Early season betting tips for the Tom Brady-less Patriots as they take on the Steelers, Bills and Jaguars!
Using past Super Bowl champs’ performances in certain situations, we are able to rough out some expectations and potential value spots for early season Over/Under betting on the 2015 New England Patriots’ schedule.
Week 1 vs. Pittsburgh
The line on this game is New England -3 and O/U 48.5 and in the past, Week 1 home faves defending their title went 5-0 SU and 4-0-1 ATS when the posted total was greater than 47 points. Four of five champs scored 30-plus points (Saints won 14-9 vs. Minny in 2010) and four of five opponents were held to 20 points or less (Packers beat the Saints 42-34 in 2011).
One more peculiar situation from this year is that the Steelers are a recent Super Bowl champ themselves. The past two defending champs to take on a recent champ in Week 1 went 2-0 SU/ATS and both games went over the number.
2015: Patriots -3 and O/U 48 (Steelers won in 2008)
2014: Seahawks -5.5 beat the Packers (2010) 36-16 (OV 47)
2011: Packers -4.5 beat the Saints (2009) 42-34 (OV 48)
Week 2 at Buffalo
New England takes its shows on the road in Week 2 against Bill Belichick’s old bud Rex Ryan and the Bills. The ghosted line on this game favors Buffalo -2.5 and when the line is within +/- 3 points of ‘Pick’, divisional road games for the defending champs have gone 4-13 O/U (76-percent UNDER).
In nine games where the total was 43 points or greater, only one played over the number (1-8 O/U) and the last time a Patriots at Bills game was lined at less than 43 points was in Week 15, 2009.
Since 1989, the Pats at Buffalo have an overall record of 11-15 O/U including 1 over and 3 unders for games that take place in Week’s 1 or 2. When the total was between O/U 40-47, these two teams have played 1 over and 6 unders.
Week 3 vs. Jacksonville
New England returns home in Week 3 against a Jaguars team mired in slump of four-straight losing seasons. Since 2011, Jacksonville has a straight-up record of 14-50 (.219), the absolute lowest win percentage in the league during that span.
The ghosted line for this matchup is Patriots -10 and double-digit non-divisional home faves are 15-2 SU, 10-7 ATS with 12 of 17 games going over the total (12-4-1 O/U). The latest trend since 2008 shows 9 overs 1 under and a push (90-percent OVER) and its likely this situation could be “live” again in Week 15 when the Titans visit.
It’s incredibly difficult predicting what we’ll see from New England’s offense in Week 1 but their interception rate, which was third-best in the NFL last year, figures to take a hit with Jimmy Garoppolo under center. Some short fields for Pittsburgh could help get the Steelers “Over” any reasonable team total.
Week 1 Pick: Take the Steelers Team Total OVER
Look for Buffalo’s defense to make a statement in Week 2 as the Patriots and Bills stay UNDER the number.
In Week 3, after Garoppolo has licked his wounds and upped his pro football snap count into triple-digits (he had 27 career pass attempts before 2015), we should see the Patriots offense get on track. Jacksonville had two home games to start the season and with Indianapolis on-deck, the Jags need to get thier offense going this week to see if they’re ready to compete in the South.
Week 3 Pick: Take the Jags and Patriots OVER