, but I refuse to go through life thinking that way. “Over” it is.
Jonnu Smith Over 4.5 touchdown catches (-110)
NESN Patriots beat reporter Zack Cox told me yesterday that Mac Jones has been targeting Smith more at training camp. Obviously, the sample size isn’t large by any means, but it’s a sign of good things to come once Belichick turns the offense over to Jones. Most rookies love turning to big tight ends when the pocket sees pressure and I like Smith to catch at least six touchdowns.
Damian Harris Over 839.5 rushing yards + Jonnu Smith Over 4.5 TD catches (+275)
See the two answers above. This is worth a dice roll at just under 3-to-1 odds.
Hunter Henry + Jonnu Smith to combine for 1500+ receiving yards (+1200)
Save your money. There’s no way these two guys get enough targets — or stay healthy enough — to collectively get over 1,500 yards. Odds of +1200 imply an eight percent chance of probability and that’s exactly what I’m getting at. Count me out.
Patriots make the playoffs? (Yes +110)
I do think New England is talented enough to win 10 or 11 games and make the postseason. Belichick stewed over the Pats’ 7-9 record last season for months, then went out and made trades and spent like a maniac in free agency. Most teams that usually do that are desperate, but most teams don’t have the greatest coach that’s ever lived. Belichick invested in the trenches on offense and defense and that’s why New England will make the playoffs. And I love that plus-money price.
Patriots win their first five games (+1300)
The early schedule is easier than you think as New England will be favored in three or four of the first five games. Thing is, being favored doesn’t always translate to wins. The season opener against Miami is a coin flip as is the game on Sep. 26 against the Saints in Foxboro. Oh yeah and Tom Brady and the world champs roll into town on Oct. 3. Pass.
Patriots to be #1 seed in AFC (+2200)
I wouldn’t bet this with your money.
Patriots to reach AFC Championship (+900)
If you’re looking for a longshot, this is the one. I know, I know — the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills are still in the same conference. Thanks for the reminder. Stranger things have happened in the NFL and if the Pats defense is as strong as I believe it can be, this team can win a game or two in the postseason. And they have to make the AFC title game, not win it. I’ve certainly made worse bets.