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AFC East: Patriots Asserting Themselves as the Team to Beat

In the beginning of this NFL season, all the experts thought the New England Patriots would run away with the AFC East. And why wouldn’t they? New England was coming off yet another Super Bowl season. Couple that with the fact that no other team in the division even made it to the playoffs last year, and you have a clear favorite.

But six weeks into the regular season found the entire division at 3-3. But the Patriots’ 3-3 was a bit deceptive. The Pats had beaten a pretty good Denver Broncos team 31-21 in a game that was really not as close as the score makes it look. They also had blowout wins over the Tennessee Titans and their division foe Buffalo Bills. Their three losses were all games decided by two points or less. They lost to the Arizona Cardinals 20-18 when they missed a last second field goal. They lost to the Baltimore Ravens 31-30 when the Ravens barely made a last second field goal and they lost to the Seattle Seahawks 24-23 because they had a lapse in the secondary and gave up a late touchdown. So three plays and the Pats could easily have been 6-0.

Their seventh game was against the New York Jets in a battle for first place. New England controlled much of the game. They spent the better part of the afternoon with a two possession lead on the Jets. But New York rallied to send the game into overtime. Another close game loss may have had the Patriots players starting to doubt themselves. But they won the game in overtime 26-23 to take the division lead as the Bills lost that week and the Miami Dolphins had a bye.

This past week the Patriots then went “across the pond” and hammered the St. Louis Rams 45-7. They now lead the AFC East at 5-3, a half game over Miami who ripped the Jets 30-9 and are now 4-3. The Bills were idle last week and are still 3-4 while the Jets have fallen to 3-5.

JustBet has odds on this week’s AFC East games:

Miami Dolphins at Indianapolis Colts– Dolphins are -2.5 -115. Colts are +2.5 -105. Over/under is 43.5. The Dolphins have been a hot team since their opening week blowout loss in Houston. They have only lost twice since then, both in overtime. The Colts have also been a hot team lately. We’re going to go with the Colts at home +2.5.

Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans– Bills are +10 -110. Texans are -10 -110. Over/under is 47.5. We like the Texans -10. Buffalo is really not very good, although they have been known to pull off a surprise on occasion. But Houston is too good to allow it.



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