By Bill Speros | | 9 mins
Most Bet On Week 4 NFL Games: Public Backs Brady Against Pats
The NFL betting public backs the GOAT.
Tampa Bay QB Tom Brady returns to Foxboro to face the New England Patriots on Sunday night. Brady played in New England for 20 seasons before signing with the Bucs in 2020, winning six Super Bowls with the Patriots. While ticket prices for the game have softened, the betting inflow has been significant, but has yet to approach an expected weekend peak.
“The money is flying in toward Tom Brady and Company,” said Alan Berg, Senior Trading Manager at WynnBET Sportsbook. “It’s pretty impressive how already the line has shifted. You’re talking about 5½ to a full 7. There’s just not a lot of support for the Patriots. They don’t have the talent level that the Bucs possess. Tom Brady is the type of guy who is going to be so motivated playing his former coach. The public is really invested in this game and definitely interested in it."
This game will be the most-bet of the season in terms of handle thus far, said DraftKings Director of Race And Sportsbooks Operation Johnny Avello.
“We’ve seen some great Sunday games this season. This game will be the most bet, but only by a matter of percentage, maybe 10 or 20, not by a matter of double or triple. It won’t be approaching Super Bowl numbers,” Avello said. “That’s very difficult to do.”
Adds Berg: “I think it’s going to be one of the biggest handle games I’ve seen for a regular season game.”
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’Perfect Recipe For One-Way Action’
There are storylines aplenty: Brady vs. the Patriots, Brady vs. Belichick, Brady vs. the All-Time NFL Passing Record, Mac Jones vs. the Bucs Defense, Patriots fans vs. Patriots fans, etc.
Brady and the Bucs won Super Bowl 55 and their first two games this season before losing 34-24 to the Rams in Week 3. The Patriots finished under .500 in 2020 in their first season after Brady’s departure. New England is 1-2 after a miserable performance and 28-13 loss to the New Orleans at Gillette Stadium last week.
"Bucs-Pats has the perfect recipe for one-way action - a star-studded, elite team with an explosive offense against a mid-tier team whose weakness is its ability to score heavily. The line quickly rocketed up to a touchdown but has finally met some resistance, with bettors buying back in on the Patriots +7. It's difficult to see the line climbing much higher, given Tampa's suspect defense and the respect that Bill Belichick still gets, particularly at home,” said PointsBet Director of Trading Jay Croucher.
As of Thursday, the Bucs were hauling in 95.2% of the spread handle at WynnBET Sportsbook and 97% at DraftKings with the line set at Tampa Bay -7 and -6.5, respectively, at each book. Avello said he expects the line to edge up to -7 at DK, as well. Some buy back on the Patriots could occur if the line moves to -7.5 by “sophisticated bettors” looking for value, he said.
It is clear the nation’s books will need the Patriots to cover by the time this game kicks off at 8:20 p.m. ET Sunday.
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Betting On Brady’s Record-Breaking Pass
Brady needs just 68 yards to break the NFL passing record, which is 80,358 yards held by Drew Brees. Bettors could get +250 before the season that Brady would break the record this week. The site has several prop bets available on the potential milestone play. Rob Gronkowski was originally +400 to make the historic grab, but has moved up to the favorite at +300.
Berg said WynnBET will be posting Brady-based props later in the week.
Then’s there’s the quandary facing Patriots fans who wager on this game.
“Are they actually going to bet on the Patriots. Does their loyalty land with Tom Brady and Gronk? Or does it land with the Patriot team?” Avello asked.
That remains the big unanswered question.
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The four NFC West teams – who compete in NFL’s toughest and most competitive division - face division opponents for the first time this week. In the upper-tier showdown, the two undefeated teams meet at SoFi Stadium when the 3-0 Rams play host to the 3-0 Cardinals. Both teams are 2-1 ATS.
