Patriots

Oddsmakers drop Patriots' 2020 NFL season win total to new low

Oddsmakers drop Patriots' 2020 NFL season win total to new low

Confidence in the New England Patriots entering the 2020 NFL season seems to be waning.

Well, at least among oddsmakers.

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The Patriots, despite losing longtime quarterback Tom Brady to free agency in March, have remained the betting favorite to win the AFC East for most of the offseason. That changed, recently, when the Buffalo Bills became the favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook to claim the division crown next season.

New England also had the third-best odds to win the AFC in 2020 throughout the offseason, but it has fallen to fourth at +1200. The Indianapolis Colts are just ahead of the Patriots in third with +1100 odds to win the conference.

The Patriots' season win total has been lowered, too. Here's the latest number and odds, courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

Over 8.5 wins: -130
Under 8.5 wins: +107

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It's strange to see the Patriots' win total be less than 10, but without a top-tier quarterback leading the offense, it's tough to just assume New England's streak of 17 consecutive seasons with 10-plus wins will continue.

The schedule also makes it hard for the Patriots to hit that 10-win milestone. Two of their first five games are against the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and perennial NFC contenders the Seattle Seahawks. Both games are on the road. After a Week 6 bye, the Patriots begin a stretch of five weeks during which they play four playoff teams from 2019, including the Baltimore Ravens and defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers. The schedule gets easier after that with New England's final six games including just one playoff team from last season. The Patriots' last two games also are at home.

That said, the Patriots don't need to extend their 10-win season streak to hit the over on this win total prop bet. An above-average performance from Stidham, a veteran defense that's still really talented, and the best head coach in NFL history should be enough for the Patriots to reach nine or more wins. 

Updated Patriots cornerback depth chart after Michael Jackson trade with Lions

Updated Patriots cornerback depth chart after Michael Jackson trade with Lions

The New England Patriots added even more depth to an elite group of cornerbacks Sunday by acquiring Michael Jackson in a trade with the Detroit Lions.

Jackson, who's listed at 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds, was a fifth-round draft pick by the Dallas Cowboys in 2019. The Detroit Lions signed him off the Cowboys practice squad last season and he played in one game for the NFC North team.

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Here's an updated look at the Patriots' cornerback depth chart with Jackson in the fold:

--Stephon Gilmore
--Jason McCourty
--J.C. Jackson
--Jonathan Jones
--Joejuan Williams
--Michael Jackson
--Myles Bryant
--D’Angelo Ross

It should be noted that Justin Bethel is listed at cornerback, but most of his snaps come on special teams. 

A strong case could be made that cornerback is the deepest position on the Patriots roster. The group is led by Stephon Gilmore, who became the first Patriot ever to win the AP's NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2019. Gilmore is the league's best cornerback and has earned first team All-Pro selections in back-to-back seasons. 

He's not the only talented cornerback in the Patriots secondary, though. 

J.C. Jackson excelled in coverage last season, too, especially on passes beyond 20 yards. In fact, Jackson had the lowest passer rating allowed when targeted of all cornerbacks in 2019, according to Pro Football Focus.

One of the most intriguing players in the Patriots secondary is second-year cornerback Joejuan Williams. He was a second-round pick out of Vanderbilt in 2019 but saw limited playing time as a rookie.

The depth of the Patriots defense has been hit hard in recent months due to free agent departures and veterans opting out of the 2020 season amid concerns over COVID-19. One position that has remained largely intact is cornerback, and barring any significant injuries, it could be the team's most productive position this coming season.

Patriots acquire CB Michael Jackson in trade with Lions

Patriots acquire CB Michael Jackson in trade with Lions

The New England Patriots have added another cornerback to their depth chart.

On Sunday, they announced they've acquired Michael Jackson from the Detroit Lions for an undisclosed 2022 draft pick.


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Jackson was selected in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft (158th overall) by the Dallas Cowboys out of Miami. He started his rookie season on Dallas' practice squad before being signed by Detroit.

The 23-year-old played in only one game last season for the Lions.

Jackson joins a Patriots cornerback group that currently consists of Stephon Gilmore, Jonathan Jones, Joejuan Williams, Jason McCourty, J.C. Jackson, D'Angelo Ross, Justin Bethel, and Myles Bryant.