NFL Betting Lines: Patriots to Win Super Bowl 50
There are a lot of reasons to doubt the New England Patriots as they enter the NFL betting AFC playoffs this January. They do hold a first-round bye, but they have a ton of holes in their offensive line, and they have had significant injuries on both sides of the ball that have affected them down the stretch, beginning with their home loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. However, given the path that they have to the title game — and given their penchant for executing when the chips are down — here are some reasons why you should pick the Patriots to walk away with the Lombardi Trophy in a few weeks.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) January 8, 2016
The Patriots’ Path Is An Easy One
As the #2 seed in the AFC, the Patriots may have an easier path to the Super Bowl than the top-seeded Broncos. So long as Tom Brady can use the bye week to recover fully from his sprained ankle against the Dolphins in Week 17, the Patriots will like how their slate adds up.
Here’s how it would work. If the Bengals beat Pittsburgh in the wild card round, the Bengals will go to New England. If Pittsburgh wins, the winner of Houston and Kansas City would go to New England. Either way, the Patriots avoid the Steelers, whom many consider to be the hottest team in the AFC playoffs, even with the Chiefs riding that 10-game winning streak into the postseason.
There’s No Answer For Gronk
Tight end Rob Gronkowski is one of the most invincible weapons that any team in the playoffs has. His size, strength and speed make him impossible for opposing linebackers to cover, giving Tom Brady an automatic target on crucial plays when a first-down conversion is a must. He did miss some time with a knee sprain, but he has returned to the offense and should have another big year in the postseason.
The Clutch Factor with Tom Brady
It’s true that the Pats are limping into the playoffs a bit, having lost two straight. However, the bye week will allow them to heal a lot of their injuries and get the rest they need to find their focus and energy when either the Bengals, Texans or Chiefs come to town in the divisional round. With the possible exception of Ben Roethlisberger, there is no other quarterback in the AFC playoffs who has demonstrated the ability to win games in the clutch, year in and year out. The divisional round will bring such possible quarterbacks as Alex Smith, Brian Hoyer, Brandon Weeden, Andy Dalton and A.J. McCarron to New England (depending on who wins and who is healthy), none of whom have the pedigree of Brady in the postseason. The AFC championship could feature Roethlisberger, but it could also feature a debilitated Peyton Manning or his backup, Brock Osweiler.
NFL Betting Prediction
There’s little for the Patriots to fear in the AFC, as long as they can get some of their injuries healed. The road for them to appear in their ninth Super Bowl (which would be a record) is a clear one. All of the NFC teams have plenty of flaws, so if you’re betting on one team to go all the way, it’s hard to argue against a team with the best postseason pedigree in recent years.