Caesar's Sportsbook: 2020 Pats Over/Under 8.5 Wins

DanoooME

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Interesting take on the 2020 season for the Pats. Here's the money quote from the guy in charge:

"My raw number on the Patriots is less than eight [wins]," Jeff Davis, head oddsmaker at Caesars, told ESPN. "Outside of the secondary, which is one of the best in the league, the rest of their roster I think is one of the worst in the NFL."
I'm not a Pats fan, but I just don't see the bolded. There's still a lot of talent on the roster, and Belichick's still there. Maybe he's saying it to encourage some betting?
 

tims4wins

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Well first off it may be completely irrelevant because I don't think they will play 16 games. YMMV.

That said, in a season with a condensed offseason (and possible condensed season) there's no one I'd rather have at the helm than BB. He'll succeed where others won't.

Finally, the last time the O/U was this low was 2003. They proceeded to go 34-4 over the next 2 seasons and hoist two banners.
 

Euclis20

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Since 2001, the Pats have hit their over on wins 15 times(with one tie) and including playoffs are a combined 203-134-8 against the spread. They haven't had a losing record against the spread since 2002. To say that Vegas has underrated the Pats over the years would be a kind understatement.
 

minischwab

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Since 2001, the Pats have hit their over on wins 15 times(with one tie) and including playoffs are a combined 203-134-8 against the spread. They haven't had a losing record against the spread since 2002. To say that Vegas has underrated the Pats over the years would be a kind understatement.
Vegas isn't trying to "guess" the win total and be right. They're trying to make money. They want to get action on both sides. If they had set the win total at 13.5 every year of the dynasty, no one would ever take the over and then if the Pats win 12 or 13 they lose a ton of money. Now if the Pats won 14 those years they'd make a ton of money, but the goal in setting these lines is to minimize risk and maximize the "hold" percentage. Davis' quote almost feels like he's trying to get people to bet the under despite it being so low. Of course they need to start with a number that makes sense to get action on both sides, but if bettors think they're crazy and all pound the over, they'll raise it a bit until they start getting enough action on the other side. Don't take this as an evaluation of how good Vegas thinks the Patriots are, it's how good they think the betting public thinks the Pats are.
 

Mooch

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What would the line have been if Brady had stayed? 10.5? 11? Is Brady really worth 2-3 wins at this point in his career?
 

djbayko

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Vegas isn't trying to "guess" the win total and be right. They're trying to make money. They want to get action on both sides. If they had set the win total at 13.5 every year of the dynasty, no one would ever take the over and then if the Pats win 12 or 13 they lose a ton of money. Now if the Pats won 14 those years they'd make a ton of money, but the goal in setting these lines is to minimize risk and maximize the "hold" percentage. Davis' quote almost feels like he's trying to get people to bet the under despite it being so low. Of course they need to start with a number that makes sense to get action on both sides, but if bettors think they're crazy and all pound the over, they'll raise it a bit until they start getting enough action on the other side. Don't take this as an evaluation of how good Vegas thinks the Patriots are, it's how good they think the betting public thinks the Pats are.
They aren't, but the bettors are. There are reasons why the betting markets aren't always 100% efficient, but they're more right than they are wrong. With that being said, it's still way too early,. There isn't going to be a lot of money on these futures yet, and therefore, they numbers will be all over the place - especially given COVID-19. I just checked 4 of the sharpest books I use. They all had this line set at 9, but they have obviously received different action as the odds for over were -110 (standard), -126, +112, and +140. I assume the reason all these arbitrage opportunities still exist is because no one has confidence that 16 games will be played, so no sense in committing funds long term to something that has a >50% chance of being a wash.

We won't see a consensus until we get much closer to Week 1, but I do believe 9 wins is a fair number. Wouldn't be surprised if Ceasar's just wanted to get a little free publicity. Notice how he put the wins at 8 but didn't dare set the line that low? It worked - we're discussing it now.
 
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Cellar-Door

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What would the line have been if Brady had stayed? 10.5? 11? Is Brady really worth 2-3 wins at this point in his career?
over whom is the question. Over a bad QB/rookie... yeah probably I mean look at the Dolphins, Jets, Titans and Lions. Are any of those teams' starters significantly better than Brady? The difference between their League average or worse starters and the other starters they had was immense.
 

koufax32

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Does this include a shortened or cancelled season? If so, I’d be pounding that under.
 

