Patriots Still Favored to Win 11 Games or More Despite Brady Suspension

The New England Patriots will officially be without quarterback Tom Brady for the first four games of the 2016 regular season after the future Hall of Famer decided he would not appeal the NFL’s Deflategate decision to the Supreme Court. The Patriots have won 12 games or more six straight seasons and are favored to win 11 or more in the season ahead, with their Win Total listed at 10.5 OVER -150.
Only the NFC’s Green Bay Packers are bigger favorites to go OVER 10.5 at -155, something they failed to do a year ago when they finished a disappointing 10-6. Green Bay has actually fallen short of winning more than 10 games in two of the past three seasons while New England has won at least 11 in nine of the previous 10. Last year, the Pats went 12-4 for the fourth straight season before falling to the eventual Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos 20-18 in the AFC Championship Game.
Three AFC teams went 12-4 in 2015, including the Broncos and Cincinnati Bengals. Denver’s Win Total is 9 OVER -125 this year following the retirement of quarterback Peyton Manning in the offseason. Either veteran Mark Sanchez or rookie Paxton Lynch will take over under center in 2016, and one of them should at least be able to put up similar numbers considering Manning did not enjoy one of his best years. Manning played a career-low 10 games (not counting 2011 when he sat out the entire season) and threw a career-low nine touchdown passes to go along with 17 interceptions.
The Bengals are an intriguing team since they have won 10 games or more in each of the last four years but have not won a playoff game since 1990. They have qualified for the playoffs the past five seasons only to lose in the Wild Card round each time. This year, their Win Total is 9.5 OVER -135, but they must also deal with one of the top Super Bowl contenders in their own division – the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Last season, the Steelers finished 10-6, falling below 11 wins for the third time in four seasons. But their Win Total this year is listed at 10.5 OVER -125, and a healthy Pittsburgh squad would figure to top that number for the first time since 2014. Running back Le’Veon Bell missed 10 games last season after suffering a torn MCL, and he has managed to play a full 16 games just once in the first three years of his career.
Besides the Packers, the Seattle Seahawks are one of two teams also favored to win more than 10 games in the NFC at 10.5 OVER -140. The Seahawks ended up 10-6 last season and saw the Arizona Cardinals (13-3) finish with the second-best record in the conference behind the defending NFC champion Carolina Panthers (15-1). The Win Total for the Cardinals is 9.5 OVER -165, and 10.5 OVER -115 for the Panthers. Carolina beat both Seattle and Arizona in the playoffs en route to Super Bowl 50.