There’s no doubt the New England Patriots need improvement after this past 7-9 season. The team made some solid moves in this year’s NFL Draft including picking quarterback Mac Jones, so many see the Patriots as an improved team. But oddsmakers and Pro Football Focus don’t seem to agree New England.
PFF released a list of the most improved teams following free agency and the 2021 Draft, which included the Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Chargers, New York Giants, and the New York Jets. PFF said the teams on this list are ones “that improved the most in the 2021 offseason to set themselves up for long-term success based on smart decisions in free agency and the draft.”
One glaring omission: the Patriots.
While this is just a PFF list, the oddsmakers don’t disagree. FanDuel Sportsbook lists the Patriots odds to win the 2022 Super Bowl at a whopping +3200 and +1600 to win the AFC Championship. To win the AFC East, New England has the third-longest odds in the division at +360, behind the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins.
Ahead of last season, the Patriots opened with +1200 odds to win Super Bowl 55. Their odds got longer, +2500, after Tom Brady went to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but they still weren’t +3200. They have even less of a chance to be a playoff team than last year as well. Their odds to win the AFC East were +100 in March of 2020, while the Bills odds were +140.
So, if they’re improved, how do they have even longer odds to be a playoff team this year than last year?
PFF and oddsmakers are in agreement that what the Patriots did during this free agency and the Draft made no big difference in improving the team. You can argue the PFF list is just one opinion, but the oddsmakers feel the same way and that means something. The Patriots love proving people wrong and maybe they will use these odds as bulletin board material to show they have, indeed, improved.
Lucy is a sports betting content producer with Audacy and BetQL. She has worked with WEEI and Audacy as a writer, radio producer and podcaster. Lucy lives in Boston and loves Tom Brady and prop bets. Follow Lucy on Twitter at @LucilleBurdge.