BOSTON (CBS) — Tom Brady is long gone from Foxboro, but certainly that doesn’t portend doom for Bill Belichick’s team.
According to the Caesars Sportsbook, it just might.
The sportsbook set the over-under for Patriots wins in 2020 at 8.5, the lowest such total for the Patriots since 2003. And based on the way Caesars head oddsmaker Jeff Davis talked about the team, that 8.5 number might be generous.
“My raw number on the Patriots is less than eight [wins],” Davis told ESPN. “Outside of the secondary, which is one of the best in the league, the rest of their roster I think is one of the worst in the NFL.”
The Patriots of course went 12-4 last season, boasting the league’s best defense and the seventh-ranked scoring offense. In addition to losing Brady on offense, the team lost Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins, Elandon Roberts, Duron Harmon and Danny Shelton from the defense.
Without much cap space at all to improve through free agency, the Patriots will look to next week’s draft for an influx of talent. But a Belichick-coached Patriots team has not often relied heavily on rookies to carry the load, and with an offseason that will involve very little hands-on learning at the Patriots’ facility, this year likely shouldn’t be expected to be an exception.
The Patriots also have a rather difficult schedule. Outside of their divisional games, they’ll be traveling to Kansas City to play the defending Super Bowl-champion Chiefs, and they’ll be playing both Los Angeles teams, plus the Seahawks. Their home schedule isn’t much easier, with the Ravens and reigning NFC-champion 49ers visiting Foxboro.
“I’m very much struggling to find this team being a 10-win team,” Davis told ESPN. “I’m just not buying this team at all. This team will show just how good Belichick and his staff are, compared to some of the other staffs. This might be the year that reality sets in with New England.”
The Patriots are still plus-140 favorites to win the division, but the Bills have an over-under for wins set at nine.
For those interested, Brady’s Buccaneers were given an over-under of nine wins on the year. The Bucs were also given a better chance (17-to-1) of winning the Super Bowl than the Patriots (20-to-1).