Prior to the season, the New England Patriots, who were without Tom Brady for the first four games of the 2016-17 season, were still listed as the odds-on favorite to take home the Vince Lombardi Trophy as Super Bowl champions. I guess now you can see why. Bovada had the Patriots as +700 favorites to win the Super and +350 to win the AFC Championship Game. If you didn't back the Patriots before the season, you still have a chance come Super Bowl Sunday. Though, you won't make nearly as much money.
The New England Patriots made NFL history during the 2016-17 season, as they enjoyed their 16th consecutive winning season. Not only was it a winning season, it was an absolutely dominant one. But did you expect anything less?
They now share the best mark in the NFL in that category with the 1970-85 Dallas Cowoboys and the 1983-98 San Francisco 49ers. Only the Cowboys, with 20 (1966-85) own more consecutive winning seasons in the history of the NFL.
The Patriots are the only NFL team to post 16 winning seasons since the introduction of free agency in 1993. They are also the only NFL team to record at least nine wins in every season since 2001. The Patriots have reached double digits in wins for 13 successive seasons, trailing only the 49ers (16, 1983-98) in this category in the history of the NFL. New England's 30 winning seasons since the 1970 merger are second only to the 32 posted by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
New England Patriots Betting Lines Today
If you wonder at all how the Patriots continue to excel, simply break down their current run of seven straight AFC East titles.
While Tom Brady has been an ever-present at quarterback, his surrounding cast is in constant motion. He's thrown to three different leading receivers over that run of success (Rob Gronkowski, Wes Welker and Julian Edelman) and handed the ball off to five different leading rushers (Laurence Maroney, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Stevan Ridley, Jonas Gray and LeGarrette Blount).
The people who work behind scenes in New England's player personnel department are the unsung heroes of this success story. They continue to beat the bushes and break down film to unearth the free agent additions and draft choices that will keep this train rolling.
The New England Patriots scores and schedules are listed below and, due to Brady's four-game suspension, it should be a curious first month of the season for the Patriots.
New England Patriots Standings Right Now
Here is where you will find the New England Patriots standings in the AFC East and it will be a shocking development if you find them anywhere else but atop the division.
New England Super Bowl LI Betting Tips
We're going out on a limb here, but you can almost guarantee that Tom Brady will find a way to win Super Bowl LI. Not that he has anyting to prove, but Brady will know that winning his fifth Super Bowl title will immortalize him, cementing him as the NFL's greatest quarterback of all time. Even without a fifth ring, Brady is in the greatest-quarterback-of-all-time conversation but a win on Super Bowl Sunday should leave no doubts in anyone's mind.
Plus, he knows that revenge is best served cold. Deflategate pissed him off and he'll show the world just how much on February 5.
Favorites have fared miserably in recent Super Bowls, losing five in a row and seven of the last nine. But Brady will buck that trend. The big question is whether the Patriots will cover the three-point spread.
It's going to be a tight game, with the winning score quite possibly coming in the form of a late field goal. Back the Patriots on the moneyline but be weary of them covering the spread. Atlanta is too good to lie down and capitulate, but New England has one of the most well-rounded teams in recent memory.
To complement Brady is the team's ground game. The Patriots love to wear teams down through a ground-and-pound style. And then there's the Pats defense. They are the stingiest defense in the league, giving up only 15.6 points per game in the regular season.
This game goes one of two ways, but both see the Pats winning Super Bowl LI. If Matt Ryan doesn't have a career game, the Pats will cover the spread, win the moneyline and the game will finish under the 59.5 points predicted by sportsbooks.
If, however, Ryan enjoys an MVP-type game, the Pats will still win, but won't cover the spread. And in this cicumstance, both teams will combine for at least 60 points.