Commentary: Betting Against Brady A Losing Proposition
Tom Brady doesn’t always win.
But if you bet against him, be prepared to lose.
Millions learned that lesson again Sunday night as the 43-year-old Brady and his Tampa Bay Buccaneers smothered the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 to win Super Bowl 55.
The championship was Brady’s seventh in 10 trips to The Big Game. The Bucs were +3 at kickoff and the cover lifted Brady to 5-5 ATS in the Super Bowl.
Those who have bet against Brady, however, are well below .500. In his pro career, Brady's teams are 58.4% ATS, going 201-135-8 in his 344 NFL starts. Moneyline bettors have done well, too. Brady is 230-69 in the regular season and 34-11 straight-up in the postseason. If you opted to wager $100 a week on Brady ATS throughout his NFL lifetime — using the industry standard for NFL betting at -110 line per spread wager — you’d be up $5,940.
Yet, the biggest bets made on and against Brady were made away from your favorite legal online or brick-and-mortar sports book.
Every NFL Team Has Bet Against Brady — And Lost
At one time or another, every team in the NFL has chosen to bet against Brady. And as of Sunday night, they all lost.
There were six quarterbacks chosen before Brady in the 2000 NFL draft. None ever reached the Super Bowl, never mind won seven. The best of the lot was Chad Pennington, whom the Jets chose with the No. 18 pick overall. Pennington played 89 regular-season games in his pro career and went 2-4 in the postseason. Brady was eventually selected by the Patriots with 199th pick.
Brady spent the next 20 seasons making 31 NFL franchises outside New England regret their decision to let him slide to the Patriots in the sixth round.
Throughout his career, Brady has found himself being cast as an underdog of sorts against the brand-name quarterbacks in the league. His first such rival was Peyton Manning. “Brady vs. Manning” was a marquee matchup in the NFL for more than a decade, even though it would be Eli Manning who twice denied Brady a championship ring. Manning’s Giants also ruined Brady’s lone shot at 19-0 perfection with an upset victory in Super Bowl XLII.
Saturday night, Peyton Manning became one of the 2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees. If you need another incredible historic marker to explain Brady’s long-term success, consider this: Steve Young, Dan Marino, John Elway, Joe Montana, Otto Graham and Manning were each elected into the Hall of Fame at age 43.
The Bucs and Brady are +900 secondary picks to win Super Bowl 56 at DraftKings. If Brady plays in that game, he will be 44.
NFL Fell Flat After Deflategate
The NFL tried its best to humble Brady during the infamous Deflategate scandal. After the AFC Championship Game following the 2014 season, the NFL accused Brady and the Patriots of playing with footballs that were underinflated. The mayhem cast a pall over New England’s 28-24 victory in Super Bowl XLIX two weeks later. The drama continued both in the front offices of the NFL and in federal court until April 2016. At that time, a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sacked Brady. It reversed a lower court ruling that found Commissioner Roger Goodell was unfair when he handed down a four-game suspension.
Brady began the 2016 season at home, literally. His four-game suspension banned him from being on Patriots’ property and communicating or practicing with his teammates. The Patriots went 3-1 in Brady’s absence. He returned in Week 5 and led the Patriots on a rampage, winning 14 of 15 and the AFC Championship. In Super Bowl LI, Brady and the Patriots trailed 28-3 with 2:12 to play in the third quarter. Again, Brady’s professional obituary was written and ready to be posted on hundreds of websites and a billion times on social media. Brady bettors knew better. They watched him lead his team to the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history and a 34-28 triumph in overtime over the Atlanta Falcons.
Brady shared the post-game stage with his legal nemesis, Goodell, and the Lombardi Trophy.
Somehow, that wasn’t enough. Brady and the Patriots returned to the Super Bowl the following season. Despite throwing for 505 yards and three touchdowns, Brady took the “L” as the Philly Special and a magical night from Nick Foles denied Brady his sixth ring.
Returning for his third straight Super Bowl the following February in Atlanta, Brady was not to be denied a second straight time. The Patriots won 13-3 in a game where Brady was flawless and steady after his first possession.
Patriots Make Most Costly Bet Of All
The most significant and costly bet against Brady came this past offseason. After seeing his professional relationship with head coach Bill Belichick decline for several years, Brady and the Patriots parted ways. The blame can be split any way that suits you between Brady, Belichick and team owner Robert Kraft.
The bottom line in New England remains clear: Brady is a Florida Man and The Patriot Way would never be the same.
The “Brady or Belichick” narrative hung over the 2020 season alongside a pandemic that changed the entire world of sport after the Bucs signed Brady in March, Tampa Bay quickly became an NFL bettors’ favorite, Brady drew Rob Gronkowski out of retirement and Gronkowski forced a trade of his rights by the Patriots, two years after New England tried to trade the 6-foot-6 tight end to the Detroit Lions. Brady and the Bucs added Antonio Brown — another Patriots’ castoff — to the roster.
Brady changed the culture inside the Bucs locker room and transformed the team on the field. The Patriots would stumble to a 7-9 finish, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2002 and finishing below .500 for the first time since 2000. It soon would become clear that Brady had emerged victorious in his “divorce” from Belichick.
After a Week 12 loss to the Chiefs, Brady and the Bucs ran the table to the second Super Bowl victory in Tampa Bay history. Tampa Bay won three road playoff games before becoming the first team to host and win a Super Bowl at home.
Brady beat Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes in consecutive postseason games to clinch that seventh Super Bowl ring.
Naturally, he was an underdog in all three.