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New England Patriots Betting Odds Preview

The New England Patriots winning the AFC East division may soon be added alongside death and taxes as the only certainties in life - as long as Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are still around at least.

The Pats won their fifth straight AFC East crown last season and their tenth in the last 11 seasons. New England returns with most of last year’s roster intact, along with a few upgrades and stars returning from injury that could keep them atop the AFC East once again.

New England Patriots Odds to Win AFC East: -300 at Bovada
New England Patriots Odds to Win Super Bowl: 15/2 at Bovada
New England Patriots Regular Season Win Total: 11 at Bovada
New England Patriots Betting Props: Tom Brady to Win NFL MVP 9/1 at Bovada

New England continued to steamroll lesser teams last season, boasting the third best scoring offense in the league, averaging 27.8 points per game. The Pats' receiving corps may not have boasted some of the big names of old, but Brady still passed for over 4000 yards with 25 touchdowns. Julian Edelman took any pressure off the loss of Wes Welker and hauled in a team-high 105 passes for 1056 yards and six TDs, and it earned him a four-year contract.

Edelman may have some competition for catches this season if big tight end Rob Gronkowski can finally stay healthy. Injuries limited Gronk to only seven games last season, but he’s reportedly going to be healthy to start the season, giving the Pats a huge and nearly impossible to defend weapon, especially in the red zone. A bounce-back season from often-injured wideout Danny Amendola and Stevan Ridley providing any kind of running game should keep the Patriots’ offense among the best in the league once again.

One area where the Pats struggled at times last season was on defense. That was especially true against the run, where New England ranked 30th in the league. The return of linebacker Jerod Mayo could help fix that problem. Mayo appeared in only six games last year, after leading the Pats in tackles the previous season. The defense should also get a jolt by the addition of Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis. If Revis Island becomes a popular destination for opposing receivers like it has in the past the defense should see improvement exponentially.

AFC East Odds at Bovada as of August 5

New England Patriots -300
Miami Dolphins +650
New York Jets +650
Buffalo Bills +900

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The New England Patriots lost a ton of weapons on offense this season, and if this were any other team, there would be legitimate cause for concern. But under Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, the AFC East title has been a virtual formality for over a decade. Will 2013 be different?

Odds to Win AFC East: -400 at Bovada
Regular Season Win Total: 11 at Bovada
Betting Props: Tom Brady to win NFL MVP (10/1) at Bovada

The New England Patriots steamrolled the NFL in 2012, finishing first overall in total yards (427.9 per game) and total offense (34.8 per game) by a considerable margin. Tom Brady was his usual sensational self, passing for 4,827 yards and 34 touchdowns with just eight interceptions. And what made the Patriots’ offense even scarier than usual last season was its institution of a running game that averaged 136.5 yards per game, leaving defenses completely baffled all year long.

Under Bill Belichick and Tom Brady’s leadership, the New England Patriots have always made it work regardless of supporting cast, winning the AFC East nine of the last 10 seasons. That ideal will be put to the test now more than ever. Wide receivers Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, and Donte Stallworth are all gone. Versatile running back Danny Woodhead is gone. And of course, star tight end Aaron Hernandez is gone as he faces a murder charge.

Danny Amendola was brought in to replace Welker, but he is an injury risk. As is TE Rob Gronkowski, who has been super effective when on the field but has had trouble staying on it. Can Tom Brady keep putting up elite Pro Bowl numbers with this much turnover? And what does Belichick have in mind for offseason acquisition Tim Tebow?

Defensively, the Patriots will look about the same, but could take a step forward with many young players getting valuable experience last season. It is a tricky unit to grade; ranking 29th in pass defense allowing 271.4 yards per game isn’t good. But when you consider how often the Patriots had huge leads and the opposing team was doing nothing but throwing, you can understand those stats being skewed.

AFC East Odds at Bovada as of July 26
New England Patriots -400
Miami Dolphins +325
New York Jets +1600
Buffalo Bills +1600