Patriots

Oddsmakers predict an improvement for the Patriots in 2021

BetMGM set the Patriots' over/under at nine wins.

Bill Belichick and the Patriots look to improve in 2021. The Associated Press

After the Patriots’ 7-9 season in 2020, oddsmakers are predicting they’ll improve in 2021.

BetMGM released its over/under win totals for each team in the upcoming season on Friday. It set the Patriots’ win total for the 2021 season at nine wins for the now 17-game regular season.

There are a number of reasons to think the Patriots’ win total will increase from 2020 – the biggest being that they made several moves in free agency, spending a league-high $316 million in free agency this offseason, per OverTheCap.com.

Some of the players the Patriots signed are considered among the best at their respective positions, too. Hunter Henry finished in the top 10 for tight ends for receptions and receiving yards per game, while Jonnu Smith’s eight touchdowns were tied for the fourth-most among tight ends. Linebacker Matthew Judon has been named a Pro Bowler in each of the last two seasons, and the Patriots added other talent on defense in Kyle Van Noy, Davon Godchaux, and Jalen Mills.

Recent history suggests that the team that spends the most in the offseason will have a decent improvement in the following season. The team that’s spent the most money in free agency in each of the last five seasons has seen its win total improve by at least three wins in the ensuing season. The Dolphins, who spent the most in 2020, saw their win total improve from five wins in 2019 to 10 wins in 2020.

In addition to adding a lot of quality free agents, the Patriots will see the return of linebacker Dont’a Hightower, who opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19.

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The Patriots can also improve in the draft later in April. They hold the No. 15 pick, their highest first-round pick in 13 years, and have been rumored to potentially trade up to select a quarterback. New England currently holds 10 picks in the draft, which is the second-most in the league.

In the AFC East, the Patriots are tied for the second-highest over/under win total with the Dolphins. The Bills – who won the division last season – have a win total set at 10.5, and the Jets’ win total is set at six.

In the AFC, the Patriots trail the Chiefs (12), Ravens (11), Bills (10.5), Colts (10), and Titans (9.5) while the Steelers, Chargers, and Dolphins share the same projected win total.

Tom Brady’s Buccaneers have the highest over/under win total in the NFC, with BetMGM setting the defending Super Bowl champs’ win total at 11.5.

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