Patriots Injury List Now Includes Gronkowski

Patriots Injury List Now Includes Gronkowski

The New England patriots were heavily favored to win on Sunday night against the embattled New Orleans Saints, but just because the Pats came away with a 36-20 win that doesn’t mean they’re out of trouble.

In fact, one could almost say the Patriots’ mounting injury list – which now includes tight end Rob Gronkowski, who suffered a groin injury against the Saints – has potentially cast a pall over New England’s (1-1 after a Week 1 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs) almost sure-money odds to win the next SuperBowl (+400) and even the next game on the docket. At least that’s how the leading offshore sportsbooks are seeing it.

Bovada and SportBetting haven't posted odds against Houston

As of Monday afternoon, Bovada.lv hasn’t listed moneyline odds for the Patriots’ upcoming contest against the Houston Texans (also 1-1), set for next Sunday in Boston, citing the Gronkowski injury as the topping point. Bovada’s bookies say they’ll have a line available as soon as they get more information on the extent of Gronkowski’s hurts, but until then the industry-leading sports betting site only has odds on the spread against Houston. New England is currently the 13-point favorite in the matchup, but if Gronkowski is really out for good (or for a while anyway), it could mean that the Texans, hungry for more after a convincing if low-scoring 13-9 win over the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday night, could gobble up the difference for an upset.

SportsBetting.ag, based in Antigua, has the same 13-point spread for New England vs. Houston, but also on offer there are totals odds of -114 over and -106 under with a predicted points total of 43 ½. Not a peep out of the Caribbean sportsbooks linemakers about the straight-up bet, however.

The Patriots' defense has been slipping

Fueling all this confusing is what can only be described as a windfall of injuries for the Pats, who entered the 2017-2018 season as the team to beat. Now, with Gronkowski just the latest of New England’s defensive players out for a good spell, it looks like the Patriots will be set to go from sieving points to siphoning points. On Sunday night the Drew Brees-helmed Saints put six passing plays worth 20 yards or more on the Patriots, and the week before the Chiefs, led by Alex Smith, scored with two passing plays of 75 and 78 yards, respectively. What’s more, Kansas City tacked on huge rushing plays in the Week 1 upset, scoring on 58- and 21-yard touchdown runs.

The reversal of fortunes from last year is staggering when the Patriots’ defense performance is considered. New England allowed just 44 passing plays of 20 yards or more all season in 2016, but with just two games behind the Patriots in 2017 they seem poised to give up 72 if the trend continues.

What does the rest of 2017 hold in store for New England?

All that being said, there were some definite positives to the Patriots’ performance against the Saints. Deatrich Wise led the way on defense with two tackles, one sack and five credited quarterback hits on the night, while QB Tom Brady, in his 18th season with the Pats, threw for three touchdown passes in the first quarter alone, finishing 30-for-39 with 447 yards on the night. Even Gronkowski had a good night, nabbing six catches for 116 total yards and a touchdown before having to retire for the night after suffering the aforementioned injury to his groin.

Just how serious that injury is and how the loss – if however temporary – of one of the NFL’s preeminent tight ends will hurt New England’s chances this year remains to be seen. For his part, Gronkowski opined simply “I’m good,” when asked about his injury by ESPN following the game. USA online sportsbooks thinks that whether or not the Patriots to turn out to be good while he recoups could be a different story.