NFL odds: Will Patriots go over or under new win total for 17-game season?

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Nick Goss
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NFL odds: Will Patriots go over, under new win total for 17-game season? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Expectations for the New England Patriots have risen sharply after the team went all out with a major spending spree early in NFL free agency to bolster some of the weakest positions on the roster.

The most notable position to receive a major boost in depth and talent was tight end. The Patriots signed the top two free agent tight ends -- Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry -- to multi-year deals. These additions will help upgrade a tight end group that ranked dead last in the league in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns in 2020.

The defense also received reinforcements. The Patriots signed nose tackle Davon Godchaux, linebackers Matthew Judon and Kyle Van Noy, defensive back Jalen Mills and others. 

What do oddsmakers think of these New England acquisitions?

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The league officially announced a 17-game schedule for the 2021 season, which means the over/under win totals at sportsbooks had to be adjusted. The original totals were obviously set with a 16-game slate in mind.

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Here are the latest win total odds for the Patriots and the rest of the AFC East division next season -- odds provided by our partner, PointsBet Sportsbook.

Team

Over

Under

Bills

10.5 (-115)

10.5 (-106)

Patriots

9 (-140)

9 (+115)

Dolphins

9 (-121)

9 (+100)

Jets

6.5 (+120)

6.5 (-143)

Getting to nine wins won't be easy for the Patriots despite the improvements they've made over the offseason. The division got much better last year with the Miami Dolphins improving to 10-6 and the Bills winning their first AFC East title since 1995 after posting a 13-3 record.

Curran: Kraft's assessment of Patriots is a challenge to Belichick

New England also has several difficult non-divisional games against 2020 playoff teams such as the Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, Cleveland Browns, Tennessee Titans and Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Dallas Cowboys were added to the Patriots' schedule when the 17th game became official, and they should be much better in 2021 if quarterback Dak Prescott is healthy.

The upcoming schedule won't be a walk in the park for the Patriots by any means, but they should be in a better position to win games consistently compared to last season when COVID opt outs, a weak roster and underwhelming quarterback play prevented the team from extending its postseason appearance streak.