When New England takes the field in Seattle on Sunday night, the Patriots are going to be in a position that they almost never find themselves in: They're going to be the underdog.
According to the oddsmakers at William Hill Sportsbook, the Seahawks are currently favored by four points over the Patriots for Week 2, which is notable, because New England hasn't been an underdog in any regular season game in more than four years. The last time the Patriots weren't favored to win a game came all the way back in Week 1 of the 2016 season.
In that 2016 opener, the Patriots closed as a nine-point underdog, and really, the only reason that happened is because Tom Brady wasn't playing due to the four-game suspension he received as punishment for Deflategate. With Brady out, the Patriots were forced to start Jimmy Garoppolo against a Cardinals team that was coming off an NFC title game appearance in 2015.
After beating the Cardinals 23-21, not only were the Patriots favored to win the following week, but they've been favored in every regular season game since then. New England's streak as the gambling favorite currently sits at 64 games, which is the longest streak ever in the Super Bowl era.
As for the Sunday night game, it's not that surprising that the Seahawks are favored. Since hiring Pete Carroll in 2010, the Seahawks have gone 15-1 straight-up in September home games (12-4 against the spread). If you only look at prime-time home games played since Carroll was hired, the Seahawks are 14-1 straight-up and 11-3-1 ATS since 2010. Also, since drafting Russell Wilson in 2012, the Seahawks are 14-2 straight-up against AFC teams at home (9-7 ATS). The Seahawks have also had some serious success against Cam Newton. Since Newton's rookie year in 2011, the Patriots quarterback has gone 2-6 against Seattle, including playoff games.
On New England's end, if there's one upside to all of this for the Patriots, it's that they actually seem to thrive as an underdog. Over the past 10 years, the Patriots have been an underdog a total of 16 times, including the playoffs, and in those 16 games, they've gone 12-4 ATS and 11-5 straight-up.