NFL Preview of the New England Patriots
Even though last year's Super Bowl XLVI runners-up the New England Patriots are now the sole 11/2 favorites to win Super Bowl XLVII at most land and online sportsbooks, their road ahead will not be an easy one, particularly when one considers the stats.
It won't be lost on die-hard NFL betting fans that the last time Super Bowl runners-up made it back to the Super Bowl the following season was way back in 1993, when the Buffalo Bills made League history by blowing their fourth consecutive Super Bowl.
Still, at least the Bills made it to the big game three times. Whether the Patriots will be the first runner-up to return for the Big Game in 17 seasons, remains to be seen. There is obviously a lot of psychological trauma that comes with making it so far, and then losing in the biggest sporting event of the year.
Sportsbooks Favor New England Patriots
So the big 2012-13 NFL Season betting question is whether the Patriots have managed to put that disappointment behind them to focus instead on the season ahead? Sportsbooks certainly seem to think so, no doubt because New England was such a strong and consistent team last year, and appears to be largely unchanged going into this season.
Last season, the Patriots cruised into the playoffs with a none-too-shabby 13-3 record, thanks to a close-knit team guided by highly respected head coach Bill Belichick, and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and defensive co-ordinator Matt Patricia. Expect this trio to work their magic again this season.
While all the usual suspects have remained at New England, including, of course, super talented quarterback Tom Brady is once again is expected to rack up the points offensively, with the help of more than able wide receivers Wes Welker and Matthew Slater. Defensively, the team seems improved from last season.
Patriots Signed Rookie DE Chandler Jones
In terms of major changes during the off-season, the Patriots bid farewell to running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, left tackle Matt Light and defensive end Mark Anderson. However, they also welcomed wide receiver Brandon Lloyd, defensive end Trevor Scott and rookie defensive end Chandler Jones to the fold, each of whom should be solid assets.
Fans of New England will no doubt be holding thumbs that Brady maintains his winning form, after celebrating his 35th birthday earlier this month, and that the changes made to the team's at times lacking defense have the desired effect throughout the season.
One thing is for sure though, which is that the Patriots should easily dominate the AFL East division, considering they are the strongest and most consistent of the other three teams - the New York Jets (8-8 last season), the Miami Dolphins (6-10 last season) and the Buffalo Bills (6-10 last season).