A Measure of Patriot Excellence

A measure of Patriot Excellence

Tom Brady’s appeal to avoid a four-game suspension stemming from Deflategate was denied by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court last week. Late Friday morning the Patriots quarterback announced that he would accept the punishment.

What does this all mean? Not much to the oddsmakers.

Despite the All-Pro quarterback missing the first quarter of the season New England remains the favorite to win its division, the AFC and the Super Bowl. Where Brady’s absence is felt is in the spread for the Pats Week 1 matchup against Arizona.

The game opened as a pick’em but the Cardinals are now favored by 5.5 (Pinnacle) or 6 (5Dimes) points with Jimmy Garoppolo starting. New England being an underdog is rare, especially by this many points.

In the Brady era, the Patriots have won the AFC East 13 times (including seven straight through last season), been AFC Champions six times and Super Bowl champions four times. We know the Pats are great but another measure puts the organization’s excellence in perspective.

Spurred by the Sports Insights tweet and using the Bet Labs database, I pulled each team’s against-the-spread record since 2003 (that is how far back our data goes) looking for the number of games they were underdogs of 5 or more points.

A measure of Patriot Excellence

The results reflect the landscape of the NFL. The Raiders have been underdogs of 5 or more points 102 times since 2003 (Oakland hasn’t had a winning record or been to the playoffs since 2002). Also at the bottom are the Browns (90 games), Rams (81 games) and Jaguars (67 games).

On top are the Steelers (16 games), Packers (20 games), Broncos (27 games) and Colts (28 games). Above them all, the Patriots. New England has been an underdog of 5 or more points just five times since the 2003-04 season. This is just another measure of Patriot excellence.

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