Will Patriots go over or under oddsmakers' updated season win total? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The New England Patriots' 2022 season has been a bit of a rollercoaster.
A 1-3 start to the campaign dampened any excitement that was created in the offseason and training camp. The Patriots rebounded, though, beating the Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns in consecutive weeks to climb back to the .500 mark at 3-3. That momentum came to a screeching halt with an ugly 33-14 loss to an inferior Chicago Bears team at home on "Monday Night Football". Once again, the Patriots recovered and won back-to-back games, this time dispatching the New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts.
Got all that?
The Patriots enter their Week 10 bye at 5-4. It's the first time they've been above the .500 mark all season. The Patriots are eighth in the AFC standings and sit a half-game behind the Los Angeles Chargers for the third and final wild card playoff spot in the conference.
Now that we have slightly more than a half season's worth of games to analyze, how many wins should we expect the Patriots to earn?
Well, oddsmakers aren't projecting a strong finish to the regular season for Bill Belichick's team.
The over/under is 8.5 wins. Here are the latest odds, via DraftKings:
Over 8.5 wins: -125
Under 8.5 wins: +105
If this win total seems kind of low, it's actually not that surprising.
The Patriots have the second-toughest remaining regular season schedule. The final eight Patriots opponents have a combined .605 win percentage. Only the Washington Commanders have a more challenging remaining schedule (.621 opponents combined win percentage).
Here's a look at what's facing the Patriots post-bye:
Week 11: vs. New York Jets
Week 12: at Minnesota Vikings
Week 13: vs. Buffalo Bills
Week 14: at Arizona Cardinals
Week 15: at Las Vegas Raiders
Week 16: vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Week 17: vs. Miami Dolphins
Week 18: at Buffalo Bills
The Las Vegas Raiders and Arizona Cardinals matchups look easier than they did before the season, but the Minnesota Vikings (7-1 atop the NFC North), New York Jets (6-3) and Miami Dolphins (6-3) have all exceeded expectations so far. The Buffalo Bills are still an elite team and the defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals remain dangerous.
It wouldn't be shocking if the Patriots finished 3-5 the rest of the way. And given the competitiveness of the AFC playoff race right now, 10 wins might be the minimum number needed to get into the tournament. Reaching that threshold would require a 5-3 or better finish by the Patriots, and that seems unlikely right now based on the state of New England's offense.