Patriots

NFL odds: Updated Patriots win total, Week 1 betting line vs. Steelers

NFL odds: Updated Patriots win total, Week 1 betting line vs. Steelers

The New England Patriots will begin their Super Bowl defense against a bitter AFC rival. But how bitter will that rivalry actually be this season?

The NFL confirmed Wednesday night the Pittsburgh Steelers will visit the Patriots in Week 1. It's a tough opening draw for the Steelers, who haven't won at Gillette Stadium since 2008 and lost superstars Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell amid a tumultuous offseason.

Those developments were reflected in the opening point spreads for Week 1 games, which came out Thursday and had the Patriots as 6.5-point favorites over Pittsburgh.

It's obviously tricky to predict Week 1 games when all 32 teams enter with a clean slate, and there is some hope for the Steelers: The Patriots actually lost their last season opener following a Super Bowl victory, falling to the Kansas City Chiefs 42-27 at home in 2017. But the expectation is Tom Brady and Co. will take care of business on NBC's "Sunday Night Football."

As for the entire season, The Action Network released updated win totals for all NFL teams Thursday after the league's schedule release and pegged New England at 10.4 wins. That's actually a slight dip from the team's previous 11-win projection and a bit eye-opening considering the Patriots' strength of schedule, or lack thereof.

But while the Patriots will have to adapt to life without Rob Gronkowski, oddsmakers still like their chances relative to the rest of the league. Case in point: They have the best odds to remain undefeated the longest in 2019, per DraftKings Sportsbook.

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Bengals coach Zac Taylor won't comment about Patriots videotaping investigation

Bengals coach Zac Taylor won't comment about Patriots videotaping investigation

The news of Patriots-affiliated photographers videotaping the Bengals' sideline went mainstream when Cincinnati head coach Zac Taylor was asked about it Monday.

And though he only offered limited commentary — he said he was "aware there was an incident" and that "the league was investigating it" — the response turned into national headlines and easy jokes from Patriots haters across the country.

Taylor had another chance to offer his thoughts on the situation Thursday morning during a conference call with the New England media, but he stayed away from further commentary. Far, far away. 

Here's the exchange:

Q: What are your general thoughts on the videotaping situation with the Patriots?
ZT: I have no comment on that.

Q: Some reports have said that you are livid about the situation. Is that true?
ZT: I have no comment on that.

Q: How much do you and your coaching staff use hand signals during games?
ZT:
I think, like any team, we communicate visually and verbally, depending on the environment we’re in.

Q: Do you believe the Patriots’ explanation for this situation?
ZT: I don’t have any comment on any of that stuff.

Q: Has anyone from the Patriots organization reached out to you to clear the air?
ZT: I don’t have any comment on any of that.

Q: Why do you believe it’s in your best interest not to have any comment at any point on this ongoing incident that’s affected your team?
ZT:
Because this is a tough opponent right now, and we’re devoting all of our time to making sure we’re prepared. And so that’s where all of our focus has been on.

Q: Your time now is spent with us, though.
ZT: Yeah, it is. And I have no comment.

Q: Do you regret anything about how this all transpired?
ZT: No. 

Well, that explains that. Or does it? According to the Boston Globe's Ben Volin, Bengals employees were reportedly "livid" about the videotaping.

If Taylor really isn't letting this situation distract him from the task at hand, that's because it's already a big enough challenge for the first-year coach. His 1-12 Bengals are 10-point underdogs to the Patriots Sunday.

LISTEN & SUBSCRIBE TO TOM E. CURRAN'S PATRIOTS TALK PODCAST: 

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Patriots vs. Bengals Injury Report: Isaiah Wynn misses practice with eye issue

Patriots vs. Bengals Injury Report: Isaiah Wynn misses practice with eye issue

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman returned to practice Thursday after missing Wednesday's session, but one of his fellow offensive starters was absent.

Left tackle Isaiah Wynn missed the practice with an eye issue. Wynn suffered a toe injury in Week 2 and didn't return until Week 12. It's unclear whether Wynn's eye ailment will impact his availability for Sunday's Week 15 road game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (right elbow) and rookie wide receiver N'Keal Harry (hip) both were full practice participants. Veteran wide receivers Julian Edelman (knee/shoulder) and Mohamed Sanu (ankle) were limited participants. Defensive lineman Byron Cowart (concussion) also returned to practice after not participating Wednesday.

Here are the full Thursday injury reports for both teams.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (10-3)

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
OT Isaiah Wynn, Eye

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
LB Ja'Whaun Bentley, Knee
DL Byron Cowart, Concussion
WR Julian Edelman, Knee / Shoulder
OL Ted Karras, Knee
CB Jason McCourty, Groin
WR Mohamed Sanu, Ankle
DL Danny Shelton, Shoulder

FULL PARTICIPATION
QB Tom Brady, Right Elbow
WR N'Keal Harry, Hip

CINCINNATI BENGALS (1-12)

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
DE Carlos Dunlap, Not Injury Related (Rest)
WR A.J. Green, Ankle
DT Rennel Wren, Hip

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
DE Sam Hubbard, Knee

FULL PARTICIPATION
DT Geno Atkins, Not Injury Related (Rest)
CB Darqueze Dennard, Not Injury Related (Rest)
TE Tyler Eifert, Not Injury Related (Rest)
WR John Ross, Foot

Sanu gives huge praise to Edelman's toughness>>>

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