You liked the New England Patriots before Rob Gronkowski suffered a broken arm late in Sunday’s wipeout of Indianapolis. And, there’s no reason not to like them, even with Gronkowski expected to miss four to six weeks.
At least that’s the word from offshore and Las Vegas books, where New England is still listed as one of a handful of teams capable of running the table in the playoffs. In fact, at sportsbook.ag, manager Mike Perry has nudged the odds a bit on the Patriots, from +500 to +450.
“The Patriots have so many offensive weapons,” Perry told Covers, “and one of the top three QBs in the league (Tom Brady). They’re one of the five most-popular NFL teams (for bettors), and that won’t change.”
New England’s 35-point (59-24) victory over the Colts will do nothing to turn money away from them this Thursday visiting the New York Jets (+5.5) on Thanksgiving or going forward. The Week 12 line opened with the Patriots as touchdown favorites at MetLife Stadium but that has since dropped to -5.5. Perry says that the tight end’s injury will tick down the game lines of New England about half a point.
“He just isn’t worth as much to the line as you’d think,” he says.
Because of Bill Belichick’s Kremlin-type lid of injury information, it’s almost impossible to know when Gronkowski will return, and just as difficult to determine when TE Aaron Hernandez will be back on the field. Hernandez hasn’t played since Oct. 21 (Jets) and is not completely recovered from an ankle injury suffered in Week 2.
Gronkowski had six catches for 78 yards and two touchdowns when the teams met at Gillette Stadium a month ago and New England was fortunate to escape with a 29-26 win in overtime.
The total for Thursday’s game had moved from 51 points to 49.