DraftKings

NFL odds: Cam Newton favored over Jarrett Stidham to be Patriots' Week 1 starter

NFL odds: Cam Newton favored over Jarrett Stidham to be Patriots' Week 1 starter

Those who were prepared to see Jarrett Stidham as the Patriots' quarterback in Week 1 were thrown a curveball Sunday when Cam Newton joined New England on a one-year contract.

Newton, who spent nine seasons with the Carolina Panthers and was the 2015 NFL MVP, suddenly is in a position to assume the role of Tom Brady's successor. While nothing is set in stone just yet, the odds of Stidham being the starter when the 2020 season kicks off took a nosedive as soon as the Newton deal was announced.

According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Newton is a -400 favorite to be the Patriots' Week 1 starting quarterback. Stidham is listed at +300, and veteran Brian Hoyer is a distant third-place with +2500 odds.

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Even though the odds heavily favor Newton, the 31-year-old will have a lot to prove once training camp comes around. Newton is coming off a 2019 season in which he played only two games due to nagging shoulder and foot injuries. To beat Stidham for the starting job, he'll have to show he's back to 100 percent and has plenty left in the tank.

Oddsmakers also love Newton's chances of winning the 2020 NFL Comeback Player of the Year award, and the Patriots' Super Bowl odds improved as soon as Newton entered the fold. In other words, Vegas is all-aboard the Newton hype train as we prepare for what should be an entertaining camp in Foxboro.

2020 NFL Schedule: How Patriots' Super Bowl odds, playoff chances are impacted

2020 NFL Schedule: How Patriots' Super Bowl odds, playoff chances are impacted

Were the NFL schedule makers kind to the Patriots, or did they make post-Tom Brady life more difficult for New England?

One way to gauge the difficulty of the Patriots' 2020 schedule is to examine how oddsmakers have adjusted their futures bets after their slate was revealed Thursday night.

Let's start with Super Bowl odds. Just after the 2020 NFL Draft, DraftKings Sportsbook had New England pegged at +2000 to win Super Bowl LV, tied for seventh in the NFL.

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Here's where those odds stand now that the Patriots' schedule is out:

Kansas City Chiefs: +600
Baltimore Ravens: +700
San Francisco 49ers: +1000
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: +1200
New Orleans Saints: +1400
Dallas Cowboys: +1800
Philadelphia Eagles: +2000
New England Patriots: +2200
Seattle Seahawks: +2200
Minnesota Vikings: +2500

New England's odds dipped slightly to +2200, as Bill Belichick's club is now tied for the eighth-best Super Bowl odds.

That's likely the reflection of the Patriots' grueling start to 2020: They have the NFL's third-hardest schedule in Weeks 1 to 8 based on opponents' projected win total.

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What about the Patriots' odds to reach the 2020 playoffs, which DraftKings Sportsbook had at -215 for "yes" and +173 for "no" after the NFL Draft? Those also took a slight dip Thursday night.

Yes: -205
No: +165

Again, it's not much movement, but New England clearly doesn't benefit from its 2020 schedule, which includes matchups against both 2019 conference winners (the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs) and a stretch of three consecutive road games in December.

But if you believe in Jarrett's Stidham's ability like the Patriots clearly do, then these shifts just mean a greater potential windfall for your bets on New England.

No Brady, no problem? Oddmakers favor Bill Belichick for NFL coach of the year

No Brady, no problem? Oddmakers favor Bill Belichick for NFL coach of the year

The franchise's best-ever quarterback and tight end now play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he'll likely have a second-year player with limited experience taking over the offense and throwing to pretty much the same receiving corps as last season and there have been significant free-agent losses on defense. 

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Still, oddsmakers have Bill Belichick overcoming all that to be the NFL's coach of the year.

While there have been some dire predictions for the Patriots in the first season of the post-Tom Brady Era, Belichick is a 7-1 favorite by Caesars Sportsbook in Las Vegas to win the NFL's top coaching award for the 2020 season. 

DraftKings Sportsbook also has the 68-year-old Patriots coach as their favorite. Their odds: Belichick, +1000; new Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy, +1400;  Arizona Cardinals' Kliff Kingsbury, Indianapolis Colts' Frank Reich and Tennessee Titans coach Mike Vrabel, +2000.

Belichick is entering his 21st season as Patriots head coach, but his first without the QB considered the greatest of all time. All indications are that second-year QB Jarrett Stidham will take over for Brady. Under Belichick, the Patriots went 11-5 with Matt Cassel replacing an injured Brady in 2008 and 3-1 with Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett replacing Brady during the QB's suspension in 2016. 

"If [Belichick] takes that roster and wins that division, and no other team goes 16-0, how do you give it to somebody else?" Caesars Sportsbook director of trading Jeff Davis told ESPN. "The only way he doesn't get it is if one of the teams that was terrible last year makes the playoffs."

Belichick won the award in 2003, 2007 and 2010. 

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