Just How Likely Are the Patriots to go Undefeated?

Just How Likely Are the Patriots to go Undefeated?

All aboard! The Patriots’ Hype Train is full steam ahead and odds are suggesting that an undefeated season is not that far-fetched.

Record8/21 (5Dimes)Implied "Yes" Odds
16-0Yes: +750
No: -1370
18-0Yes: +1400
No: -3050
19-0Yes: +1450
No: -3400

At 5Dimes, the Patriots have better odds to have a 16-0 season than the other 31 teams have of winning the Super Bowl. Their payouts suggest that the Pats have better than a 10% chance of going 16-0 and over a 6% chance that they become the first team in history to go 19-0. Only five other teams have better odds to win the Super Bowl than the Patriots have to go 19-0. They’re clearly in a league of their own…and I’m not talking about Rosie O’Donnell playing professional softball.

So…are these odds spot on? Are those undefeated payouts worth taking a shot on? I’ve gone ahead and looked at the spreads posted at 5Dimes for Weeks 2 to 17 (except when noted) and assigned each one a typical moneyline for that number, as well as the corresponding implied odds. I’ve also done a fun exercise with “rolling over” the moneyline, starting with a $100 wager in Week 1. In this example, you’d win $25 if the Pats beat the Chiefs in Week 1. In Week 2, you would bet your original $100 plus the $25 you had won, so you’re risking $125. In Week 3, you would be risking $175 and so on.

Week: OpponentSpreadApprox. MoneylineImplied oddsMoneyline Rollover
1: vs. Kansas City-8-40080%$125
2: at New Orleans-6-25071.43%$175
3: vs. Houston-9.5-45081.82%$213.89
4: vs. Carolina-9-42080.77%$264.82
5: at Tampa Bay-6-25071.43%$370.75
6: at NY Jets-10-55084.62%$438.16
7: vs. Atlanta-7-30075%$584.21
8: vs. LA Chargers-12.5-70087.50%$667.67
10: at Denver-4.5-21568.25%$978.21
11: at Oakland-4.5-21568.25%$1,433.19
12: vs. Miami*-11-60085.71%$1,672.06
13: at Buffalo-7-30075%$2,229.41
14: at Miami*-7-30075%$2,972.55
15: at Pittsburgh-2.5-15056.52%$4,954.25
16: vs. Buffalo-12.5-70087.50%$5,662
17: vs. New York Jets**-7-30075%$7,549.33
* Based on CG Technology’s lookahead lines       **Assuming the Patriots are 15-0 and resting players

Using these approximate lines, the Patriots’ odds of going 16-0 should be closer to +7500. If a team hypothetically had a 50% chance of winning each game, they would only have a 0.0015% chance of going 16-0. Based on these implied odds, there is a 1.25% chance that the Pats will go 16-0. Obviously much better than a normal team, but still not a likely event. Even if they become an unstoppable wagon and their odds become more inflated after each victory, the implied odds wouldn’t be close to the 11.76% suggested by 5Dimes’ prop. They would have to have moneyline of around -700 every week for +750 to be a reasonable payout.

Clearly, the moneyline rollover system is a much more profitable approach if you are confident that they can go undefeated. You’d likely surpass the $750 payout after a week 10 victory in Denver and by the end of the season, you’d have approximately ten times as much money than you would if you bet on the prop.

Also, if you take the rollover approach, you can stop whenever you want to. It’s like Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Afraid to risk three grand when they go to the Steel City? Cash out. What if Tom Brady gets hurt after week 12 and you don’t trust Jimmy Garoppolo? Cash out.

16-0 is impressive, but they’ve already done it before. C’mon, what are we talking about here? They were so close in 2007, yet so far. 19-0…the perfect season…just about the only thing that Brady and Belichick haven’t accomplished.

RoundPotential SpreadPotential MoneylineImplied OddsMoneyline Rollover
Conference -7-30075%$11,895.92
Super Bowl-6-25071.43%$16,654.29

These may look like high odds for the playoffs, but they could even be a bit on the low side. Last year, the Pats closed at -16 (-1200 moneyline) in the divisional round against the Texans. In 2007, they were -13.5 (-750 moneyline) against the Jaguars. Things can change, but I’m guessing their opponent this year will be a little better than those teams. If they end up facing one of the NFC favorites like the Packers or Seahawks in the Super Bowl, I’d imagine they would be close to a touchdown favorite at a neutral site.

If we continue our odds calculation from the start of the season, there is only a ~0.57% chance that they go 19-0. If we convert that into odds (174/1), only the Bills, Bears, Rams, Browns, 49ers, and Jets have worse odds of winning the Super Bowl.

These odds ended up being very close to the simulations done by the team at Bet Labs. They had the Pats going 16-0 1.4% of the time and 19-0 0.54% of the time. Interestingly enough, the Steelers went 19-0 one time in 10,000 simulations…so they have that going for them, which is nice.

Keep in mind that moneylines can vary a lot when we are looking at large spreads. One book may have -500 while another may have -700. Not all moneylines are created equal. The Patriots will probably be on the higher side of the moneyline ranges since they’re likely to get hammered by the public.

If you don’t think they’ll go undefeated, Bookmaker is offering odds on when their first loss will take place. As one would expect, the early weeks are the most likely. Their undefeated odds of +2500 are a bit more respectable, but still nowhere near where they ought to be.

There’s a reason no team has ever done this before, but if I’ve learned anything about sports….never doubt Brady and Belichick.



Mark Gallant

I'm the guy who does his job. You must be the other guy.

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