Across all sports, there is sometimes an inclination for bettors to throw doubt on those who are perennial favourites. It’s a natural thing, borne out of a sense of being accustomed to greatness. Take the Golden State Warriors in NBA as an example. Last season, there was a rush towards the Rockets and Cavaliers, a belief that they could overcome one of the greatest teams in basketball history, despite the fact that GSW had retained most of the protagonists that made them great in the first place. We all know how it ended up.
It’s a similar story for the New England Patriots. Sure, they came up just short in Super Bowl LII, but from the moment that sportsbooks starting compiling odds for Super Bowl LIII, Bill Belichick’s men were at the very top of the list. Trades, drafts and everything else that happened in the last eight months made little impact, the Patriots remained favourites.
The opening game of the season, a 27-20 victory against the Texans, did little to shift those odds either. The score flattered a decent Houston side somewhat, doing little to reflect the dominance of Tom Brady, nor the strength of the Patriots’ defense.
Patriots’ odds stable after Week 1
If you check sites that are covering all the sports markets for betting in Canada, you will see top sportsbooks, like Sports Interaction, keeping the Patriots around the 7.00 mark. The next best is the Minnesota Vikings (9.50), followed by the Eagles and Rams (both 10.00). Incidentally both the Steelers and Packers fell away in the odds after Week 1 after some underwhelming performances. It’ll be interesting to see if they can turn it around and shoot back up in the betting odds.
Patriots’ odds more generous than they seem
Looking at those odds of 7.00 for the Patriots, it’s clear that some punters will feel they are too short. After all, it is a long road to Atlanta on the 3rd February. However, when you break it down those odds look about right. Consider, how unlikely it is that the Patriots don’t make the postseason. They have, in fact, been given odds of just 1.07 from Canadian betting site Sports Interaction to win the AFC East. It’s almost guaranteed.
Even the Patriots’ odds to win the AFC Championship outright, 2.75, indicate that sportsbook believe Belichick and Brady are going to yet another Super Bowl. When you apply logic to those markets for reaching the postseason and Super Bowl LIII, odds of 7.00 for a sixth championship look pretty tempting.
Jacksonville worth a punt against Patriots
Of course, nothing can be taken for granted during an NFL season and it’s worth keeping an eye on those types of compelling regular season fixtures that can tell us a lot about how a team will fare. Next up for the Patriots is a tough fixture against Jacksonville, a team regarded by many as a potential surprise package this season. Their odds of 15.00 look tempting now, but they will surely drop if they continue a decent start to the season.
Going back to the Patriots, however, and it is, of course, not certain that they win it all this year. But, once again, they are the darlings of the sportsbooks for a very specific reason – they are the best team in NFL. That’s not a fans’ point of view, but something borne out of objective analysis in the scientific part of sport betting. Worth remembering the next time you bet on football.
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