Matthew Judon has played at an All-Pro level through the first five weeks of the 2022-23 season, and it has the Patriots linebacker in contention to lead the NFL in sacks.
New England stands at 2-3 thanks to their dominant defense, which ranks ninth in EPA per play. Its dominance was on full display in a 29-0 shutout win over the Detroit Lions in Week 5, highlighted by a Judon strip sack that was recovered for a touchdown by Kyle Dugger. The three-time Pro Bowler made Patriots history by becoming the first player to record a sack in the team’s first fives games.
New England hopes Judon can continue his pace of play throughout the season as the 30-year-old is, once again, in contention for Defensive Player of the Year. His odds on DraftKings Sportsbook remain intact from what they were before the season at +5000.
But Judon has jumped into the top four on the most sacks prop. Dallas Cowboys pass rusher Micah Parsons is the favorite at +500 with San Francisco 49ers’ Nick Bosa and Las Vegas Raiders’ Maxx Crosby behind him at +550 and +600, respectively. Judon’s odds to lead the league in sacks sits at +750. This means a $100 bet would pay out $850.
The four are tied after five weeks atop the sacks leaderboard with six. Again, Judon would need to continue his pace of play, unlike last season where his sack production slowed down, and he would need to keep up with Parsons, Bosa and Crosby.
The next few matchups after Week 5 do present interesting opportunities. The Patriots play the Browns in Week 6, and they are second in pass block grade, according to PFF, but after Cleveland, New England takes on the Chicago Bears, the Jets, the Indianapolis Colts and New York, again. Those teams are in the bottom 10 in pass protection, which presents ample opportunity for Judon to rack up stats.
Winning is the most important thing for the Patriots, especially if Bailey Zappe is called upon to start for a longer period of time as Mac Jones deals with a high ankle sprain. But if Judon can continue his pace, there is potential profit to be gained, as well.