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New England Patriots Betting – How The AFC Champions Break Down

Posted by Stan Simmons on 1/24/2012 5:26:26 PM
new england patriots betting

New England was the sports betting favorite to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl for most of the season, if not the entire campaign, and it should be no surprise that they passed all the major tests to get here, despite some critics complaining about their regular-season slate.

Offense

Tom Brady powers an offense that is pass-heavy, and the Patriots’ aerial attack is led by a pair of tight ends, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez are matchup problems for any defense in the league, and head coach Bill Belichick now has Hernandez lining up in the backfield to make up for their lack of a running game. BenJarvus Green-Ellis is probably their best option, but the Patriots also have Danny Woodhead and Stevan Ridley to come out of the backfield. The line allowed 32.0 sacks during the regular season and has continued their strong play so far in the postseason. Don’t expect Brady to have another game like the poor performance he had against Baltimore in the AFC title game.

Defense

The Patriots’ defense had a single motto all season: bend, but don’t break. New England was 31st in the league in total yards allowed, but they managed to lead the AFC in turnovers, so that helped them get off the field. The Patriots were 31st in pass defense and even in the AFC championship game, receiver Julian Edelman played 27 snaps in the secondary to help them out with Baltimore’s receivers; you can expect him to play a similar role against the Giants, who has much better receivers. Nose tackle Vince Wilfork has raised his game in the postseason, while linebacker Brandon Spikes is fulfilling his potential alongside Jerod Mayo, but as always the secondary is scary, and not in a good way.

Special Teams

If the Patriots’ NFL betting chances depend on the foot of kicker Stephen Gostkowski, they should feel pretty good as he hit 28 of 33 attempts during the regular season, and then all four in the postseason. New England fans know all about resting their hopes on a kicker as they did for so long with Adam Vinatieri, but Gostkowski has hit over 84% of his career attempts. The Patriots aren’t going to scare anyone with their return teams, but they haven’t allowed a touchdown on special teams this year, either.

Coaching

Belichick is going to go to the Hall of Fame at some point and he has a chance to earn his sixth Super Bowl ring, including his fourth as a head coach. There may not be a more thorough coach in the league than Belichick, who handles every situation with the same deadpan expression and that has been passed down to Brady, his coach on the field, so the team never gets too high or too low. He knows what this time of year is all about and he’ll have the Patriots fully prepared for Super Bowl Sunday, and Belichick’s presence may be the biggest influence on New England’s NFL betting odds, with all due respect to New York counterpart Tom Coughlin.

Intangibles

This is an extension of Belichick as the Patriots are a very calm team, regardless of what the situation is, and that is going to serve them well in the Super Bowl. They have a lot of veterans that have been here before and with the culture of winning that has permeated this franchise over the last decade or more, this is something that the younger players have been trained for since they signed on in New England. It all starts at the top with Belichick and Brady, who may be the most successful coach-quarterback combination of all time if they win this one. They are also playing for the memory of Myra Kraft, the late wife of New England owner Robert, and they have a painting of her in their locker room, which will be brought to Indianapolis. They would also like to avenge the loss from four years ago, and you know Belichick and Brady have been praying for this rematch to happen since the last Super Bowl ended.

When it comes to preparation and motivation, you may not find a better team than the New England Patriots, a veteran team with plenty of leadership, a coach that looks for matchups to exploit better than anyone in his profession, a future Hall of Fame quarterback and a squad that is out for revenge. That is why the Patriots are the online betting favorites for the Super Bowl in two weeks.

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