Are 2017 Patriots on Track to be the Best Team Ever?

After vindicating themselves from the whole Deflategate saga by going 14-2 in the regular season, tearing through the AFC in the playoffs, then pulling off the greatest comeback in sports history, what can the New England Patriots possibly do for an encore? How about becoming the clear-cut best team in the history of the NFL? It’s a bold statement, but it’s also a very realistic possibility as the Patriots enter this season looking better than last season’s historic team.

Regression seems to be the norm for Super Bowl winners when you consider that three of the last five champions failed to even qualify for the playoffs the year after winning the Super Bowl. New England, however, has managed to keep its core intact, plugged some holes with some elite-level talent and will also have the game’s top tight end back in the huddle to start the season.

Here’s my thoughts on their betting futures odds entering the 2017 season:

Super Bowl +325

At first look, this screamed “RIPOFF!” to me, then I did a 180. There’s no definitive second-best team in the AFC. There’s no other legit contender in the AFC East. Securing the top seed — or at the very least the second seed — in the conference shouldn’t be much of a challenge for the Patriots. Each of the team’s seven Super Bowl appearances in the Brady/Belichick era came with a first-round bye, with five of the seven coming as the top seed. As a result, I see a very clear path back to the Super Bowl for New England, making that +325 price tag seem like a fair price.

Repeating as Super Bowl champions isn’t easy as no one has done it since … the Patriots. The big names on offense steal all the headlines, but what will fuel a back-to-back championship run is an elite defense that flies under the radar. After posting a league-best 16.4 points allowed per game in 2016, the Pats D upgraded by adding top-tier cornerback Stephon Gilmore to a secondary that was in the middle of the pack, ranking 14th in passing yards allowed per game. Pairing Gilmore with Malcolm Butler will give New England one of the NFL’s top cornerback duos.

This is a very balanced team with stars on both sides of the ball. Getting in on a Patriots Super Bowl futures bet should be done now or not at all. With each win, their value will shrink, so grab it while it’s still there.

AFC East -1000

Is there a bigger lock in futures betting than the Patriots to win the AFC East? A quick glance at their history of domination tells us, no, absolutely not. They’ve won the division eight straight years and in 13 of the last 14. It certainly helps sharing a division with the perennial loser Jets, Bills and Dolphins, and the Patriots will take full advantage again this season.

This is a trend that will continue this season because of one man — Jimmy Garoppolo. That name probably wouldn’t have been your first guess, but Garoppolo provides New England with the best depth in the league at the quarterback position and is arguably the second-best quarterback in the division. In a worst-case scenario, if Tom Brady were to go down with an injury, or gets suspended for cheating again (smiling face emoji), I have no doubt that Jimmy G could step in and at the very least lead the Patriots to a division championship in the very shallow AFC East.

There’s not a whole lot of profits to be made off this bet, so my advice is simple — parlay this with every other futures bet you make this season. THIS IS A LOCK.

Win Total – 12.5

I’ll personally be betting the OVER on this one as this number is too low. They, of course, went 14-2 last season and went 12-4 in the four previous seasons, but they have topped 12.5 wins six times in the Brady/Belichick era.

Taking a look at their schedule, they should rip through their divisional games, then there’s really just one more gimme on their schedule, hosting the Chargers in Week 8. That looks like seven wins right there with the rest of their schedule made up of playoff teams from 2016 and borderline contenders like the Broncos and Panthers. Hosting the Falcons in Week 7 and on the road in Pittsburgh in 15 look like their stiffest challenges and I can’t see them losing more than three games. I think they’re on track for a 15-1 regular season and I think this is one of the easier season win total picks.

Tom Brady for MVP +400

Wouldn’t it make sense for the best player on the best team to win the MVP? I suppose that’s why Brady is the favorite at +500 to win the award. He’s won it twice before — in 2007 and 2010 — and this looks like the best arsenal he has had to work with since 2007’s 16-0 team with Randy Moss and that Aaron Hernandez guy.

It’s strange to consider that at 40 years old, he might be getting better, but he is. In 2016 he posted his best completion percentage and QB rating since 2007. He also threw just two picks in the 12 games he played in. Perhaps more importantly, he kept his uniform clean by taking just 15 sacks. This is all possible, in part, due to Brady’s willingness to take less money, giving the Patriots the option to surround him with more talent. Thirteen other quarterbacks will earn more than Tom Brady this season, but not one of those guys is in a better position to win a Super Bowl.

2017 New England Patriots Futures Odds
Market Odds
Super Bowl +325
AFC Championship +175
AFC East -1000
Win Total 12.5

Odds as of August 14 at Sportsbook