Arizona sports betting fans are getting 4.5 points on their home team. The public is nearly split evenly. Overall, 54% of the spread handle on this game is backing the underdog, according to our analysis of the action at Caesars, BetMGM, bet365, Resorts, DraftKings, PointsBet, SugarHouse and 888.
In the other NFC West clash, the 49ers (2-1) play host to the Seahawks (1-2). Both teams lost last week and failed to cover. Sharps thus far are skittish when it comes to the Niners. At DraftKings, 86% of the spread (+3) and moneyline (+130) handle backs the Seahawks. San Francisco lost 30-28 to Green Bay in Week 3 after Aaron Rodgers marched the Packers downfield to set up the game-winning kick in the game’s final 37 seconds. The books took a beating on that outcome, with more than 80% of the overall consensus spread handle riding with the winners.
The legalization of sports betting in Arizona has led to an increase in handle this season on Cardinals games. Avello said: “Arizona has been phenomenal.” But it’s had no impact on the betting lines themselves.
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Dogs Continue To Run Wild
The underdogs continue to bite in 2021, and betting sites have been rewarded accordingly. Chalk betters finally gained some ground last week. But favorites are batting just .375 ATS (18-30) after 48 games. That average might win you the MVP in the National League this season. It will also decimate your bank account.
Both Avello and Berg said this trend is nothing out of the ordinary and added that the math eventually evens itself out. The lack of many key players getting significant playing time in the preseason had an impact on several teams early, Avello added.
The Week 4 NFL odds board features the biggest line of the season thus far, Buffalo -16 at home against Houston. Before you get too scared to the back the Bills, 12 of the 48 games played thus far in 2021 (25%) have been decided by 17 or more points.
Several games have kept fans and moneyline bettors riveted. This season, 11 games have been decided in the final minute of the fourth quarter or in OT. And the NFL has had at least one OT game each week thus far in 2021.
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Public Plays – Week 3
Biggest Spread Liabilities
|KC at PHI||KC||-7||98%|
|TB at NE||TB||-7||97%|
|PIT at GB||GB||-6.5||94%|
|TEN at NYJ||TEN||-7||88%|
|DET at CHI||DET||+3||87%|
|SEA at SF||SEA||+3||86%|
Major Week 3 Line Movements
Chiefs at Eagles
Opening Line: Chiefs -5.5
Current Line: Chiefs -7
The Buzz: The line opened at KC -5.5, but the Eagles got pummeled Monday night at Dallas. The leak peaked at KC -7.5 before sliding back a half-point. The Chiefs are carrying 70% of the spread handle, according to our consensus analysis. But KC bettors be wary. Patrick Mahomes II is 31-24-1 overall ATS, the Chiefs have covered just once in their past 14 games.
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Panthers at Cowboys
Opening Line: Cowboys -4
Current Line: Cowboys -4.5
The Buzz: The Panthers are one of two teams in the NFL, the Broncos being the other, who are 3-0 straight up and ATS. Carolina hasn’t played since last Thursday but may still be without RB Christain McCaffrey this week. His injury pushed the line up to 5, and Dallas’ rout of Philly Monday night helped support it at -4.5.
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Texans at Bills
Opening Line: Bills -17.5
Current Line: Bills -16
The Buzz: The depleted Texans are using rookie Davis Mills at QB, who failed to deliver in his first start against the Panthers in Week 3. The question here is simply how many points do the Bills want to score. They’ve already shut out the Dolphins on the road this season so a shutout at home is entirely reasonable. Still, 17.5 points is a humongous line. The early money rode with the Texans, bringing it down 1.5 points. It may move further south before kickoff.
Cardinals at Rams
Opening Line: Rams -6 / Total 53.5
Current Line: Rams -4 / Total 55
The Buzz: The public was impressed with the Rams win over Tampa Bay, but not enough to back LA at -6 against the Cardinals. Still, the Rams are getting 57% of the spread handle at DraftKings. The total has edged up with the over getting 90% of the public’s money at the same site.
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