The 2017 New England Patriots are the overwhelming favorites across Las Vegas to repeat as Super Bowl champions, but are they better in bookmakers' eyes than the 2007 team?
ESPN spoke with seven Vegas bookmakers and asked them to make a line in a hypothetical matchup between the two teams. Six of the seven had the '07 team favored, with lines ranging from "a small favorite" (William Hill US) to 11 points (Frank Kunovic at Caesars).
"They were a 13-point favorite against the New York Giants in the Super Bowl and were laying double digits in essentially every game," Kunovic told ESPN. "They would have to be doubles again. That 2007 team had one of the best offenses in NFL history."
Aaron Kessler, the oddsmaker at the Golden Nugget, liked the '07 Patriots as a 5.5-point favorite.
"We don't know what [the 2017 team] is yet, and Randy Moss was the best WR this side of Jerry Rice," Kessler said of the '07 team.
"I would say 2007 Patriots -3.5," Jason Simbal, vice president of risk management at CG Technology, told ESPN. "It's hard to really determine because we know the 2007 version was 18-1, [but] we have no actual results for this year's team. The 2007 version had a top-five defense, so I would give them the nod."
The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, who has listed this year's team as +275 to win the Super Bowl, was the one sportsbook that said it would favor the 2017 team (by 3.5 points).
"We've never had a win total of 12.5," said Jeff Sherman, oddsmaker at Westgate. "The NFL game has advanced in the last 10 years to the point where this 2017 Patriots team would have the highest power rating vs. any previous team."
Since the 2003 season, there have been five NFL games with point spreads of 20 or higher, according sports-betting archive BetLabSports.com on SportsInsights. The 2007 Patriots were responsible for three of them. The Patriots were favored by double digits 11 of 16 regular-season games, including three times by more than 20 points (-22 vs. Dolphins; -20.5 vs. Jets; -24 vs. Philly).
The team went 10-6 ATS in the regular season, and the lowest spread was -3.5 vs. San Diego in Week 2.
Simbal was among several bookmakers who noted that the '07 Patriots were their highest-rated team ever. "The 2007 team was complete," Johnny Avello, head oddsmaker at the Wynn, told ESPN. "This team is hoping to be. [I'd make it] '07 Pats -7."