The Patriots haven't been overly impressive thus far, with two close victories against the Bills and Jets. New England will also likely be without a few offensive weapons, including Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola. That, however, didn't stop oddsmakers from installing the Patriots as heavy favorites against Tampa Bay.
New England opened as a 7.5-point favorite over the Buccaneers according to Odds Shark. The line has since moved even further in the Patriots' direction with some oddsmakers currently having New England as a 9-point favorite. This is the third straight week the Patriots opened as a significant favorite. The Patriots were a 10-point favorite in Week 1 against the Bills and a 11-point favorite last week against the Jets. New England failed to cover the spread in both games and is just 2-5 against the spread in its last seven.
The Buccaneers haven't fared well against the spread recently either, going 2-5-1 in their last eight games. Tampa Bay has struggled during that stretch and is 1-7 straight up. The Patriots have won 12 of their last 14 games.
The total for Sunday's game opened at 44.5. If the recent history between the two teams is any indication, the under may be the smart bet. The total has gone under in five of the last six meetings between New Engalnd and Tampa Bay. The total has also gone under in all four games the two teams have played this season.