Patriots

NFL odds: This team is new co-favorite with Patriots to win Super Bowl LIV

NFL odds: This team is new co-favorite with Patriots to win Super Bowl LIV

The New England Patriots are no longer the sole favorite to win Super Bowl LIV in Miami on Feb. 2, 2020.

Oddsmakers at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas have revealed their latest Super Bowl betting lines for the 2019 season, and the Kansas City Chiefs now have the same odds (+700) as the Patriots atop the list.

Here are the newest Super Bowl LIV odds:

These odds aren't too surprising. 

The Patriots and Chiefs clearly are the class of the AFC, and they needed overtime to settle the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium in January. Tom Brady led the Patriots on a game-winning drive in that overtime period to deny Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs of the franchise's first Super Bowl berth in nearly 50 years. It would be surprising, barring some sort of injury to Brady or Mahomes, if these teams didn't meet in the AFC title game again this season.

One thing to consider before betting on the Patriots is there hasn't been a repeat Super Bowl winner since New England accomplished the feat in 2003 and 2004. Winning back-to-back titles in the NFL is extremely difficult, even for the Patriots despite winning six Super Bowl championships since 2001.

The next-closest AFC team in these Super Bowl odds is the Cleveland Browns at +1000. The Browns' bandwagon might be the largest in the league ahead of Week 1. Expectations are sky high for the Browns after a strong finish to 2018 and the offseason acquisition of elite wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., but the franchise hasn't reached the playoffs since 2002. 

The New Orleans Saints have the best odds of any NFC team at +850, and that might be a good bet. The Saints should have reached Super Bowl LIII last season but a blown pass interference call likely cost them the NFC Championship Game versus the Los Angeles Rams. We can expect a highly motivated Saints team with unfinished business to take of during the 2019 campaign.

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Patriots downgrade S Patrick Chung, RB Damien Harris to out for Eagles game

Patriots downgrade S Patrick Chung, RB Damien Harris to out for Eagles game

The Patriots have downgraded safety Patrick Chung and running back Damien Harris from questionable to out for the game Sunday against the Eagles in Philadelphia.

Chung has had heel and chest injuries but did play in the Pats' last game before their bye week, the Nov. 3 loss to the Ravens. Harris appeared on the injury report for the first time on Friday with a hamstring issue. The rookie third-round pick from Alabama has only been active for two games this season.

The loss of Chung could impact the Patriots most in their coverage of Eagles tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. Taking on tight ends is something Chung has excelled at. 

ESPN Mike Reiss reports that Patriots tight end Matt LaCosse, out with a knee injury since Oct. 10, did travel with the team to Philly so he will likely be active for the game.

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Ten years ago today, on fourth-and-2, Bill Belichick made one of his most controversial decisions

Ten years ago today, on fourth-and-2, Bill Belichick made one of his most controversial decisions

It was one of the most controversial calls in Patriots history...and it didn't come from an official.

It was Bill Belichick's decision to go for it on fourth-and-2 in the final minutes against the Indianapolis Colts. And it was 10 years ago today.

THE DECISION

It remains Belichick's most talked-about moves this side of Malcolm Butler. In a Week 10 matchup in Indianapolis, the 8-0 Colts faced the 6-2 Patriots in a high-scoring affair. Leading 34-28 but backed up at their own 28-yard-line and needing two yards for a first down, Belichick chose to go for it on fourth down and try and keep the ball out of quarterback Peyton Manning's hands.

THE PLAY

Tom Brady completed a pass to running back Kevin Faulk, who was driven backward by the Colts' Melvin Bullitt. After a measurement, Faulk was ruled short of the first down. Three Colts plays later, a Manning-to-Reggie Wayne TD pass and extra point with 13 seconds left a 35-34 victory.

THE AFTERMATH

There was plenty of second-guessing of Belichick's move. Had he outsmarted himself? Why didn't he punt and show more faith in his defense? 

“We thought we could win the game with that play,” he explained at the time. “That was a yard I was confident we could get.” Belichick had maintained it was more like fourth-and-long-1, rather than 2. Where the ball was spotted after the Faulk play is still the subject of debate.

Those Pats would go on to lose two of their next three, finish 10-6, still win the AFC East but get smoked by the Baltimore Ravens 33-14 in Foxboro in a wild-card playoff game. Manning's team won its first 14 games, then rested its regulars and lost twice before reaching its first Super Bowl as the Indy Colts and losing to the New Orleans Saints. 

TODAY

When Indianapolis reporter Kevin Bowen tweeted about the play's 10th anniversary on Saturday, it stirred up memories for former Colts linebacker Gary Brackens, who recalled the disrespect he felt from Belichick's decision to test the Indy defense. 

To this day, "Fourth-and-2" means only one thing to most NFL fans.

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