Patriots

NFL odds Week 8: Opening spread for Patriots vs. Browns, all other games

NFL odds Week 8: Opening spread for Patriots vs. Browns, all other games

The New England Patriots will host the Cleveland Browns at Gillette Stadium in Week 8 as double-digit betting favorites.

The Patriots have a 19-game home win streak (including the playoffs), and oddsmakers like the defending Super Bowl champions' chances of extending that impressive run.

The early spread for this matchup has the Patriots favored by 10 points. New England is 4-2 against the spread this season.

Here are the opening lines for every Week 8 game, per the Westgate SuperBook:

The Patriots wrap up Week 7 with a matchup against the New York Jets on "Monday Night Football." They entered the weekend as one of two unbeaten teams remaining in the NFL and the only one in the AFC. The Browns are 2-4 and have fallen way short of expectations after entering the 2019 campaign with enormous hype. 

Cleveland will be well rested for this game in New England after having a Week 7 bye. Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield suffered a hip injury in his team's Week 6 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, but Cleveland head coach Freddie Kitchens told reporters last week that there's "no doubt" the Oklahoma product will play against the Patriots.

Mayfield and the Browns offense will face their toughest test of the season against a Patriots defense that has allowed the fewest points in the league. New England's defense also leads the league in interceptions and takeaways, and it ranks second in sacks.

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Cowboys' Leighton Vander Esch out vs. Patriots with neck issue

Cowboys' Leighton Vander Esch out vs. Patriots with neck issue

The Dallas Cowboys will be without one of their best defensive players when they take on the New England Patriots on Sunday.

Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch will miss the Week 12 matchup with a neck issue, according to Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News.

Vander Esch has already missed one game this season due to a neck injury. The Boise State product had said he's "been looking forward [to facing Tom Brady] his whole life," but Dallas' 2018 first-round draft pick will have to wait a bit longer for the opportunity.

In nine games this year, Vander Esch has tallied 70 tackles, three passes defensed, a forced fumble and half of a sack.

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Sources: Patriots not interested in bringing back Antonio Brown

Sources: Patriots not interested in bringing back Antonio Brown

Once bitten, twice shy.

Two sources with knowledge of the Patriots thinking scoffed at the idea Antonio Brown would rejoin the Patriots this season.

When one source was asked if there was a chance the wideout – who was with the Patriots for less than two tumultuous weeks in September – might have a chance at rejoining the team, this was the two-word response.

“What’s changed?”

I mentioned Brown’s social media apology to owner Robert Kraft earlier in the week and his meeting last week with the NFL as possibly changing the equation.

I was told that it does not.

At issue aren’t hurt feelings that Brown couldn’t fix with a few keystrokes. It’s the wariness of something else cropping up down the road.

When the Patriots signed Brown, there was no advance notice from Brown’s agent Drew Rosenhaus that Brown was on the cusp of being slapped with a lawsuit by his former trainer Britney Taylor even though the legal wrangling between Brown and Taylor’s attorneys had been going on for months.

And while it was subsequently reported Rosenhaus couldn’t break a confidentiality agreement Brown supposedly had in place, the fact that the Patriots entered into the Brown experience not knowing at all that that bombshell was waiting to explode makes them unwilling to go down the same road again.

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