Can the New England Patriots win over 10.5 games in the upcoming season despite the looming suspension for starting quarterback Tom Brady? That's one of the questions being asked by sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com as they begin to offer up prop bets for the upcoming National Football League season.
The Patriots went 12-4 during the regular season en route to the Super Bowl last year, easily claiming the AFC East division title over the Buffalo Bills (9-7), Miami Dolphins (8-8), and New York Jets (4-12). This season, however, New England could be without the services of Brady for up to four games to start the year depending on the success of his Deflategate appeal.
That could cut into the Patriots' win/loss record for the season, depending on how well projected Brady backup Jimmy Garoppolo performs if forced into action. The OVER/UNDER for wins for the Patriots for the 2015 season has been set at 10.5 at the sportsbooks.
New England ranks fourth on the win totals OVER/UNDER prop heading into the summer, ahead of the rival Denver Broncos (OVER/UNDER 10 wins) but behind the Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, and Indianapolis Colts (OVER/UNDER 11 wins).
The Broncos, Seahawks, and Packers all joined the Patriots at a league-high 12 victories last season, while the Colts picked up 11 wins last year. The only other team that managed to win 12 games last season was the Dallas Cowboys, who are listed at an OVER/UNDER of just 9.5 for this season as they try to weather the loss of starting running back DeMarco Murray.
Also sitting at an OVER/UNDER of 9.5 wins are Murray's new team, the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles scooped up the running back from their division rival this offseason and will be hoping he can carry them to an NFC East title. The Eagles finished two games behind the Cowboys in the division last season at 10-6, but that wasn't good enough for them to make the playoffs.
The Baltimore Ravens round out the top tier on that prop wager at the sportsbooks with a wins OVER/UNDER of 9 for the upcoming season after they finished 10-6 last year. Ten teams are then a step behind the Ravens with a wins OVER/UNDER of 8.5 for 2015, including the AFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals. The Steelers won the AFC North at 11-5 last season, with the Bengals slightly ahead of the Ravens at 10-5-1.
The Detroit Lions went 11-5 and made the playoffs last season, but with Ndamukong Suh off to the Dolphins their wins OVER/UNDER for 2015 is at just 8. That still has them well ahead of the bottom feeders on the prop wager at the sportsbooks, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 6, and the Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders, and Tennessee Titans all back at 5.5.