The New England Patriots ran into a bit of a bump in the road this October.
The Pats lost to the Kansas City Chiefs a couple of weeks ago. But it was Brian Hoyer under center, and the New England team was missing a couple of other key players due to positive COVID tests.
But Super Cam came back for Week 6 play to help host a struggling Denver Broncos team at Gillette Stadium. However, the results were not quite as expected. The Broncs ended up getting an 18-12 road win. Cam Newton went just 17 of 25 for 157 yards and two interceptions. Yikes! But it wasn’t just Cam tossing the pigskin badly. Drew Lock didn’t do much better. In fact, you could argue that he played worse going 10 for 24 with 189 yards and two INTs.
Was Cam rusty from the extra rest, or was his mind just elsewhere? A positive COVID test has to be stressful.
Despite the terrible loss in Foxboro to the Denver Broncos, top sportsbooks placed the 49ers-Patriots odds as the new 49ers-Patriots betting odds, with New England as slight favorites.
The New England Patriots are a -140 Money Line favorite with the point spread less than a field goal. The current total is 45 points, a half-point down from the opening odds.
When we look at Power Rankings versus Power Ratings, many experts have the NE Patriots a couple of positions higher than the SF 49ers. But when it comes to power ratings, most have the Niners ahead of the Pats. ESPN rates the 49ers with an FPI of 4.0, while they have the Patriots listed with an FPI of 1.7. I believe their number on the Niners is a tad high, though I feel like the Pats ratings is spot on. When we pop over to another trustworthy NFL power rating system, the Pats are rated at 1.9, just a hair better than ESPN’s number, however, the 49ers are just a 2.3. This sounds right to me. It also justified the 2.5 point favoritism the New England Patriots are getting in Foxboro. IF the Niners are about a half-point better on a neutral field, but the Patriots get three points for playing at home, the sum comes to 2.5. That said, if we split the difference between these two rating systems, we end up with a 1-point spread.
This is going to be a tight game. The Patriots have a slight offensive yards per play advantage, 5.7 to 5.6. But the Niners have a defensive advantage, 5.2 yards per play allowed vs. the Pats 5.8. The Niners also score a bit more (points per play) and allow a bit less. The last stat is because the Niners have a better red-zone offense and better red-zone defense.
Right now, 56% of the action is going towards the 49ers. This is good news if you like the Patriots to cover the number. However, bad news if you like the San Francisco 49ers. Personally, I think this game comes down to a field goal. So, I am going to buy the half point and take the 49ers +3 so that I get push protection, just in case. But, if you like the Patriots, you should wait the line out a little longer.
It’s good to remember that just because you are a fan of a specific team, like the Patriots, you are not actually betting against them if you take the 49ers on Sunday. You are betting against the line provided, not the opposite team, so there is no ‘disloyalty’ involved. I think the line is tight in this situation, but I like the 49ers to keep this game really close. We could see this one come down to a field goal or a failed PAT.
I like the Niners because they have the No. 1 road defense, allowing just 11 points per game. Conversely, they have the No. 2 road offense, putting up a bit more than 33 per highway affair. But the Pats Home D is phenomenal as well, allowing just 16 per game. That said, they haven’t been super productive at home on offense, averaging just 23 per game. This is enough for me that I don’t necessarily think the Niners will win, but they’ll cover keep it within three.