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2020 NFL Schedule: How Patriots’ Super Bowl odds, playoff chances are impacted

Were the NFL schedule makers kind to the Patriots, or did they make post-Tom Brady life more difficult for New England?

One way to gauge the difficulty of the Patriots’ 2020 schedule is to examine how oddsmakers have adjusted their futures bets after their slate was revealed Thursday night.

Let’s start with Super Bowl odds. Just after the 2020 NFL Draft, DraftKings Sportsbook had New England pegged at +2000 to win Super Bowl LV, tied for seventh in the NFL.

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Here’s where those odds stand now that the Patriots’ schedule is out:

Kansas City Chiefs: +600
Baltimore Ravens: +700
San Francisco 49ers: +1000
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: +1200
New Orleans Saints: +1400
Dallas Cowboys: +1800
Philadelphia Eagles: +2000
New England Patriots: +2200
Seattle Seahawks: +2200
Minnesota Vikings: +2500

New England’s odds dipped slightly to +2200, as Bill Belichick’s club is now tied for the eighth-best Super Bowl odds.

That’s likely the reflection of the Patriots’ grueling start to 2020: They have the NFL’s third-hardest schedule in Weeks 1 to 8 based on opponents’ projected win total.

What about the Patriots’ odds to reach the 2020 playoffs, which DraftKings Sportsbook had at -215 for “yes” and +173 for “no” after the NFL Draft? Those also took a slight dip Thursday night.

Yes: -205
No: +165

Again, it’s not much movement, but New England clearly doesn’t benefit from its 2020 schedule, which includes matchups against both 2019 conference winners (the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs) and a stretch of three consecutive road games in December.

But if you believe in Jarrett’s Stidham’s ability like the Patriots clearly do, then these shifts just mean a greater potential windfall for your bets on New England.

Curran: Five interesting quirks in the Pats’ 2020 schedule

How Logan Ryan ‘finessed’ the Patriots ahead of the 2013 NFL Draft

How Logan Ryan ‘finessed’ the Patriots ahead of the 2013 NFL Draft

The New England Patriots were big fans of the Rutgers football program during the 2013 NFL Draft. The team had just seven picks yet spent three of those picks on players that went to Rutgers.

Two of those players were defensive backs, Logan Ryan and Duron Harmon. The duo turned into key cogs on the Patriots Super Bowl teams of the mid-late 2010s and found ways to impact the game with their ball skills.

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That said, when preparing for the 2013 NFL Draft, they had a little bit of an advantage over the competition. As Ryan detailed on a recent episode of Devin and Jason McCourty’s “Double Coverage” Podcast, Ryan used his connections to the NFL defensive backs to “finesse” the Patriots a bit.

We finessed the Patriots because I called Dev (Devin McCourty) after I saw his Pro Day, me and Du (Duron Harmon) were doing the Pro Day workout in the weight room like two a days. You know me, I’m a worker. So after we would lift in the summer, at six or seven at night, we’d go back to the weight room and do the Pro Day workout all year. So, we were doing them drills all year.

The preparation would pay off for Ryan and Harmon. The Patriots ultimately held a private pre-draft workout with the draft-eligible Rutgers players. And Ryan was able to get the inside scoop from McCourty about what the workouts would entail so he knew how to prepare for them.

I knew the Patriots warm-up drills. So, me and Du were practicing these drills all week, and so when Bill [Belichick] comes, I’m like shirt off, eight-pack, catching the ball one-handed, sprinting back, I’m in great shape. I know all the drills. Like, ‘Oh yeah, yeah, I know that drill.’ ‘You ever do it before.’ ‘No, I’ve never did it.’ Do the drill with my eyes closed.

I was just working. And straight up, Dev would tell me, ‘Oh Dev, what’s it like? What’s this? What’s that? What do they like to see?’ And me and Du both get drafted in the third round, we both go up there, and the rest is history. But we were working those drills for a year and it paid off.

While the finessing paid off for Ryan and Harmon, it did work for the Patriots as well.

Ryan was a key versatile player on the team’s defense and he played in every game over the course of his four years with the Patriots. He intercepted 13 passes and held his own on the back end. He was key during the Patriots’ Super Bowl victory over the Atlanta Falcons and actually tied for the team lead in tackles with six.

As for Harmon, he spent seven years with the Patriots serving as a key backup safety and logged 17 interceptions for the squad. He was traded to the Detroit Lions this offseason in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Patriots ended up trading that selection to move up and draft tight end Devin Asiasi.

Needless to say, neither side would trade those selections based on how things turned out. Ryan and Harmon may not be with the team now, but they’ve each had very productive NFL careers and did a lot to help the Patriots win a few Super Bowls this decade.

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