Despite loss to Seahawks Sunday, Patriots could make some noise in AFC
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It is tough to make any assumptions or concrete observations after just two weeks of the 2020 NFL season.
But that never stops anyone from doing it, anyway; so we might as well take a shot here as well.
The two teams that almost every sportsbook had as the favorites to win both the AFC and the Super Bowl have both gotten off to 2-0 starts, although the reigning champion Kansas City Chiefs had to work hard for it Sunday against Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Rams. The other team, the Baltimore Ravens, look every bit the best team in the league, and a worthy top pick right now to win Super Bowl LV (+475 odds with some books).
While they are a ways back in the actual odds, take a look at which team is currently third pick out of the AFC: your New England Patriots.
The Pats gave Seattle every bit of a contest Sunday night, before eventually falling 35-30 on the road.
The good news is plentiful from the second weekend of play for New England. Cam Newton has settled in very quickly in his new offense: he threw for 397 yards and one TD, while also running for 47 yards (on 11 carries) and two more scores. Newton has already found a rhythm with his receivers, as witnessed by the numbers posted by his corps. Julian Edelman had eight catches for 179 yards, while N’Keal Harry and Damiere Byrd had 72 yards apiece.
Also, once again, the Chiefs looked vulnerable, and some of the other teams in the AFC have already had injuries and struggles of their own. Of course, it is only two weeks into the new campaign, but the season-ending injuries that plagued the league this weekend could change the fortunes of a few teams.
But even though the offense played well, the defense struggled for much of the contest, and will have to overcome opt-outs and other challenges this season. Do the 2-0 Buffalo Bills scare you as your main rivals in the AFC East, though? The Miami Dolphins are better, but still 0-2, and then there are the N.Y. Jets (0-2, with an absolutely brutal schedule on the horizon).
Once the doom and gloom of the offseason started to dissipate, bettors and fans of the Patriots have started to realize that this team is probably going to be able to compete in the AFC, let alone the AFC East.
Would I bet New England to win the conference and possibly the Super Bowl? Probably not at this point: I think I would go with the Ravens to win both (+240 to win the AFC with books, and once again around +475 to win the Super Bowl), and if not them, then the Chiefs (+250 to win AFC, +500 to win Super Bowl).
But would I take a chance on the Pats right now at plus-money to win the AFC East (+110 to +130 odds range) over the Bills (-120)?
I don’t know which of those two teams is going to win it after two weeks? But I do know that there is not much between the two teams, and the November 1 game in Buffalo and the December 28 contest in Foxborough will almost certainly decide the winner of the AFC East.
Are you betting against Bill Belichick?
I didn’t think so.
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