After six player optouts, how are the odds on the New England Patriots…?
As it turns out, Tom Brady leaving the New England Patriots isn’t making things easier for NFL bettors. Even taking the coronavirus out of the equation, here’s what has happened since Super Bowl LIV: Brady, to no one’s surprise, left the Patriots to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; New England passes on a quarterback on the 2019 NFL Draft and shortly thereafter declared Jason Stridham the starter; shockingly acquired Cam Newton; and in the past two days, team officials have announced a whopping eight optouts from this season, including LB Dont’a Hightower, OT Marcus Cannon, FS Patrick Chung and RB Brandon Bolden.
As though the trail of odds on the 2020 New England Patriots weren’t tumultuous enough, throw in a just-born proto-conspiracy theory which deduces that somehow Sith Lord/Pats head coach Bill Belichick is “masterminding” the Pats’ optouts, likely in order to land some quality free agents with lots more cap space. Such an easily-imagined scheme is hardly worthy of attention – except this particular musing came from an NFL source and was reported by the almighty Adam Schefter.
Actual text exchange with an NFL executive today after a sixth Patriot opted out:— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 28, 2020
Him: “You know Bill is masterminding all of this somehow.”
Me: “For what reason?”
Him: “I don’t know! That’s why he is who he is!”
This continual turning of events is naturally wreaking havoc with the odds offered on the Patriots winning Super Bowl LV. Directly after the Kansas City Chiefs finished off the San Francisco 49ers to end the season, Las Vegas and online sportsbooks gave lines of +400 on the Chiefs, +750 on the 49ers, +650 on the Baltimore Ravens and, despite the inevitability of Brady’s departure, just +800 odds in the “To Win Super Bowl LV” proposition bet.
Today, Kansas City is getting odds of +550 to +650 in this prop while Baltimore is listed at +600 to +650; the Ravens’ closure of gap can be attributed to their universally acknowledged strong showing in the draft, while San Francisco’s comedown to the 8/1-10/1 range in a natural slip from the default odds given the Super Bowl loser.
But New England’s odds are a relative rollercoaster – and if Vegas sportsbooks could do/were doing more volume, they’d be even more so. After opening June at an aggregate line of 14/1 at major online sportsbooks, the Patriots to win LV may today be had for anywhere from 12/1 to 20/1 – and the latest round of optouts is, as of this writing, less than 24 hours old.
So, then, to date, batting on the Patriots is a matter of faith that Belichick is in control of the dissolution of his roster, that said dissolution will be made up for, that Cam Newton can seriously play ball, that the Patriots can beat the superior offense of the Chiefs and/or Ravens in the playoffs. Not to mention the probability of the 2020 NFL season kicking off at all.
NFLbets still likes the Ravens at +650 or so is still our best bet in this prop, anyway…
--written by Os Davis