Super Nomario

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Interesting take on the 2020 season for the Pats. Here's the money quote from the guy in charge:



I'm not a Pats fan, but I just don't see the bolded. There's still a lot of talent on the roster, and Belichick's still there. Maybe he's saying it to encourage some betting?
I don't think it's that crazy. Offensively, the OL should be pretty good and the RB are fine, but WR/TE is a mess and Stidham is a total wild card. Defensively, they lost a lot in the front seven, including their top two sack leaders. The secondary should still be excellent, but can it carry the offense? I think 9.5 wins is a pretty strong vote of confidence in Belichick given how the team looks on paper. They went 4-5 in their last 9 games in 2019 and lost Brady and some other key guys, with little in the way of additions and minimal cap space and below-average draft value to add further.
 

Cellar-Door

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They aren't, but the bettors are. There are reasons why the betting markets aren't always 100% efficient, but they're more right than they are wrong. With that being said, it's still way too early,. There isn't going to be a lot of money on these futures yet, and therefore, they numbers will be all over the place - especially given COVID-19. I just checked 4 of the sharpest books I use. They all had this line set at 9, but they have obviously received different action as the odds for over were -110 (standard), -126, +112, and +140. I assume the reason all these arbitrage opportunistic still exist is because no one has confidence that 16 games will be played, so no sense in committing funds long term to something that has a >50% chance of being a wash.

We won't see a consensus until we get much closer to Week 1, but I do believe 9 wins is a fair number. Wouldn't be surprised if Ceasar's just wanted to get a little free publicity. Notice how he put the wins at 8 but didn't dare set the line that low? It worked - we're discussing it now.
Well the smart bettors aren't really betting now. So this line is really about getting a certain amount of dumb money locked in before they start setting the lines with more information. Also on season long bets certain teams get a lot of really dumb action (it's why the Knicks wins total is always way too high early for example)

I don't think it's that crazy. Offensively, the OL should be pretty good and the RB are fine, but WR/TE is a mess and Stidham is a total wild card. Defensively, they lost a lot in the front seven, including their top two sack leaders. The secondary should still be excellent, but can it carry the offense? I think 9.5 wins is a pretty strong vote of confidence in Belichick given how the team looks on paper. They went 4-5 in their last 9 games in 2019 and lost Brady and some other key guys, with little in the way of additions and minimal cap space and below-average draft value to add further.
I think he was saying that the "worst roster if you exclude the secondary" was what he objected to more than the win total. I think the win total is high, but also... outside of the best secondary in the league, the OL is pretty solid above average I'd say. The TEs are near the bottom of the league, and the WR corps is probably below average, but it has Edelman, Sanu and a 1st rounder from last year, there are worse situations out there. And while the front 7 has lost a lot, it started as one of the better groups in the league, it didn't drop to the very bottom.

I think that saying the Patriots are an average team that could be killed by QB play is fair, saying it's one of the worst in the league outside of the secondary is not.
 

djbayko

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Does this include a shortened or cancelled season? If so, I’d be pounding that under.
No. Every book will have a "Must play 16 games" condition in their rules. These regular season bets are a waste of time until there is more clarity around how the season will play out. I'd only take a stab if I saw odds that were way out of line.
 

j-man

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look at your road schedule @KC @SEA @LA twice @Hou @ mia @ buff u go 2-5 at best here and u have BALT SF and arizona at home i wouild say 6 wins at worst 9 at best one thing kraft needs to push for is no AFC/NFC games this year if the NFL cuts games
 

Super Nomario

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I think he was saying that the "worst roster if you exclude the secondary" was what he objected to more than the win total. I think the win total is high, but also... outside of the best secondary in the league, the OL is pretty solid above average I'd say. The TEs are near the bottom of the league, and the WR corps is probably below average, but it has Edelman, Sanu and a 1st rounder from last year, there are worse situations out there.
The WR were pretty bad last year (PFF ranked them dead last). There's reason to believe Sanu may be better post injury and Harry might be better in year two, but it's not great. All in all, it's a bad group of pass-catchers, even with White excellent for a third-down back. Maybe not the worst, but bad.

And Stidham ... it's really not exaggerating to say he's the worst starting quarterback in the league on paper. Every other team is going to start a guy with more experience or higher draft investment or at least someone who beat out a quarterback with more experience or higher draft status. I have some confidence in Belichick and McDaniels' ability to identify talent and get something out of it, but no one should be surprised if he's a bottom-five QB in 2020.

And while the front 7 has lost a lot, it started as one of the better groups in the league, it didn't drop to the very bottom.
I think you could argue the front seven had issues last year that the secondary disguised, and those issues starting showing up down the stretch (like when they couldn't stop the run at all against Baltimore or Tennessee). And they lost a ton: Van Noy and Collins were 1/2 among front seven players in snaps, and Shelton was 5th. And the only replacement is Brandon Copeland. I wouldn't say it's at the very bottom but it's solidly below average.

