The New England Patriots ended the suspense over where former NFL MVP Cam Newton would start the 2020-21 NFL season Sunday. As a result, sportsbooks like DraftKings had some work to do.
DraftKings, which accepts wagers legally in neighboring New Hampshire, created a new market after New England inked Newton to a one-year contract. The sportsbook also altered several other lines.
Cam Newton now DraftKings’ favorite to win Pats’ QB job
After Tom Brady departed the Patriots for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the job seemed Jarrett Stidham’s to lose. Since Sunday, that’s no longer the case.
DraftKings has Newton as its -715 favorite to start Week 1 as QB for the Pats. Stidham is +415 and Brian Hoyer is +3300 in the same market.
That isn’t the only change at DraftKings, however. New England is now down to a +1700 payout to win Super Bowl LV, the third-shortest odds among AFC teams.
Only the Kansas City Chiefs (+300) and Baltimore Ravens (+325) have shorter odds to win the AFC at DraftKings now. New England, once effectively a push with the Buffalo Bills to win the AFC East division, is now the +110 favorite.
DraftKings Sportsbook Massachusetts is now also much more confident about the Patriots odds of making the playoffs in 2020-21, even if just as an AFC wild card. A bet on the Pats to miss the postseason would now pay out +163.
That corresponds to New England’s expected win total of nine regular-season victories. Winning the AFC East might require the Patriots to hit the over. That may, in turn, require Newton to have a stellar year.
DraftKings’ expectations for Newton in New England
After the news of Newton’s signing broke, DraftKings moved Newton to +3300 to win his second MVP award. Nine other NFL quarterbacks, including Brady, still have shorter odds.
DraftKings doesn’t yet have a market live on which quarterbacks will lead the NFL in passing touchdowns or passing yards in the coming season. When the sportsbook does get the market live, however, there will be a better indication of how DraftKings expects Newton to perform with his new franchise.
Perhaps the greatest movement came in terms of DraftKings’ market on the next Comeback Player of the Year award. Newton’s +400 line there is second only to the +300 action on Ben Roethlisberger.
If Newton does start for the Patriots in Week 1, he will get a solid chance to start building his case for those awards. DraftKings has the Pats a -286 favorite to defeat the Miami Dolphins to start the season.
Given the lack of high-profile receiving threats on New England’s roster, Newton will gain a lot of prestige if he is able to lead the Patriots’ offense to success. He has already received an endorsement from Mohamed Sanu, arguably the team’s best receiver.
What made Newton an MVP in the 2015-16 season was his dual-threat ability. Expect Bill Belichick to exploit that advantage if he goes with Newton.
As New England progresses through camp, some of these lines may still move significantly. They may only get shorter, however, so now might very well be the time to make a trip to New Hampshire and put down some cash on Newton in New England.