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Pats below .500 after 5 games; 1st time since ’02

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots‘ offense sputtered in a surprising 18-12 loss to the Denver Broncos at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, putting the franchise in an unfamiliar spot.

The Patriots (2-3) haven’t been under .500 through the fifth game or later since they were 3-4 in 2002. That was the last season the Patriots did not win 10-plus games.

The Buffalo Bills, who host the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday, lead the AFC East with a 4-1 record.

The Patriots had hardly practiced over the last two weeks, as their facility was shut down multiple times because of COVID-19. The lone full-pads practice had been Thursday, which was the first day quarterback Cam Newton returned after testing positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 2.

Sunday’s Patriots-Broncos game had originally been scheduled for Week 5, but was postponed after starting defensive tackle Byron Cowart had tested positive for COVID-19 two days before kickoff.

The Patriots then closed their facility for three days before opening up for conditioning work last Wednesday. They then held their lone practice Thursday before abruptly canceling their Friday practice after reserve offensive lineman James Ferentz tested positive for COVID-19.

The Patriots currently have five players on the reserve COVID-19 list: Cowart, Ferentz, running back Sony Michel, starting right guard Shaq Mason and reserve defensive end Derek Rivers.

Then during Sunday’s loss to the Broncos, they lost starting right tackle Jermaine Eluemunor (ankle) and reserve defensive tackle Adam Butler (elbow) to injuries in the first half.

After falling behind 18-3, they made a charge in the fourth quarter but it was too late.

The game marked the first time the Patriots didn’t score a first-half touchdown at home since Week 4 of the 2016 season — a 16-0 loss to Buffalo in a game Jacoby Brissett started with Tom Brady serving a four-game NFL suspension.

Sunday’s loss also marked the first time that a Belichick-coached Patriots team didn’t win when not allowing a touchdown. Including the playoffs, they had been 39-0 in those games.

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Sports

Fury plans Dec. 5 fight in London; Wilder unlikely

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LONDON — WBC world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury said Saturday that he plans to fight in London on Dec. 5, but his opponent is unknown.

“I’d just like to announce I’m definitely fighting December the 5th in London. Opponent to be announced very, very soon,” Fury said in a video message posted on his social media accounts. “Just working on some opponents. Let you all know who it’s going to be shortly.” Fury and his co-promoter Frank Warren recently expressed doubt that a third fight with American Deontay Wilder would happen in 2020.

Fury claimed the WBC belt off Wilder with a seventh-round stoppage in February, after their draw in 2018.

A fight between undefeated Michael Conlan and former WBO junior featherweight champion Isaac Dogboe has been agreed upon for Dec. 5 at Royal Albert Hall in London. That fight is expected to be part of the Fury card, sources told ESPN’s Steve Kim.

The 32-year-old Fury announced in June that he had agreed to a two-fight deal with Anthony Joshua. The sides said that the first bout could take place sometime in 2021 in what would be an all-British showdown between the current holders of the heavyweight belts.

Joshua is scheduled to fight Kubrat Pulev on Dec. 12 at the O2 Arena in London. The fight was postponed from June because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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Follow live: Ohio State opens Big Ten season vs. Nebraska

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first Quarter NEB OSU

TD

13:09

A. Martinez run for 10 yds for a TD, (C. Culp KICK)

4 plays, 75 yards, 1:51

7 0

TD

8:04

M. Teague III run for 1 yd for a TD, (B. Haubeil KICK)

11 plays, 75 yards, 5:05

7 7

TD

4:02

J. Fields pass,to G. Wilson for 42 yds for a TD, (B. Haubeil KICK)

6 plays, 76 yards, 2:18

7 14 second Quarter NEB OSU

TD

8:24

D. Mills run for 3 yds for a TD, (C. Culp KICK)

11 plays, 78 yards, 5:17

14 14

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Bettor wagers $8.6K to win $8.60 on Clemson

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No. 1 Clemson is expected to get past struggling Syracuse on Saturday rather handily, according to the betting odds.

The Tigers are favored by 46 points over the Orange, who suffered a 38-21 loss at home to Liberty last week, dropping them to 1-4. Clemson, on the other hand, is rolling at 5-0 and coming off a 73-7 beatdown of Georgia Tech. The Tigers are outscoring their opponents by an average of 36.6 points per game.

The odds on Clemson beating Syracuse straight up are so ridiculous that most sportsbooks aren’t offering a money-line price on the game. FanDuel, however, is, and has the Tigers listed at -100,000 to win outright, while Syracuse is +4,000 (40-1) to pull off the upset.

That’s right. If you want to bet on Clemson to beat Syracuse, you’d need to put up $1,000 to win $1 at FanDuel, one of the only U.S. sportsbooks to offer a money-line price on the seemingly lopsided matchup.

And someone did.

According to FanDuel, a bettor placed an $8,600 money-line bet on Clemson at -100,000 odds. If the Tigers prevail, the bettor will add $8.60 to his bankroll.

The largest bet on Syracuse was $50 at 40-1. As of Friday afternoon, there had been three times as many money-line bets on the Orange as there were on Clemson, but the Tigers had attracted 92% of the money, thanks primarily to the $8,600 wager.

“Obviously, the probability of Clemson winning the game is huge, but people want to have a bet on what would be one of the greatest upsets in college football,” John Sheeran, FanDuel’s sportsbook director, told ESPN.

The point spread, at Clemson -46, is the largest line on an ACC game since Florida State was a 48-point favorite over Wake Forest in 2000. The money-line price is among the largest ever posted by a U.S. sportsbook as well.

Even the sportsbook at South Point casino and hotel in Las Vegas, which has been known to put up money-line prices on big college football favorites in the past, chose to hold off on the Syracuse-Clemson game.

“This one’s just too big,” South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews said.

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