Last season recap
The 2015 NFL betting season was par for the course for the New England Patriots, with the lone exception that they did not win back-to-back Super Bowls as they had done in 2004 and 2005. Other than that, the Pats won the AFC East division title for the seventh consecutive year – tying with the 1979 LA Rams for most straight division titles – and made it to the AFC Championship game for the fifth season in a row, but more on that later. During the regular season, New England got off to a superb 10-0 start, but lost steam toward the end of the campaign. Their winning streak came to an end in week 11 when they lost 24-30 to the Denver Broncos (foreshadowing!). After that, they went 2-4 and finished the season with a 12-4 record for the fourth time in as many years. The Patriots beat the Chiefs 27-20 in the divisional playoffs but lost to eventual champions the Broncos 20-18 in the AFC title game.
The 2016 season will be the Pats’ 47th in the NFL and 17th with head coach Bill Belichik. Though fans who bet on NFL have known it for a long time, the biggest change from last season to this one will be the fact that starting QB Tom Brady will not in fact be starting anything – at least while he serves a four-game suspension. Therefore, backup Jimmy Garoppolo will take to the gridiron when New England opens its season against the Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium. The Patriots also lost/released, on a more permanent basis, safety Tavon Wilson to the Lions, DL Akiem Hicks to the Bears, DT Sealver Siliga to the Seahawks, and WR Brian Tyms who signed with the Colts. On the other hand, they signed LB Ramon Humber from the Saints, DE Frank Kearse from the Redskins, WR Chris Hogan from the Bills, DE Chris Long from the Rams, RB Donald Brown from the Chargers, OL Shea McClellin from the Bears, WR Nate Washington from the Texans, CB E. J. Biggers from the Eagles, TE Clay Harbor from the Jaguars, DT Terrance Knighton from the Redskins, and DT Markus Kuhn from the Giants.
What to expect
Patriots NFL betting fans can expect their team to go 2-2 at best and 1-3 at worst with Garoppolo as the starting QB. Presumably, coach Belichik’s strategy will be a lot more complex, but it could arguably be summed up thusly: make sure to get the ball to Rob Gronkowski. The tight end recorded 72 receptions, 1,176 yards and 11 touchdowns in 15 regular season games in 2015. In addition to that, ‘Gronk’ had 7 receptions, 83 yards, and 2 TDs versus the Chiefs, and 8 receptions, 144 yards, and 1 TD against the Broncos in the postseason. All things considered, Pats fans need not worry about New England’s status as NFL betting odds-on favorite to regain the league championship.
Odds to win Super Bowl 51: +695