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NFC East Betting: Patriots spending spree enhances odds

Cam Newton looks set to lead the New England Patriots again this season
Cam Newton looks set to lead the New England Patriots again this season
By Neil Monnery

AFC East Winner Odds

Buffalo Bills
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New England Patriots
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Odds correct as of 2021-10-26 12:20 Odds subject to change.

Fans of the New England Patriots have had a rather good time of it throughout the 21st Century. The combination of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have been quite the duo - as up until the 2020 season - they had failed to win the NFC East only in 2000, 2002 and 2008. In the last of those three ‘failed’ campaigns they still won 11 games. It has been a delight to be a Patriots fan but then the duo split up. One went off to Tampa Bay and won another Super Bowl ring with the other overseeing a 7-9 record and no sniff of the playoffs.

To see the Patriots listed as the third favorites to win their division is still slightly disconcerting. I can fully understand the Bills being granted favorite status as they look like a genuinely good team but what has Tua Tagovailoa done as a pro? I was a big fan of him coming out of Alabama but the team was clearly better with Ryan Fitzpatrick in 2020 and I wouldn’t be pegging them for more than eight or nine wins at this point.

This is where we come to the Patriots and boy have they been busy in the early days of free agency. Owner Bob Kraft has got his checkbook out and already inked at least $162.5million in guaranteed money to free agents (some of whom did play for the club last season).

The Tight End combo of Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry on paper should be a hit. The Patriots have had some good recent history in playing two TE sets. Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez were quite something when they were both on the end of the line. How teams defend against two premier players in that position is something Defensive Coordinators will have to specifically game plan for.

AFC East Odds

Rebuilding that LB corps has also been done heavily in the early days of Free Agency. Kyle Van Noy has returned after a brief one-year stint in Miami with Matthew Judon also added after five seasons in Baltimore. Nelson Agholor rebuilt his reputation with a 48 reception season in Las Vegas and he’s added to the WR unit along with Kendrick Bourne.

It has been quite the spending spree and owner Bob Kraft says it is the right time to be aggressive in the Free Agency market due to their Salary Cap space and the lack of teams being overly aggressive. It is very much a buyers market outside of a handful of big names.

Lastly they’ve re-upped with Cam Newton and as it stands - he looks set to be QB1 for another year. The contract is very team friendly so the Patriots do have some potential to go into the Draft and make an audacious move to one of the top QBs. With the likes of Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, Mac Jones and Justin Fields potentially being available (no way the Jags are moving off the top pick and not taking Trevor Lawrence) then who knows what the Pats brass are thinking. They pick at #15 in the first round and there is every possibility that at least one of those players are still available. Not sure any of them are ready for QB1 duties but it is certainly one to keep an eye on.

I would have the Pats as the second favorites in the AFC East at the moment so I think their odds are providing a bit of value.

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