NFL Odds: Patriots Probably Improved, But Does It Matter In AFC East?

It can't be worse than last season -- can it?


Jul 17, 2023

Tune in to the “Ultimate Betting Show” on NESN on Monday at 5:30 p.m. ET for daily training camp previews: First up: the New England Patriots.

The 2022 NFL season was a failed experiment for the Patriots, and thus, it was a lost year in the progression of Mac Jones as well as the attempt to make the most of Bill Belichick’s final seasons.

Belichick deciding to entrust Matt Patricia and Joe Judge with the offense was a fatal decision for the 2022 Patriots. From training camp until New Year’s, it never worked, and New England missed the playoffs again.

Now, the Patriots are among a handful of teams who have gone five years or more without winning a playoff game. That’s hard to believe, given the prolonged glory years that don’t seem too distant.

Speaking of the glory years, Belichick’s decision to bring back Bill O’Brien and let him lead the offense might be the most impactful personnel decision of the offseason. That’s how bad Patricia was a play-caller last year.

The defense is still pretty good, and the Patriots made other improvements to the offense. Is that good enough in a loaded AFC East? The betting odds don’t reflect a market that believes a return to postseason success is in the cards.

2022 in review
8-9, third in AFC East (missed playoffs)
7-9-1 against the spread
8-9 over/under

Key offseason additions
TE Mike Gesicky
OT Riley Reiff
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster
LB Chris Board

Key offseason losses
S Devin McCourty
QB Brian Hoyer
P Jake Bailey

Look ahead to 2023
Super Bowl: +5500
Conference: +3000
Division: +750
Win total: 7.5 (under -122)
To make playoffs: Yes +250 | No -325

2023 award contenders
MVP: Mac Jones +6000
Offensive POY: Rhamondre Stevenson +7000
Coach of the Year: Bill Belichick +3000
Defensive ROY: Christian Gonzalez +1100

2023 outlook
The Patriots are seemingly building toward something, but it’s all under the presumption Jones is the guy at quarterback. He had a strong rookie season and took a major step back in 2022. Was that his fault or the situation? If it’s the latter, are things improved enough for New England to contend again right now?

It doesn’t help that the Patriots face one of the NFL’s toughest schedules this season. Few teams appear to have as much volatility. Squint hard enough, and you’ll see even a slight improvement with O’Brien getting an extra couple of wins and the Patriots squeaking in as a wild-card team. Just as likely, though, is a team led by an overrated quarterback that can’t score enough to keep pace in a brutal division and conference that has such a bad season Belichick’s job security comes into question.

Thumbnail photo via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images

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