I think the oddsmaker's statement is hyperbole, but if, say, Hightower and/or Edelman got hurt? Yikes. And both those guys are old and have pretty long injury histories. In addition to weaker-than-normal starting talent, this team has depth issues everywhere except RB and DB.
 

j-man

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u couild have brady back and with that road schedule u are only winning 10 games at most esp since keeping brady means no thunny D mccoutry
 

Pandemonium67

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A shortened pre-season will likely really affect the Pats' ability to get Stidham up and running. Then there's the killer schedule.

I mean, BB uber alles and all that, but this could be a really tough season. I'd take the under.
 

Shaky Walton

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The Pats went 4-5 over their last nine games (including the playoffs), lowlighted by the hideous home loss to the Fins in the game that blew the bye.

They lost their QB and will be starting the truly mediocre Brian Hoyer or more likely a totally inexperienced Stidham.

They have not yet addressed TE or added anyone at WR other than Byrd.

I get the reaction that they have usually out performed Vegas' line but I think 8.5 is pretty reasonable and would consider taking the under if I was in the business of betting against my team.

PS: I'm aware that they have the draft and the waiver wire to work with. I'm also aware that Belichick hasn't exactly killed it at WR and was willing to go into 2019 with substandard options at TE. So yes, it's not Week 1 right now (if there even is such a thing), and the roster will almost certainly look better after the draft and free agency has been completed. But I also think that the fact that they are what they are right now is relevant; it's the starting point and I don't see them augmenting the offense in a way that makes 8.5 any less reasonable. I hope to be proven wrong.
 
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Mooch

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The Pats went 4-5 over their last nine games (including the playoffs), lowlighted by the hideous home loss to the Fins in the game that blew the bye.

They lost their QB and will be starting the truly mediocre Brian Hoyer or more likely a totally inexperienced Stidham.
True, but are we forgetting how bad Brady was during that stretch? Here was his completion rate during those last nine games:

65%, 55%, 45%, 51%, 52%, 51%, 78% (the win vs. Buffalo), 55%, 54%.

WOOF.
 

Rico Guapo

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True, but are we forgetting how bad Brady was during that stretch? Here was his completion rate during those last nine games:

65%, 55%, 45%, 51%, 52%, 51%, 78% (the win vs. Buffalo), 55%, 54%.

WOOF.
Are you forgetting how bad the receiving corps was last season? They were atrocious and unless they hit on a WR/TE in the draft it's unlikely we see a large improvement in 2020 regardless of who the QB is.
 
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True, but are we forgetting how bad Brady was during that stretch? Here was his completion rate during those last nine games:

65%, 55%, 45%, 51%, 52%, 51%, 78% (the win vs. Buffalo), 55%, 54%.

WOOF.
This is all the same circular argument, no? Yeah, his completion percentage was spotty, sometimes downright bad. Because of him? Because of his weapons? Some may agree with the former, some with the latter, the vast majority of us - all of us? - suspect it was likely an ugly combination of both. I agree with Mooch. 8.5 is a perfectly reasonable number, and I would bet the under at this point, all the while hoping Stidham surprises us, robbing me of hard-earned dough.
 

Mooch

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Are you forgetting how bad the receiving corps was last season? They were atrocious and unless they hit on a WR/TE in the draft it's unlikely we see a large improvement in 2020 regardless of who the QB is.
Stipulated. But you've made my point: Brady isn't going to make much of a difference over a replacement level QB at this point in his career with the current roster. So +2 wins in the Pats over/under with Brady vs. without seems pretty silly to me.
 

Super Nomario

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Stipulated. But you've made my point: Brady isn't going to make much of a difference over a replacement level QB at this point in his career with the current roster. So +2 wins in the Pats over/under with Brady vs. without seems pretty silly to me.
I don't agree with this. It can get a lot worse. Even if you think Brady was only like the 20th-best QB in the NFL last year, that's like a 90th percentile outcome for a 4th-round pick. Sometimes quarterbacks are disasters. Two games is pretty optimistic.
 

Shaky Walton

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This is indeed a circular argument. But my eyes saw the problem as WAY more the receivers, and the line for that matter, than the QB. From what I could see, Tom was often under pressure and forced to throw balls away, both because he was avoiding getting hit or his receivers simply were not open. Julian was compromised down the stretch, the young guys were very inconsistent, Dorsett totally disappeared, Sanu was horrible, albeit hurt, the TEs were exceedingly weak (other than a few shining moments for Watson) and the running game was spotty.

