The New England Patriots without Tom Brady is a reality that won't really set in until we see the 43-year-old QB in Buccaneer red and black. It will be as strange as seeing Michael Jordan in his Wizards uniform or Peyton Manning in Broncos colors. But despite the separation of two parties seemingly inseparable for 20 years, Vegas doesn't think things will change all that much.
According to Caesar's Sportsbook, the Patriots are still the favorites to win the AFC East at -110. Buffalo is relatively close behind at +180, but the Jets and Dolphins are still seen as long shots to become the first team in over 10 years outside of New England to win the division.
Vegas has faith in Bill Belichick that many a Boston radio caller does not, it would seem.
Buffalo made a big splash this offseason trading for Stefon Diggs and clearly believed it had a legitimate chance to steal the crown even before Brady announced his decision that would free his AFC East opponents of their boogeyman. The Jets falling behind the Dolphins is a bit of a surprise, and probably the best value bet on the board. Miami may very well have a better roster by the time the offseason is over, but all New York needs is a resurgence from Sam Darnold to be in contention for the top spot, and he has the talent to make that happen.
It wouldn't really shock anyone if the Patriots still came away with the division title thanks to the presence of Belichick. But quarterback is the most important position in the sport, and the Patriots do not have a reliable answer there, making their odds a risky proposition even with Belichick. Brian Hoyer or Jarrett Stidham won't strike fear into the hearts of opponents, but can they do just enough to win games? The oddsmakers think they can.