At the beginning of training camp, it was expected that Jarrett Stidham would be Patriots quarterback. Stidham backed up Tom Brady last year and knows the Patriot playbook inside and out. New England coach Bill Belichick is the GOAT due in large part to his ruthlessness. Feelings are irrelevant to The Hoodie. Instead, it is all about getting results with the NFL betting odds. Cam Newton was the best available quarterback on the market. Carolina cut ties with him because of the arrival of new head coach Matt Rhule. Of great concern is Newton’s drop in production.
Belichick has decided to roll the dice on a low-risk bet. By signing Cam Newton to a low-pay incentive-laden contract he faces no repercussions. Subsequently, Newton needed an opportunity to rebuild his career. He arrives in New England with no promises. He will have to beat Stidham out for the starting quarterback job. Correlate that Belichick loves a competitive fighter. He will observe Newton and Stidham battle for the top job. If Stidham brings a completive attitude The Hoodie wins. And should Stidham sulk it merely proves he lacks what it takes to start in the NFL?
2020 New England Patriots Season Odds to Win
Super Bowl LV Odds to Win: +2020
Odds to win AFC Championship: +1050
Odds to win AFC East Division: -112
Over Under Win Total: 9 -163 over, +135 under
2020 Cam Newton to New England Patriots Handicapping Odds Overview
Initially, the wagering public has been quite enthusiastic about the arrival of Newton. New England is still a respected online betting brand because of its historic success. With Bill Belichick remaining in full command the public still believes in the Patriots. Thus, the arrival of Newton being considered a masterstroke by the pro football betting community. Going forward after the hype ends and betting odds stabilize it will all be up to Newton.
Mutually Necessary Attraction of Needs
For all that Bill Belichick is reputation-wise, he is no fool. He may have long dreamed of proving he can win without Tom Brady. But he also knows that you don’t easily replace the GOAT of NFL quarterbacks. Stidham is an unknown quantity. Many handicappers recall the 2008 season when New England went 11-5 without the injured Brady. Cause by that was the theory that Belichick could plug in Stidham for instant success. Counter to that is Newton a somewhat known product.
Newton has not been the same since a foot injury that was sustained in the 2018 preseason. Ironically the injury occurred in a preseason game against the Patriots. Although he put together solid numbers in 2018 his productivity dropped dramatically last year. Much of that could be attributed to playing in only two games. Consider a passer rating that fell from 94.2 to 71.0. What was most alarming was his negative 0.4 yards per rush. Compared to a career average of 5.1 yards per carry.
Of course, Newton is best known as the 2015 NFL Most Valuable Player. And for taking the Panthers to the Super Bowl that season. That proved to be the peak of his NF career. Since then he has never made the Pro Bowl with just one playoff game appearance.
Unknown Unknowns for All Concerned
Due to COVID-19 Newton has not been able to take a physical exam. So New England is making something of a blind but low-risk bet with the NFL lines. This is where Belichick’s genius comes into play. If Newton delivers his one-year contract could become something much more. Counter to that if Newton fails The Hoodie can fall back with Stidham. At no extra charge.
Newton’s Greatest Challenge
On the whole, not even Tom Brady could generate much 2019 offensive production out of a plodding supporting cast. Newton steps into an offense that has not been noticeably upgraded. This will make his comeback attempt more difficult. More emphatically the lack of playmakers could make the current hype meaningless. Gamblers would be best to say “caveat emptor.”
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