Patriots Looking For Perfect 10
Can anyone dethrone the New England Patriots in the American Football Conference’s East Division?
It’s a question that has been asked for many years, and the answer is almost always “no.”
The Patriots have won nine straight division titles and they are the overwhelming favorites (-700) to make it 10 in a row again this season (odds provided by TopBet).
Ever since Tom Brady took over in the third game of the 2001-02 season for an injured Drew Bledsoe, the Patriots have been nothing short of spectacular. They have won 15 of 17 division titles and five Super Bowls (2001, 2003, 2004, 2014, 2016).
Betting Lines For The AFC East
- Buffalo (+900)
The Bills, who were 9-7 last season, finished second in the division. They are +900 (or 9-1 odds) to win the division this year. That means a winning $100 bet on the Bills will return a $900 profit plus the $100 bet for a total return of $1,000.
- Miami (+1200)
The Dolphins, who were 6-10 last season, finished third in the division. They are +1200 (12-1) to win the division this year. That means a winning $100 bet on the Dolphins will return a $1,200 profit plus the $100 bet for a total return of $1,300.
- New England (-700)
The Patriots, who finished the season 13-3 last year, cruised to another division title. They are -700 (or 1-7 odds) to repeat as division champs this year. That means a bettor must wager $700 on the Patriots to make a $100 profit for a total return of $800.
- New York Jets (+1200)
The Jets, who were 5-11 last season, finished fourth and last in the division. They are also +1200 (12-1) to win the division this year. That means a winning $100 bet on the Jets will return a $1,200 profit plus the $100 bet for a total return of $1,300.
It’s Time To Pick A Divisional Winner
Buffalo (Last title: 1995)
The Bills had their second winning season in 13 years and finally made a return trip to the playoffs for the first time in 18 years.
Earning another wild card spot will be difficult. Winning the division title would be shocking. The Bills have an inexperienced player (A.J. McCarron) and a rookie (Josh Allen) fighting for the starting job at quarterback. That’s not a recipe for success in the NFL.
The Bills play five of their first seven games on the road this season, then return home to face the defending AFC champions in the Patriots. Buffalo was 3-3 against division rivals last year.
Miami (Last title: 2008)
Every team has question marks, but the Dolphins have more than most.
Miami lost three of its best players in Jarvis Landry, Ndamukong Suh and Mike Pouncey. Their replacements won’t be enough to make them a .500 team, especially since each of the Dolphins’ last five games is against a team that made the playoffs last season.
Head coach Adam Gase saw his team give up 112 more points than it scored last season. Starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill returns from injury, but the Dolphins face an uphill to reach the playoffs for just the third time in 16 seasons.
New England (Last title: 2017)
It’s hard to bet against a team that was won almost 77 per cent of its games in the regular season in the last 17 years (209-63 .768).
It’s even more difficult when that team is led by three-time league MVP Tom Brady (2007, 2010, 2017). The five-time Super Bowl champion will be 41 when the season begins in September. But with head coach Bill Belichick still calling the shots and tight end Rob Gronkowski piling up receiving yards, the Patriots still look unstoppable in the East.
Five of the team’s first nine games are scheduled for prime time. Once again, a Week 15 meeting with Pittsburgh could determine the AFC’s top seed.
New York Jets (Last title: 2002)
The Jets have not made the playoffs in eight years and they have had a winning record just once (2015) in that time.
They have finished the last two seasons at 5-11, but that may be changing this year. The Jets added Teddy Bridgewater and drafted Sam Darnold with the No. 3 pick overall. One of these two will earn the job as starting quarterback.
The roster still has a long way to go, but the Jets have some talented young players on their roster. New York, which has the fifth-easiest schedule in the league, will make a prime-time appearance in Week 3 at Cleveland against the Browns on Thursday Night Football.
VGB’s pick — New England (-700). Two teams could be starting rookie quarterbacks this season, and the third still hasn’t found a solid leader. The magic continues at Foxboro in 2018.