- The odds for the New England Patriots to win a playoff game are shorter than usual.
- They could miss out on a first round bye for the first time since 2009
- Can this Pats team go anywhere in the postseason, or will they be one and done?
The New England Patriots are well on their way to another division title and a shot at their sixth Super Bowl in the Brady-Belichick era, and yet their fans are miserable.
Other than Brady tearing his ACL in 2008, of all the Belichick regular seasons, this might be the single bleakest Patriots week.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) December 20, 2018
Some may call it lofty expectations, others may call it spoiled, but Pats fans expect to go far in January, which is what made this prop from Bovada so intriguing.
Odds the Patriots win a playoff game this year
|Total Playoff wins for New England in 2019 Playoffs||Odds at Bovada|
*Odds taken 12/20
At first glace you’d go, “ya, of course New England is favored to win a game this postseason.”
But when you step back and look at it, this team’s Super Bowl odds are getting longer and -300 is not a lot when you compare it to the typical moneyline of a Pats opening game.
Patriots History of First Playoff Game Odds
|2018||vs. Tennessee Titans||-1000|
|2017||vs Houston Texans||-1750|
|2016||vs Kansas City Chiefs||-265|
|2015||vs Baltimore Ravens||-300|
|2014||vs Indianapolis Colts||-340|
So based on this prop, can you really trust the Patriots to go far these playoffs?
Success in Foxborough
Even if we ignore the Pats previous two playoff openers – where they were dominant favorites against Tennessee and Brock Osweiler’s Texans – New England at home is still a hefty moneyline price.
From 2010 to 2015, they were an average favorite of -416 in their first playoff game.
Of course, all of those came in the Divisional Round. And for the first time since 2009, New England could have a playoff date before then.
Fallout from the Patriots' loss to the Steelers:
New England now has just a 42.5% chance to get a first-round bye.
Playoffs odds and scenarios for every team after an upset-filled Week 15:https://t.co/YRGLMSWAZF
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) December 17, 2018
However, this bet only needs New England to win one game and as potential three-seed, they’ll draw a far easier opponent for their first game than they would as a two-seed.
And let’s not forget how dominant the Pats are at Gillette Stadium.
Against potential playoff teams at home this year (Houston, Miami, Indianapolis, Kansas City and Minnesota), New England was an average favorite of -330 and went 5-0.
Granted, they caught some of those teams at the right time (a rematch with Indy would almost certainly not see the Colts as an 11-point dog) but still, bookmakers have to respect the Pats home cooking.
How do These Pats Stack up to Teams of the Past?
In short, poorly.
Scoring just 26.7 points per game and allowing 22.1, the Patriots are on pace to field their worst offense since 2009 and their worst defense ever under Bill Belichick.
They just lost their most explosive wide receiver for the rest of the year and have had some uncharacteristic lapses over the past few games, from the Miracle in Miami to whatever this was.
The terrible redzone INT from the last Patriots drive by Bradypic.twitter.com/K1fTPS7hUm
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) December 16, 2018
If ever there was a Patriots team to doubt, it’s this one.
Despite New England’s shaky outlook, I would still jump on the OVER for this prop.
If they’re playing on Wild Card Weekend, the Pats moneyline should open at more than -300, regardless of if the Colts, Ravens, or Titans come to town.
If they open as a two-seed in the Divisional Round, their opponent is a little harder to forecast: any one of the Chiefs, Chargers, Steelers or Texans could still end up playing in Foxborough.
But you still have to like Brady’s chances to pull one out. After all, the Pats have won 11 of their last 12 home games.