As the 2017 NFL Season gets closer, more and more player performance lines come out in Vegas. What are some popular prop bets for the New England Patriots?
While the New England Patriots mantra has long been team first and individual accomplishments second, the actions suggest that there is at least some consideration given to how the players stat line looks. With that in mind, here are four props that are out there and which end of the scale to lean towards.
Patriots Total Regular Season Wins – Over/Under 12.5 Wins
For the first time in what feels like forever, the Patriots are not a sure thing to hit the over in this number. Normally when the numbers are released there are calls of disrespect from fans saying that the number is too low but in this case, the odds makers are right on the money. Over the past seven seasons, the Patriots have won 14, 13, 12, 12, 12, 12 & 14 games so the recent trends suggest this might be a season to take the under.
With a tough schedule against the AFC and NFC South there are plenty of opportunities for the team to drop games, particularly during the three-game stretch of road games in December. Working in favor of the under is the fact that 10 wins will be enough to take the division once again and 12 will be enough for a first-round bye. On the other hand, this is a team that appears to be coming in on a mission similar to their 2004 season where they became the last team to successfully defend their title. Realistically, based on the team that they have assembled and the coaching staff on hand, this should be one to take the over on.
Tom Brady – Win Regular Season MVP: +450 Favorite
After leading that miraculous comeback in the Super Bowl, Brady’s stock is about as high as it can be. Unfortunately for a bet such as this one, he becomes a victim of his own ridiculously high standards. Based on history, Brady needs to produce statistically out of this world seasons like his 2007 and 2010 campaigns to be seen as the leading candidate. While Brady will most likely be in the conversation to be league MVP, this is a stay away as a player on another player will put together a similarly spectacular season and take the MVP award for themselves.
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Brandin Cooks – Total Receiving Yards: Over/Under 900 Yards
As the prized addition of the recent offseason, expectations are high for Cooks in his debut season with the Patriots. Joining up with an already potent passing attack, the expectation is that he will have a similar impact to Randy Moss in 2007 however with a plethora of targets on hand, he will be hard pressed to produce at that same pace. 1000-yard seasons are rare in the Patriots passing game, particularly with Brady’s preference for the open receiver.
What Cooks will bring to the offense is an ability to create a big play with his next level quickness and he could reach that with a dozen long range touchdowns. On the surface it might seem like a low number for Cooks but when you consider that the balls that will be going towards other players he may not have a whole lot of big games throughout the year. If you expect Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman and other receivers to struggle to stay healthy this season Cooks may top that number as the best remaining option.
Rob Gronkowski – Total Games Played: Over/Under 10.5 Games
Speaking of players who struggle to stay healthy, Rob Gronkowski is coming off an eight-game 2016 season which saw him end the year on injured reserve, watching the Super Bowl in sweats. Every year Gronkowski battles some sort of ailment that will wipe him out of action. The question becomes when that injury will strike and just how bad it is. Nobody can question his motivation to play and with a new contract that ties his pay to how much he plays, expect to see a bit more of Gronkowski on the field this season and take the over with this number.