New England Patriots Open With Lowest Regular Season Wins Total Since 2003, According to Bookmakers

Bookmakers aren't sold on the sans Tom Brady version of the New England Patriots and the expected win totals for the six-time Super Bowl champions in the upcoming regular season is the lowest in 17 years.

Brady called time on a two-decade spell in New England last month, leaving the Patriots as free agent to sign a two-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. For the first time since Brady entered the NFL as a sixth-round pick in the 2000 draft, he will work with a different head coach than Bill Belichick and finding out how the duo will cope without each other is going to be one of the most intriguing narratives of the upcoming season.

While underestimating Belichick always carries a degree of risk, bookmakers are bullish the Patriots dynasty has run its course. On Thursday, Caesars Sportsbook in Las Vegas released win total and playoff odds for all 32 franchises and listed New England's opening win total at 8.5, the lowest since 2003.

William Hill, meanwhile, has New England at nine wins in 2020 and DraftKings has the team at 9.5 wins.

"I'm very much struggling to find this team being a 10-win team," Jeff Davis, head oddsmaker at Caesars, was quoted as saying by ESPN. "I'm just not buying this team at all. This team will show just how good Belichick and his staff are, compared to some of the other staffs. This might be the year that reality sets in with New England."

Aside from Brady, the Patriots have lost linebackers Kyle Van Noy, Elandon Robers and Jamie Collins, wide receiver Philip Dorsett and defensive tackle Danny Shelton. Defensive backs Nate Ebner, Duron Harmon and offensive lineman Ted Karras have also left Foxborough, as has kicker Stephen Gostkowski.

While the Patriots have 12 draft picks—including four in the first three rounds—Davis suggested the Patriots roster was among the worst of Belichick's tenure.

"Outside of the secondary, which is one of the best in the league, the rest of their roster I think is one of the worst in the NFL."

The Patriots arrived into the 2003 season after missing the playoffs in the previous campaign—the only time that has happened since Belichick took over head coaching duties in 2000—but upset the odds and finished 14-2, before defeating the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII.

Since missing the playoffs in 2002, the Patriots have made a habit of defying preseason expectations, going 14-3-1 to the over against their win total over the last 18 years.

Meanwhile, the Bucs have opened with a total regular season wins of nine, despite the fact they have recorded one winning season in the last 12 years and have not reached the playoffs since 2007.

The Kansas City Chiefs, the defending Super Bowl champions, and the Baltimore Ravens have the highest expected win total with 12 each.

It is the first time since 2012 and only the second in 30 years that two teams have opened with preseason win totals of 12 of higher. Eight years ago, the honor fell to the Patriots and the Green Bay Packers.

Bill Belichick, New England Patriots
Bill Belichick, head coach of the New England Patriots, watches warmups before taking on the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 4 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Adam Glanzman/Getty