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Where Patriots stand in updated AFC East betting odds after Week 11 originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
If the New England Patriots are looking for any bulletin board material as they enter the most important part of their 2021 NFL schedule, all the team needs to do is look at the updated AFC East betting odds entering Week 12.
Despite being in first place with a 7-4 record -- a half-game ahead of the 6-4 Buffalo Bills -- the Patriots are not the favorites to claim the division crown.
Oddsmakers still favor the Bills -- odds provided by our partner, PointsBet Sportsbook.
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The Patriots are the hottest team in football with a five-game win streak -- the longest active run in the league. The offense has established an effective rushing attack and rookie quarterback Mac Jones has helped passing attack improve quite a bit from last season.
But the real strength of this New England team is its defense. This unit has allowed just 13 points over the last three games combined, including a 25-0 shutout win over the Atlanta Falcons in Week 11.
Will all of this be enough for the Patriots to win the division? It's probably going to come down to the two remaining head-to-head matchups with the Bills. These rivals play each other Week 13 in Buffalo and Week 16 in New England.
After how poorly the Bills played in a surprising 41-15 loss at home to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, you'd have to like the Patriots' chances of going into Buffalo and getting a win in two weeks, especially given their 5-0 road record this season. A victory for the Patriots in Week 13 would give them a massive advantage in the division title race and turn up the pressure on the Bills.
There's still a lot of football to be played, but right now the Patriots are in a better spot than the Bills, not just in the standings but also in terms of on-field performance.