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The New England Patriots missed the playoffs for the time since 2008 last season after finishing with a disappointing 7-9 record, and the team has been hard at work to make sure that scenario doesn't repeat in 2021.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has gone on a spending spree in NFL free agency this week, making several impactful additions headlined by tight end Jonnu Smith, tight end Hunter Henry, outside linebacker Matthew Judon and defensive back Jalen Mills. New England also acquired offensive tackle Trent Brown via trade, among other moves.
All of these additions make the Patriots better at key positions, most notably tight end, where New England received the least amount of offensive production of any team last season.
How high have the Patriots climbed in the latest Super Bowl LVI odds after making all of these moves? Oddsmakers still aren't buying the Patriots as legitimate title contenders.
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Here are the latest Super Bowl betting lines among the teams at +3000 or better -- -- odds provided by our partner, PointsBet Sportsbook.
Kansas City Chiefs: +500
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: +650
Buffalo Bills: +1000
Green Bay Packers: +1000
Los Angeles Rams: +1200
Baltimore Ravens: +1400
San Francisco 49ers: +1500
Indianapolis Colts: +2200
Miami Dolphins: +2200
New Orleans Saints: +2200
Seattle Seahawks: +2200
Cleveland Browns: +2500
Dallas Cowboys: +2500
New England Patriots: +3000
Pittsburgh Steelers: +300
These odds can change fast, and if the Patriots upgrade at quarterback, oddsmakers probably will like this team's championship chances a lot more. The current roster has Cam Newton and Jarrett Stidham atop the quarterback depth chart, and it's difficult to be excited about either player's 2021 season after both failed to impress last year.
Luckily for the Patriots, they have a great opportunity to fortify the quarterback position (and the rest of their roster) in the 2021 NFL Draft next month. New England has nine picks at its disposal, including the No. 15 selection in the first round -- the team's highest pick since 2008.
If the Patriots draft well and maybe make a few other upgrades, it's definitely possible that they could challenge the Buffalo Bills for the AFC East crown and be a threat to win the conference.
We know the Patriots will be well-coached and well-prepared each week. It's now up to Belichick to increase the talent level and depth at key positions. So far, he's done a good job of that early in free agency.