The New England Patriots’ 10-7 straight up record in 2021 was smoke and mirrors.
It was spawned from a soft stretch of schedule that allowed the Pats to take advantage of some downtrodden and injury-depleted teams, culminating in the infamous wind game in Buffalo. A 1-3 SU finish to the schedule and playoff pounding from the Bills pulled the curtain back on Bill Belichick’s illusion.
The 2022 Patriots have a roster that’s about as drab as the head coach’s wardrobe, and Belichick is pulling double duty after losing long-time offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to Las Vegas. That leaves the maturation of QB Mac Jones in the “capable” hands of Joe Judge and Matt Patricia — neither of which specialize in offense and came crawling back to Belichick after disastrous head coaching stints.
If this team wins nine games, there’s no doubt “The Hoodie” is the greatest football mind of all time. Here’s our New England Patriots 2022 betting preview.
New England Patriots futures odds
|To win Super Bowl||+5,000|
|To win conference||+2,500|
|To win division||+475|
|Season Win Total O/U||8.5 (Over -120)|
|To Make Playoffs||Yes +140 / No -160|
Best futures bet: Under 8.5 wins (+100)
The early lot of lookahead lines had New England as a favorite in only six games with two others at pick’em. However, spreads released later in the summer project as many as eight wins for the Pats, lining up with the season win total markets. I’m not buying it.
The Patriots’ strength of schedule ranks them out 16th based on last season’s results, but the rest of the AFC East has improved, and the Bills hate the Pats soooooo much. My QB SOS pits New England against the sixth hardest slate of rival passers in the league, including a home stretch that features Josh Allen twice, Kyler Murray, Derek Carr, and Joe Burrow.
And that’s if the start of the season doesn’t break this team before Week 5. New England plays three of its first four on the road and puts Jones up against some nasty pass rushes in that span: Miami, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Green Bay.
New England Patriots betting overview
What will win bets: Belichick
As unsexy as this roster looks and with the mishmash of coaching castoffs not good enough to earn a legit title, all praise must be given to the dark lord… I mean Bill Belichick.
His defense ranked out No. 4 in DVOA at Football Outsiders in 2021 and boasted an EPA allowed per play of -0.063 (also fourth). That said, those metrics were built against plenty of bullshit offenses and the D did buckle against legit attacks like Dallas, Buffalo, New Orleans, and Indianapolis.
But, when it comes to prep and strategy, New England will almost always have the edge in coaching because Belichick still prowls the sideline for the Patriots and arrives at work when everyone else is still drooling on their pillow.
What will lose bets: Lack of talent
The Patriots are really hoping that underperformers from last year suddenly shake it off and step up in 2022, because they couldn’t afford many new guys. New England lost corner J.C. Jackson and OL Ted Karras to free agency and traded away OL Shaq Mason, leaving Jones without his two starting guards from 2021.
And speaking of Jones, the Pats padded his options with injury-prone WR DeVante Parker and try to milk whatever is left in dual-threat RB James White. New England didn’t have the cash to chase any offensive weapons that would make Mac better and that lack of talent trickles down to the coaching staff, with Judge and Patricia in over their heads on the offensive side of the ball.
New England Patriots game-by-game odds
As mentioned, lookahead lines for the Patriots vary from book to book, with some shops giving Belichick the benefit of the doubt.
New England is a point spread favorite in as many as eight games and outside of larger spreads at Green Bay (+6) and at Buffalo (+6.5), the Pats are pegged as underdogs of +3.5 or shorter in six other contests. This team is 4-2 SU and ATS at +3.5 or shorter in the two post-Brady seasons.
|4||@ Green Bay||+6||48|
|8||@ NY Jets||-3||42|
|11||vs. NY Jets||-7||42.5|
|15||@ Las Vegas||+2.5||48.5|
New England Patriots pro betting insights
Hitman, professional bettor (@Hitman428)
One of my toughest teams to power rate. I like Mac Jones — and obviously love Belichick as a coach — but this roster is average at best, and that should catch up to them when facing top teams.
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Adam Chernoff, The Simple Handicap podcast (@adamchernoff)
New England Patriots early season forecast
The AFC East is now three years removed from Tom Brady’s reign over the division, and while the Bills have filled the vacuum, the Dolphins are ready to make a run in 2022. Miami nearly made the playoffs in 2021 and dealt New England a 33-24 loss in Week 18.