It's hard to fully appreciate all of this on TV and the only game I went to in person last season was the Miami game. But I keyed on the pass catchers that day and they just rarely looked open to me.

Tom did miss throws from time to time. He looked jittery at times, too. But that happens even in the best of times. The bottom line, for me, is that the main problems on last year's teams have not been addressed, and I have trouble believing that Stidham or Hoyer will be better than Brady with that group of skill players. Now maybe Mason will have a better year than he did, Wynn will settle in at LT and they will add some guys in the draft and through other means at the skill positions.

But I tilt very hard to the skill guys being the problem, not Brady.
 

Spelunker

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Interesting take on the 2020 season for the Pats. Here's the money quote from the guy in charge:



I'm not a Pats fan, but I just don't see the bolded. There's still a lot of talent on the roster, and Belichick's still there. Maybe he's saying it to encourage some betting?
Davis tried to become a bookie Sophomore or Junior year in High School. He was paying us back in drips and drabs for close to a year after one epic NBA night where everyone hit on everything (back in the days of staring at the ESPN sports ticker to follow score updates).

It's inspiring when someone knows from an early age what they want their career to be.
 

djbayko

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I don't agree with this. It can get a lot worse. Even if you think Brady was only like the 20th-best QB in the NFL last year, that's like a 90th percentile outcome for a 4th-round pick. Sometimes quarterbacks are disasters. Two games is pretty optimistic.
To be fair, he's more than just a 4th round pick. He's a 4th round pick who Belichick has observed and coached for a year. I'm not saying that means he's going to excel in the NFL. But I'd give his odds a bump since BB played a large part in letting Brady walk without acquiring another starter. He knew there was something in Brady.
 

tims4wins

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To be fair, he's more than just a 4th round pick. He's a 4th round pick who Belichick has observed and coached for a year. I'm not saying that means he's going to excel in the NFL. But I'd give his odds a bump since BB played a large part in letting Brady walk without acquiring another starter. He knew there was something in Brady and nothing in Ryan Mallett.
A 4th round pick who was a very highly rated HS QB too
 

Cellar-Door

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To be fair, he's more than just a 4th round pick. He's a 4th round pick who Belichick has observed and coached for a year. I'm not saying that means he's going to excel in the NFL. But I'd give his odds a bump since BB played a large part in letting Brady walk without acquiring another starter. He knew there was something in Brady.
This assumes a lot....
#1 that Brady walking was Bellichick's decision to make
#2 that not acquiring another starter YET means they won't, there is still a draft to hold, a bunch of free agents and potential trades out there to say.

A 4th round pick who was a very highly rated HS QB too
This doesn't matter at all honestly, look back at those prospect lists, there are some guys at the top who did great in college went in the 1st and either suceeded (Watson) or failed (Rosen, Hackenberg) and many more who never even made the league. HS scouting of QBs isn't giving you much of anything once you have 3 years of college which is a massive step up in competition to look at. Stidham was a top recruit for the same reason he got drafted in the 4th despite a mediocre college career, he's got the physical tools.
 

djbayko

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This assumes a lot....
#1 that Brady walking was Bellichick's decision to make
#2 that not acquiring another starter YET means they won't, there is still a draft to hold, a bunch of free agents and potential trades out there to say.
#1 None of knows what really happened. While it certainly seems like Tom wanted to try out something new, I think it's fair to say that Belichick's actions (or non-actions) helped us get here.
#2 Yup, I'm making that assumption, for sure.
 

lexrageorge

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I don't buy the "worst roster once you exclude the secondary" assessment, but I do buy the win total.

The only parts of the roster I feel OK with are secondary, which may not be as good next season without Harmon and with the McCourty's being a year older; OL, for which I'm still concerned about depth; and maybe RB. With Hightower and Edelman both a year older, I don't have any confidence in the WR corps or the front 7, and TE remains a non-factor.

I'm only half joking when I say Bill's master plan is to trade Thuney and Gilmour at the start of the season, go 0-6 in the rump schedule, and start the rebuild with Trevor Lawrence and 2 other first rounders. Realistically, I think the plan is for them to see what they really have with Stidham and go from there, because at the moment, there are likely no better options.
 

snowmanny

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Well if it’s one of the worst rosters in the NFL apart from the secondary (mostly Gilmore) and they are projected nevertheless to have a winning record, then Gilmore is worth multiple high draft picks.

But yeah, I don’t buy it either.