The official start to the 2017 NFL season is still a little over three months away, yet already Las Vegas oddsmakers are hard at work posting early estimated lines for each week’s games. New England Patriots’ fans know that their team is the favorite to win the 2018 Super Bowl, but early indications point to the Patriots being the point spread favorite to win every game on the upcoming schedule.
While technically it is very hard to actually post odds beyond Week 1 of a new season, CBS Sports indicates that New England is already the early point spread favorite for each game on the 2017-18 schedule. Yes, each game! That is a pretty strong statement coming out of Las Vegas already.
According to sportsbook operator CG Technology, the New England Patriots are the only team in the NFL that is an early point spread favorite in every game of the season. Of course, that could change as the season progresses due to injuries, trades, etc., however, as of right now, line makers can not find a reason to make the Patriots an underdog in games in 2017.
The Patriots are favored by an average of 6.5 points per game next season, with the largest spread 12.5 points at home against the Los Angeles Chargers. New England is only a 1.5-point favorite in Week 11 against the Oakland Raiders in Mexico City and Week 15 at the Pittsburgh Steelers.
In this day and age, it is very hard to run the table and finish the season undefeated, and it is highly unlikely that the Patriots will, especially considering that every team they face will be up just a little bit more than normal when they face the defending Super Bowl champs.
Nevertheless, Las Vegas sports books believe that the only thing standing in the Patriots’ path of another trip to the Super Bowl is themselves.
The biggest challenges on the New England Patriots schedule in 2017 look to be in Week 10 when they face the Broncos in Denver, followed by a Week 11 trip to Mexico City to take on the Oakland Raiders. The Patriots also have a Week 15 clash against the Pittsburgh Steelers from the Steel City. This match-up could be the biggest one for the Patriots and Steelers in the upcoming season, and if NFL experts are correct, this game could decide the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
One thing that didn’t increase New England’s odds to win the Super Bowl was the 2017 NFL Draft. The Patriots were one of the quietest teams on the NFL draft board two weeks ago during the annual event, but that isn’t stopping them from staying atop the NFL power rankings heading into mini camp.
ESPN posted their post-draft version of its NFL power rankings and the top three teams are not too much of a surprise.
Holding strong at No. 1 is the New England Patriots, followed by the Atlanta Falcons at No. 2, and the Green Bay Packers rounding out the top three.
The Falcons want to prove that last season was no fluke, and the definitely have the weapons to do so. Adding Damontae Kazee to the defensive backfield could be the biggest addition to the team that not many people are talking about. Kazee was a fifth round selection for Atlanta out of San Diego State.
The Packers made a big splash in March by signing tight end Martellus Bennett. Bennett was a big part of the Patriots run to a Super Bowl championship last season.
The Dallas Cowboys fell one spot from No. 4 to No. 5 post draft, swapping spots with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Sure, NFL power rankings may not mean much at this time of the year, but for NFL fans they are always something to talk about and debate! To see the complete list of current ESPN power rankings, be sure to click the link above.
[Featured Image by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]