Bill Belichick's first Super Bowl win as the Patriots' coach saw his team beat sizable odds. His current team will have to beat even bigger odds if they are going to win Super Bowl LVIII.
The Patriots currently have 70-1 odds to win this year's Super Bowl, according to Caesars Sportsbook, which is the longest preseason odds of any Patriots team coached by Belichick, via sportsoddshistory.com. Belichick took over the reigns from Pete Carroll in 2000.
The 2023 Patriots odds are even longer than Belichick's first Super Bowl championship team. The 2001 Patriots, on the heels of a 5-11 campaign the previous season, were 60-1 to win that year's Super Bowl. In one of the biggest upsets in NFL history, the Patriots did just that after upsetting the heavily-favored Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI.
While the Patriots winning the Super Bowl this season would technically be considered a bigger upset than in 2001 according to oddsmakers, it won't be nearly as big of a surprise should Belichick's team climb the mountaintop at the end of the season. The Patriots are just two years removed from making the playoffs and were in the playoff mix last season until they were eliminated during the final weekend of the regular season. Conversely, the 2001 Patriots were a team that many thought would finish last in their division. That team started the season with an 0-2 record before a backup named Tom Brady changed the course of history.
“We believed in ourselves.”— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) November 9, 2019
Bill Belichick looks back on the 2001 @Patriots #NFL100 👇
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Belichick has often done his best work when expectations surrounding his team have been low. Along with the 2001 Patriots' surprising run, the 2008 team went 11-5 despite losing Brady to a season-ending injury in Week 1. The 2014 team won the Super Bowl despite a slow start. The 2018 team won the franchise's sixth title despite a late-season slide that included road losses to Miami in Pittsburgh. And even though it concluded with a losing record, many consider Belichick's 2020 season a success due to Brady's departure and a slew of other key players opting out of the season.
A big key to the Patriots' 2023 season is quarterback Mac Jones and how well he plays in his third season. Belichick has given Jones more weapons to work with this offseason with the free agent signings of tight end Mike Gesicki, JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Robinson. The Patriots may also elect to use the 14th overall pick in April's draft to further aid Jones by selecting one of the top offensive tackles or wideouts in this year's draft.