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Major offseason becomes unlikely to bring success for Patriots

When the New England Patriots signed Cam Newton to replace Tom Brady, there was some hope that Bill Belichick and the coaching staff might find out and keep New England high. That wasn’t the case as the Patriots ended their first losing season since 2000, Belichick’s first season at Foxboro. It was a season to forget, but also a season that motivated New England to spend more than ever on free agents.

Will the mass of movements pay off? The view from here doesn’t look promising.

New England Patriots 2021 schedule and futures odds

To stay up to date on the Patriots results and updated Futures odds during the 2021 NFL season, visit our dedicated New England Patriots page.

New England Patriots 2021 futures odds

  • Super Bowl LVI odds: +3700
  • Chances of winning the AFC Championship: +1700
  • Chances of winning at AFC East: +360
  • 2021 NFL season overall win: OVER 9 (-140), UNDER 9 (+120)
  • Chances of winning the NFL playoffs: YES +126, NO -154

The New England Patriots futures odds will be available starting Saturday, August 28, 2021 via FanDuel Sportsbook.

New England Patriots 2021 schedule

Date, match, and TV shows information

week 1

Sunday, September 12, 2021: vs Miami Dolphins, 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS

Week 2

Sunday, September 19, 2021 at New York Jets, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS

Week 3

Sunday, September 26, 2021: vs New Orleans Saints, FOX

Week 4

Sunday, October 3, 2021: vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC

Week 5

Sunday, October 10, 2021: Houston Texans, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS

Week 6

Sunday, October 17, 2021: vs Dallas Cowboys, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS

Week 7

Sunday, October 24, 2021: vs New York Jets, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS

Week 8

Sunday, October 31, 2021: Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS

Week 9

Sunday, November 7, 2021: at the Carolina Panthers, 1:00 p.m., CBS

Week 10

Sunday, November 14, 2021: vs Cleveland Browns, 1:00 p.m., CBS

Week 11

Thursday, November 18, 2021 at Atlanta Falcons, 8:20 p.m. ET, FOX / NFL Network

Week 12

Sunday, November 28, 2021: vs Tennessee Titans, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS

Week 13

Monday, December 6, 2021: at Buffalo Bills, 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN

Week 14

Goodbye week

Week 15

Sunday, December 19, 2021: at Indianapolis Colts, TBD

Week 16

Sunday, December 26, 2021: vs Buffalo Bills, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS

Week 17

Sunday, January 2, 2022: vs Jacksonville Jaguars, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS

Week 18

Sunday, January 9, 2022 at Miami Dolphins, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS

New England Patriots 2021 season and betting preview

Important additions and subtractions

additions

  • WR Kendrick Bourne
  • WR Nelson Agholor
  • TE Jonnu Smith
  • TE Hunter Henry
  • OLB Matt Judon

After the pathetic passing game last year, the Pats moved all-in during Free Agency. These players are certainly upgrades, but are not considered elite for their positions. I like the moves, but they still might not be enough. Adding judon to the defense should help with the pass rush that was bad last year and a rush defense that required upgrades. The fact that they signed so many players this off-season (beyond the five listed here) says a lot about where the team stood in 2020.

Subtractions

  • OT Marcus cannon
  • WR Julian Edelman
  • AND Joe Thuney
  • DT Adam Butler

Edelman has done a lot of plays for the Patriots over the years, but it was about time. The offensive line at Thuney is now weaker with the Chiefs. Butler was second on the team last season with four sacks. He’s interchangeable, especially with Christian Barmore, a second-round pick from Alabama who looks pretty battered.

Season preview 2021

When Newton is physically right, it can be difficult to contain. But efficiency has rarely been a strength and I don’t see a strong season for him. I wouldn’t be surprised if rookie Mac Jones gets a few starts at some point. Offense should be better, but that’s a low bar based on their fights last season.

The defense was pretty good last season but was definitely supported by 18 interceptions in the league. Half of that came from the corner of JC Jackson, who benefited from facing Stephon Gilmore. Turnover is inconsistent, however, and when you look at the yards allowed per game, the defensive was average. Bringing back Judon and linebacker Kyle Van Noy should add some juice to a passing frenzy that ranked 26th in the league. Her two picks for Jones were both on the defensive. They have to get better in the trenches.

The Patriots weren’t a fluffy 7-9 last season. It may be hard to imagine losing seasons in a row for them, but they could win that extra game and that would still be the case. They’re better on paper, but unless Newton is much better the victories won’t be there.

Betting preview 2021

New England is a tough team to work with. They have a tough first month and you have to worry that if things don’t go well they just go with Jones and call it a development season.

There is no value in backing them up in the futures markets. It would be a shock if they challenged the Buffalo Bills in the AFC East, and even if they made the playoffs as a wild card, it’s hard to imagine a deep run after the season.

When it comes to the total winnings, the lower one is the lean one. I think they are only favored in one of their first four games (with the Jets). Your home plan is really tough so the margin is thin. There is a very real chance the bottom will fall out. I would even comfortably go to 8.5.

Prop to consider: Stephon Gilmore named NFL Defensive Player of the Year (+5500)

There isn’t a lot of choice in New England. You could make Mac Jones the Offensive Rookie of the Year at +1000, but that’s bullish unless he starts early. Gilmore is arguably the best corner in the game. Even if the team underperforms, he could still be a factor. Two seasons ago, he led the NFL in interceptions and defended passes. If he does this again, he will be considered.

Last thought

New England has always had too much market respect in the past, but they still won. Last season we saw that change and I think we’ll see more of that.

This is not a very good team and I will try to fade the Patriots more than support them throughout the season. You’ve made some impressive moves, but the quarterback is key. I’m not high on Newton or Jones as a rookie. It’s hard to like a team if you don’t like the QB situation, which is also the case with the Miami Dolphins.

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