The New England Patriots are off and running on the Mac Jones era and like everyone else in the AFC East, they’ll be chasing down the Buffalo Bills for the division crown.
Here’s a look at the Patriots’ offseason, 2022 outlook, and AFC East odds in NFL betting:
Patriots’ 2021 Record: 10-7
Biggest Addition: DeVante Parker
The Patriots bring in some much-needed talent at the wide receiver position as Parker will be useful in helping quarterback Mac Jones take the next step.
Shockingly, Parker may not have ever had a quarterback as good as Jones in his seven seasons with the Dolphins which means big things could be in line for the 29-year-old this season.
Biggest Loss: J.C. Jackson
Jackson is a massive loss at the cornerback position and leaves a gaping hole in the team’s defense on half of the field.
The Pro Bowler led the league in pass deflections a season ago with 23 to go along with 17 interceptions over the past two seasons.
X-Factor: Damien Harris
Damien Harris had a strong third season, posting 1,000 scrimmage yards for the first time in his career.
We’ll see if second-year back Rhamondre Stevenson cuts into his workload at all, but Harris will need to put up another strong season if the Patriots want to remain balanced on offense in 2022.
AFC East Odds
Line Movement: +320 -> +400
Patriots’ Ticket Share: 7.2%
It’s a bit surprising to see the New England Patriots with the lowest ticket percentage in the AFC East this season, including fewer than the New York Jets.
Mac Jones far exceeded anybody’s expectations in his rookie season and is primed to take another step forward in 2022 with 17 starts now under his belt. Head coach Bill Belichick will surely find a way to accommodate for the loss of Jackson as his defenses are always competitive.
A major reason why the Patriots are seeing +400 odds to win the division comes with the gap between the Buffalo Bills and the rest of the AFC East. But, the Patriots were able to split the season series with Buffalo in 2021 and have a 4-3 record against Josh Allen in his career.
If there is kryptonite to Allen this season, it’s Belichick and his properly schemed defenses. If someone other than the Bills wins this division, it’s going to be the Patriots.
Buy or Sell?
My opinion: Buy the Patriots at this price.