It’s the end of an era. Tom Brady, aka the GOAT, is no longer a member of the New England Patriots. It doesn’t look, sound or feel right, but yes, it really happened. Last week, Brady went to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
TB12 going to the Bucs reminds me a lot of Joe Montana on the Chiefs back in 1993-94. I know Montana was traded away, while Brady walked away on his own power, yet it just feels eerily similar. Montana ended up playing two seasons for the Chiefs before retiring, and I see Brady doing the same, after signing a 2-year deal with Tampa Bay.
Being a gambler, I wondered what oddsmakers thought about the move, with the big question being: How much is Brady worth toward the point spread?
Quick refresher, every NFL player is given a value toward the actual weekly point spread. QBs are the big dogs, and are worth the most points on a weekly, and season-long basis when it comes to the point spread. Not many non-quarterbacks are valued enough to affect a line. Not even stud WRs like Odell Beckham or big-time running backs move betting lines as much as you think they would. In fact, most positional players generally affect only the juice or the vig — a charge taken on bets by bookmakers.
Vik Chokshi (VC): How much more is Brady worth on a game-to-game basis for the Bucs than Winston?
Dave Mason (DM): We are looking at 2.5, 3 points at most.
PointsBet: On a specific game, a bit hard to quantify as it is relative to the matchup. That said, using last year’s Saints at Bucs matchup as a reference…
When the Bucs hosted the Saints on 11/17/19, Jameis Winston and Tampa Bay were getting 4.5 points. Assuming that Tom Brady was at QB in place of Winston, the line probably would have been at or just inside the key number of 3.
VC: How many total games is Brady worth to the Bucs over the entire season?
DM: Extrapolated over a full season, he is worth 1.5 more wins with him in the lineup versus without. We moved TB’s season from 7.5 to 9.
PB: Our season win totals have definitely moved following the last few days of NFL free agency. We moved the Bucs up from 7.5 wins to 9.5 wins and the Pats down from 10.5 to 8.5 wins.
Bucs odds to win Super Bowl LV also moved up while the Patriots fell. Bucs went from +2500 to +1600. Patriots moved from +1400 to +2000.
Dave and PB seemed to have slightly differing opinions regarding Brady’s game-by-game value, but overall, they were in the same ballpark.
Last year, when I spoke to a couple of oddsmakers for another piece, they informed me that Brady was worth 7 points towards the spread. Those days are now gone because of the obvious reasons: age, overall health and arm strength.
DM: Everyone’s thinking the same thing. Brady is 43 and going into a vertical passing offense. He is losing some zip, does he have the arm for that offense? We will see, but we feel good with our numbers.
Gambling aside, the Bucs will be must-see TV next season. Tampa Bay has a coach that knows how to win in Bruce Arians and exciting offensive weapons in WR duo Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Add in Brady’s leadership and championship pedigree, and look out.
Maybe I’m biased as a Brady fan, but I, for one, think the Bucs can make the playoffs if Brady and co. can stay healthy.
Everyone stay safe during these times and please let us have sports again Sports Gods.