The Patriots own the trademarks to "19-0" and "Perfect Season" ... but, please, nobody talk about a perfect season. Julian Edelman , while Bill Belichick is more fixated on two other phrases that the Patriots own: "Do Your Job" and "No Days Off."
Still, the intrigue is there for this team to make a run at perfection after getting better in the offseason following a Super Bowl win for the record books. Let's take a look at the what the predictions say.
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|Projected wins||In playoffs||Win division||Conference||Super Bowl|
SportsLine projects the Patriots to have another elite season, and their 12.7-win projection comes in more than two full wins better than anyone else in the league. With New England projected more than five wins better than the next best team in the division (Buffalo, 7.5), the Patriots are considered a playoff lock. Bettors will want to look for anything longer than even odds to win the AFC and 2/1 or longer to win the Super Bowl.
|Win total||Playoffs||Division||Conference||Super Bowl|
|12.5 (O -115)||-2500||-2000||+120||+250|
All odds via Westgate.
The sportsbooks have set an incredibly high win total for the Patriots, but it's absolutely necessary, as there's still a slight lean from bettors on the Patriots hitting the Over and winning at least 13 games. There's value across the board according to the projections above, but not much to be made by just taking the Pats to win the division or make the playoffs.
Sean Wagner-McGough defends his 15-1 prediction:
Truth be told, I nearly picked the Patriots to go 16-0. That's how good they are after an offseason that saw them add Brandin Cooks, Stephon Gilmore, and Mike Gillislee. They even have a great insurance plan in Jimmy Garoppolo if Tom Brady goes down with an injury. Anything short of a Super Bowl will be a failure for New England.
So, that's why they can go 15-1. Look at their schedule. There isn't one game where I feel comfortable picking against them. Ultimately, after picking every game of the season, I decided on the Denver matchup because the Broncos have the defense to stop Brady by hitting him over and over again.
Regardless, this is a team that has a legitimate chance to go 16-0. 15-1 is my way of hedging my bet.