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
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.