Based on early lines, Patriots might be underdog only once
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Could the defending NFL champion New England Patriots be favored in every regular-season game during the 2019 season?
Right now it’s very close according to week-by-week point spreads posted last week by CG Technology. In those low-limit offerings (customers in Nevada can only bet $1K per game at these early lines), the Patriots were only an underdog one time. That by just a point at Philadelphia in November.
Let’s quickly run through the CG numbers from the Patriots perspective:
- September: New England is -6.5 vs. Pittsburgh, -8.5 at Miami, -10 vs. the New York Jets, and -6.5 at Buffalo.
You can tell already that the Patriots are expected to dominate the AFC East as long as Tom Brady stays healthy. Three divisional opponents in September. The Pats are favored by -6.5 or more on the ROAD vs. two of them, and by double digits at home vs. the other.
- October: New England is -6.5 at Washington, -11 vs. the New York Giants, -4.5 at the New York Jets, and -8.5 vs. Cleveland.
An interesting month, with Washington a potential flat spot after facing three consecutive divisional foes. And, the Cleveland Browns have been a popular betting choice on the futures board globally because of a new attitude and improved talent. If you assume home field value of 3 points at each site, the Pat would have been less than a field goal favorite had the game been scheduled for Ohio.
- November: New England is -2.5 at Baltimore, has a bye week, is plus 1 at Philadelphia (in its only underdog spot of the season), and -6 vs. Dallas.
Luckily for the Pats, this gut check month features a bye. The trip to Baltimore is a likely tester, particularly if quarterback Lamar Jackson shows improvement in his second season as a starter. The bye is followed by the schedule’s only current underdog spot in a rematch of the fifty-second Super Bowl.
- December: New England is -3 at Houston, -3 vs. Kansas City, -7 at Cincinnati, -13 vs. Buffalo, and will finish vs. Miami in what is currently an unlined game.
That gut check continues for two more weeks. Houston, if healthy, will be a handful. Kansas City will have revenge on its mind after losing at home to the Pats in overtime in last season’s AFC championship game.
There is no point spread posted in the season finale because there’s a reasonable chance that the Patriots won’t need to play starters in advance of the playoffs. CG Technology doesn’t want exposure to that volatile betting scenario. It’s possible that a “skeleton crew” for the Pats would be an underdog (even at home) in a lame duck spot.
Here are the week-by-week lines for every game posted by CG Technology.
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