5 Compelling Reasons to Bet New England Under Their Season Win Total
Mike Mains
Posted: 2017-07-10

When season win totals were released this spring, New England was listed at 11 wins. Since then, they have been bet up to 12' wins, and by the start of the season they could be up to 13 wins. Seems like everyone wants a piece of that action. Not me.

I'm contrarian by nature, but even more so when I spot what I think is an advantageous line. In this case, I like New England to go UNDER their season win total. Here's why:

1) Brady's age.

New England quarterback Tom Brady turns 40 in August. Dating back to 1970, only one quarterback has started at least six games at the age of 40 and played at a high level. That lone quarterback was Brett Favre in 2009, the year he led Minnesota to the NFC Championship Game. Favre went 12-4 in the regular season that year, with a passer rating of 107.2.

Brady was magnificent last season, no doubt. But one has to wonder just how motivated he will be in this, his 18th season. With five Super Bowl victories in seven appearances, he's accomplished just about everything there is to accomplish. Sure, he wants to win. Every player wants to win. But with older athletes, when the spirit is willing, the body often fails. On average, quarterbacks begin to decline after the age of 33. Brady will be 7 years past that when the season begins.

2) The quality of opposition.

In 2016, New England went up against Cleveland's Cody Kessler and Charley Whitehurst (both backups at the start of the season), Andy Dalton minus key offensive playmakers, Pittsburg's Landry Jones (a backup), Tyrod Taylor, Russell Wilson (New England lost at home), San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick (a backup at the start the season), New York's Ryan Fitzpatrick and Bryce Petty (a backup), Jared Goff (a backup at the start of the season), Joe Flacco in an off-year, Trevor Siemian in his first year as a starter, Brock Osweiler, Carson Palmer (looking his age), and Miami's Ryan Tannehill and Matt Moore (a backup). That's not exactly a murderer's row of quarterbacks. This year, the competition is much stiffer.

New England will face Alex Smith (41-20 in four seasons with Kansas City), Drew Brees, Cam Newton (2015's MVP), up-and-coming Jameis Winston, Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers, Derek Carr, and Ben Roethlisberger.

Two of New England's division rivals - Buffalo and Miami - have improved in the offseason. Houston and Denver have two of the league's best defenses.

3) The revenge factor.

New England plays three teams that they knocked out of the playoffs last year: Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and Houston. Each of those three teams will be highly motivated to make amends.

Atlanta showed they can score on New England. Pittsburgh, with Roethlisberger starting, certainly can. And don't count out Houston. In last season's playoff game, the Texans held Tom Brady to 47.4% completions, picked off two of his passes, and forced New England to punt three times in Houston territory. With even average quarterback play, they would have won. This year, they may have that quarterback.

4) The schedule.

New England has a very difficult schedule after their bye week. They also play five out of six games away from home, including three road games in a row. 86 out of 132 teams that played three road games in a row lost either two out of three, or all three games, They are more than twice as likely to go 0-3 (23 times) as 3-0 (10 times).

New England has five road games on grass fields, plus a trip to Mexico City to play the Raiders. Brady has struggled on road grass of late. Since 2013, he is 7-9 SU and 5-10-1 ATS on grass fields. Four of those wins came last year against the backup quarterbacks of Cleveland, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Miami.

5) The price of being a champion.

Super Bowl winners carry a big fat target on their backs. There's nothing a team loves more than knocking off last year's champion. Every team New England plays this year is going to give the Patriots their best shot. Aside from the Jets, there are no let ups or easy games anywhere on the schedule.

Mike's book "Week One NFL Winners" is the most complete, the most detailed, the most comprehensive NFL Week One betting analysis available anywhere on the planet. You can find it on Amazon here: http://amzn.to/29LWWoz

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