Fifty-five points looks a little more like the New England Patriots that bettors are used to. And that’s just what football fans got from Brady and the Pats in Sunday’s shootout win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The 55-31 victory put the league on notice that New England is still one the most dominant teams in the NFL. It caught the attention of oddsmakers, who bumped the Patriots from 12/1 to 8/1 to win the Super Bowl after throttling the rival Steelers.
“We were as high as 15-1 just last week, but we did see a bit of action at that number and lowered to 12-1 during the week,” Peter Childs of Sportsbook.com
. “After yesterday’s convincing win we opened this morning at 10-1.”
New England’s offense stalled to start the schedule, suffering injuries to key players, losing WR Wes Welker to free agency, and lacking its top two tight ends from 2012 – Rob Gronkowski recovering from surgery and Aaron Hernandez under investigation for murder.
The Patriots puttered to a 4-0 start, averaging just over 22 points before getting slapped with a 13-6 loss to Cincinnati in Week 5. New England went from 8/1 to 10/1 following that loss and leapt to as high as 15/1 after an unimpressive win over Miami in Week 8.
Now, New England is on the mend. It returned Gronkowksi in Week 7, with the Pro Bowl TE posting 146 yards and a scored against the Steelers Sunday, and the Patriots have WR Danny Amendola on the field after being slowed by injuries this season. Amendola reeled in 122 yards and a TD this weekend.
While it seems like Brady and Bill Belichick are getting their groove back, oddsmakers aren’t sweating a surge from New England. According to Childs, there is no exposure on the Patriors’ Super Bowl futures and the book would be a winner if the Pats took home the Lombardi Trophy this February.
“I think they’re still very unlikely to do much in the postseason,” says Childs. “They haven’t beat anyone, other than the Saints and that was at home and was short of a miracle win. The Pats, in my opinion, are very fortunate to be in the AFC East and still have a lot of work to do to make some real noise in the playoffs.”
New England is enjoying a bye in Week 10 and then visits the Carolina Panthers on Monday Night Football in Week 11. The Patriots have four of their final seven games away from home, and are 2-2 SU and 1-3 ATS on the road this season.