New England Patriots 2014 NFL Betting Preview

 

For a fifth straight season and 10th time in the last 11 years the Patriots won the AFC East in 2013. New England went 12-4 including an unbeaten mark at home. The Pats were 8-8 against the spread last year going 6-2 at home and 2-6 on the road. Nine of 16 Patriots games went over the total and seven fell under. New England beat Indianapolis 43-22 in the Divisional Playoff and fell at Denver 26-16 in the Conference Title Game. The Pats last reached the Super Bowl in 2011 and most recently won it all in 2004.

For a fifth straight season and 10th time in the last 11 years the Patriots won the AFC East in 2013. New England went 12-4 including an unbeaten mark at home. The Pats were 8-8 against the spread last year going 6-2 at home and 2-6 on the road. Nine of 16 Patriots games went over the total and seven fell under. New England beat Indianapolis 43-22 in the Divisional Playoff and fell at Denver 26-16 in the Conference Title Game. The Pats last reached the Super Bowl in 2011 and most recently won it all in 2004.

The Patriots have the 10th toughest schedule in the NFL this year and begin their campaign with back-to-back road games. A 3-0 start seems likely with matchups at Miami, Minnesota and a home opener versus Oakland on the slate. Starting in week four the Pats battle playoff teams in two straight and six of their next 10 games. By winning the division last season New England plays first place Denver, Cincinnati and Indianapolis. They also take on the four teams from the AFC West, three of which made the playoffs last year, and the NFC North.

While Aqib Talib departed for Denver, the Pats added Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner in the offseason. Browner will miss the first four games of the season but should work well with Kyle Arrington and Alfonzo Dennard when eligible. Linebacker Brandon Spikes signed with Buffalo and that puts pressure on second year man Jamie Collins. Brandon LaFell is a useful second tier receiver who will benefit from catching balls from Tom Brady after playing second fiddle to Steve Smith in Carolina. Of course, in order for Brady to be at his best he needs Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola to be healthy.

Bob Kraft and Bill Belichick run one of the best organizations in sports. New England is 10-1 to win the Super Bowl and the 3-1 second choice behind Denver to capture the AFC. There is no reason to believe they aren’t again the best team in the AFC East, but Brady must play like he did a handful of years ago come playoff time, his top weapons must be healthy, and finding a way to contain Peyton Manning should it come to that is needed too.