NFL odds: Are the prop bets at Bet MGM for Tom Brady's first Bucs season a little too ambitious?

Frank Schwab
·3 min read

If you’ve spent the past couple decades hoping for Tom Brady to fail, you might have a chance to make money on it this year.

Brady’s move from the New England Patriots to Tampa Bay Buccaneers has brought a level of optimism that didn’t exist for Brady at the end of last season. Brady’s numbers declined last season, and the Patriots offense couldn’t move the ball in a wild-card playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans. Most of the chatter about Brady was that he could be near the end. For some reason that narrative flipped once the offseason started and he became a free agent.

The thought that Brady could have a big year in Tampa Bay, as a 43-year-old in a new offense, is reflected in some of BetMGM’s prop bets.

Tom Brady’s passing yardage projection is high

The most notable prop bet offered on Brady is his over/under for passing yards over the season. It is set at 4,224.5.

That’s a lot. Only five quarterbacks reached that mark last season: Jameis Winston, Dak Prescott, Jared Goff, Philip Rivers and Matt Ryan. Brady had 4,057 yards last season.

Brady routinely passed that mark with the Patriots before last year’s campaign. From 2011-18 he failed to reach 4,224 yards just twice, and once was when he played just 12 games. His per-game pace would have easily put him past 4,224 had he played all season.

Brady’s age complicates everything. No matter Brady’s greatness, he’s unlikely to be better at age 43 than he was at 42. To bet the over is a vote of confidence in his Buccaneers receivers — who are much better — the offensive scheme of Bruce Arians and his ability to stay healthy for 16 games. Of the quarterbacks BetMGM has posted a season yardage prop, only Patrick Mahomes, Prescott, Goff and Ryan have higher over/under numbers. Brady needs to have a top-five season at an age in which no NFL quarterback has ever succeeded.

Another optimistic prop: Brady has the fourth-best odds to win NFL MVP, at 14-to-1. Mahomes, Russell Wilson and Lamar Jackson are the only players with better odds.

Is Tom Brady set up for a big season in Tampa Bay? (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Is Tom Brady set up for a big season in Tampa Bay? (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Buccaneers win total is high as well

The Buccaneers and Brady will need a big season to hit the over/under for wins. The number has moved up to 10. They’d need to go 11-5 to cash the over; 10-6 would be a push. The Buccaneers have played 44 seasons. They have reached 11 wins just three times.

But the Buccaneers have never had Brady or Rob Gronkowski before. The excitement is reflected in the Super Bowl odds. The Buccaneers have the fourth-best odds to win it all, behind only the Kansas City Chiefs, San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens. They’re 11-to-1 to win it all. The Buccaneers moved from 60-to-1 to 16-to-1 at BetMGM when Brady signed in mid-March, and they’ve dropped more since then.

There doesn’t seem to be much value on the Buccaneers with any prop bet. The hype of Brady and Gronk joining players like Chris Godwin and Mike Evans is fun. It’s the biggest story of the 2020 NFL offseason. BetMGM understands that more bettors are likely to jump on that bandwagon.

So if you’ve hated Brady all these years, now might be the chance to cash in on it.

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