Tom Brady is making his way to Tampa Bay, and the betting marketplace made its moves even before the blockbuster signing is official.
After announcing Tuesday on social media that he was parting ways with the Patriots, the 42-year-old future Hall of Famer is expected to sign with the Buccaneers, who finished 7-9 last year in head coach Bruce Arians’ first season at the helm. The stunning news had immediate ramifications on the betting market.
Update: The contract is signed, Brady announced Friday on Instagram.
Those paying attention to the immense volatility in the stock market saw a similarly wild display with the Buccaneers’ futures odds early this week, as it became increasingly clear that TB12 would be taking his talents to Tampa.
At the beginning of the week, the Bucs could be found as high as 50/1 to win Super Bowl 55 and 20/1 to win the NFC. But by Tuesday afternoon, the team had been adjusted down to 14/1 at both the Westgate SuperBook and Circa Sports in Las Vegas. Circa increased Tampa Bay’s regular-season win total to 9.5 after opening it at 8.5 (OVER +110) on Sunday, oddsmaker Chris Bennett said in a text message to BetChicago.
Not all moves were as drastic, but bettors have now seen many sportsbooks cut their Bucs futures odds in half. As of Wednesday morning, Caesars is offering Tampa Bay at 22/1 to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. East Coast-based FanDuel is hanging 18/1, while DraftKings is at 20/1. The Bucs are a consensus 10/1 to win the NFC.
Most shops were pricing the Bucs at 6/1 odds to win the NFC South at the beginning of the week, projecting another third-place finish behind the Saints and Falcons. One offshore book was offering them at +775 as late as Monday afternoon. But Brady’s bombshell news Tuesday saw DraftKings move Tampa Bay down to +170 to win the division, now second behind New Orleans (-110) and ahead of Atlanta (6/1) and Carolina (14/1). DraftKings also adjusted the Bucs’ regular-season win total to 9 (-110 each way).
When asked if any bettors got down on Bucs futures before he adjusted his numbers, U.S. Bookmaking oddsmaker Robert Walker responded in a text, “Not really. We moved a little on the rumors. Just in case.”
While Brady’s impending move has resulted in a bullish market on Tampa Bay, it remains to be seen how the 20-year veteran will fit in with Arians’ offensive scheme that calls for a quarterback with a strong arm willing to stay in the pocket and risk taking a few extra licks. Brady has historically been more of a quick passer, so it will be interesting to see how he adapts to his new coach’s system. Nonetheless, he should be excited to work with a talented group of wide receivers led by perennial 1,000-yard stud Mike Evans and fourth-year man Chris Godwin, who was Pro Football Focus’ No. 1 WR last season.
The Patriots, now Brady’s former team, have seen their Super Bowl odds lengthen from 14/1 to a consensus 30/1.