After 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, Tom Brady's legendary career will continue with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and his decision in free agency is causing tons of NFL futures odds movement.
FanDuel had NFL futures odds on Brady's new team Tuesday, and at 11 a.m. ET, they listed the Bucs (-195) as the prohibitive favorites. The Los Angeles Chargers (+130) and Miami Dolphins (+750) followed.
Our friends at DraftKings provided us additional, specific insight over the past two days. Tuesday's highest amount of bets and handle were NFL futures wagers on the Buccaneers to win the Super Bowl.
Now, that certainly has something to do with the Bucs-Brady buzz. But get this: the second-most bets were for the Pats' AFC East rival, the Buffalo Bills, to win the division. The Nos. 4 and 5 props that saw most action were the Bucs to win the NFC and their South division.
On Wednesday morning, DK provided the following update:
So yes, Brady moves the needle a little bit. Let's take a closer look at each team who the odds favor to land his services, and the potential fit for each. Check back here as odds are updated and it becomes clearer which destination the quarterback GOAT will choose.
From a pure personnel standpoint, Tampa Bay makes a whole lot of sense. Alas, it doesn't feel like an ideal scheme fit for Brady. Head coach Bruce Arians loves dialing up downfield throws, and frequently gets his quarterback punished.
Brady is used to a precision-based, short passing game with an emphasis on ball security and execution. It's far from the grip-and-rip aerial assault Arians tries to inflict on the opposition.
The Bucs do have the weapons to make that system work, with one of the NFL's premier wide receiver duos in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. But again, Arians and Brady don't mesh on a schematic level, so it'd take some serious adjusting from either man to make the marriage work.
Arians has never adjusted. Jameis Winston threw 30 interceptions last year. No change — just keep chucking it. Andrew Luck got annihilated behind a horrendous Colts offensive line as a rookie under Arians' watch. No change then, either.
To play devil's advocate: Maybe Brady wants to stick it to everyone who thinks he's an overrated, "system QB." Perhaps he wants to prove, even in his age-43 season, he can air it out deep and defy father time.
Sounds more like a dance with the devil, considering the Bucs finished 22nd in Football Outsiders' pass protection rankings last season. Winston took 47 sacks, which was only one off the most in the league.
Brady took 27, yet had a career-high 46 throwaways to avoid more sacks. After Winston's penchant for interceptions, Arians will probably welcome a little more measured decision-making from Tom Terrific.
Another surprise when looking through the data, though: Winston averaged 7.1 air yards per pass attempt last season. Brady wasn't far behind at 6.8. Despite enduring a down 2019 campaign with a cast of no-name weapons, Brady still pushed the ball down the field more often than it'd seem.
If Arians and Brady can get on the same page, improve protection up front through the draft and free agency and establish Ronald Jones as a legitimate rushing threat, these 2020 Bucs could be downright scary.
Betting action suggests Tampa Bay is a playoff team at the very least with Brady entering the fold — and possibly even a Super Bowl contender.
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