South Beach has been a tough place to play for the Pats, who are just 9-13 SU and 8-13-1 ATS at Miami during Belichick’s tenure. New England opened +3 for this Week 1 matchup, dropped to +2, and jumped back to +2.5.
The Patriots hit the road for the second straight game in Week 2, taking on the Steelers. Oddsmakers have New England giving between one and two points to host Pittsburgh, which could be an even bigger dog by kickoff if the Steelers fall flat to Cincinnati in Week 1 and the Pats down the Dolphins.
Another AFC North foe shows up in Week 3 with the Patriots playing their home opener against Baltimore. This line is out there between PK and Pats +1. After being tabbed as home underdogs just 13 times from 2000 to 2019, Belichick’s team has been a home pup in five games since Brady bounced with a 2-3 SU record (3-2 ATS and 1-4 O/U).
New England Patriots spot bet
Week 15: @ Las Vegas (+2.5, 48.5)
The Patriots play a stretch of four straight primetime games between Week 12 and 15, ending with a Sunday Night Football showdown in Sin City against former OC Josh McDaniels — some real Darth Vader vs. Obi-Wan Kenobi shit. Belichick hasn’t been kind to his former assistants, but this spot puts the Pats against it.
This game in Vegas just so happens to be the third road game in four weeks for the Patriots, who open this span at Minnesota on Thursday night in Week 12, come home to play the Bills in the late Thanksgiving game in Week 13, then travel to Arizona for a Monday nighter in Week 14, which leaves a short week of prep for this roadie with the Raiders on December 18.
New England Patriots totals tip
The Patriots were a surprise Over winner in 2021, finishing the season with a 10-8 O/U count, thanks in part to some short totals and better-than-expected production from Jones and the offense. Where does the offense go from here?
McDaniels is gone and it sounds like Belichick will be calling the shots from a dumbed-down playbook. Jones was efficient when he did drop back (only 54.27% of snaps) but ran into turnover troubles against quality teams when he wasn’t playing with a big lead. Opponents have tape on him in Year 2 and his maturation under center will be stunted by a lack of mentors on the coaching staff.
Belichick’s defense — no matter how talented — has a high ceiling and is the reason why 10 of New England’s totals are pegged at 45 points or less in 2022. This unit wrapped 2021 rated No. 4 in EPA per dropback allowed but 10 of this year’s opponents also ranked Top 15 in that advanced metric (six of the last seven games vs. Top-10 EPA/dropback allowed defenses).
A flip of that 2021 Over/Under record would not surprise me this season.
Star power: Mac Jones props
|Most passing yards||+3,000|
|Most passing touchdowns||+5,000|
|Passing touchdowns total||23.5 (Over -110)|
|Passing yards total||3,950.5 (Over -110)|
|Passing interceptions total||12.5 (Over -110)|
Best prop: Over 23.5 touchdown passes (-110)
Jones connected for 22 touchdown throws in his rookie season, and while he may not have the horses to challenge the Over on his yardage prop, he does have some stellar red-zone threats that will boost his TD count past 23.5.
Jones found tight end Hunter Henry for nine touchdowns last season and has another large TE target in Jonnu Smith, who only caught one touchdown in 2021. Six-foot-1 Kendrick Bourne put up five TD catches and the 6-foot-3 Parker is a master of contested catches and can win those RZ jump balls as well. Toss in pass-catching RB James White and road-runner rookie WR Tyquan Thornton, and the “Mac Attack” goes Over this paydirt prop.
New England Patriots trend to know
During the Tom Brady years, the Patriots would wax that ass in non-conference games, going an insane 67-22 SU (75%) and 51-37-1 ATS (58%) against NFC competition. The post-Brady era hasn’t been fruitful against those foreign foes.
New England is 3-6 SU and 4-5 ATS in non-conference games the past two seasons, along with a 2-7 O/U count in those contests. It draws the NFC North as well as Arizona in AFC-versus-NFC action in 2022.
Patriots' non-conference games
- Week 4 @ Green Bay (+6, 48)
- Week 5 vs. Detroit (-7, 45)
- Week 7 vs. Chicago (-6.5, 42.5)
- Week 12 @ Minnesota (+3.5, 45.5)
- Week 14 @ Arizona (+3, 49)
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