Bill Speros for Bookies.com

By Bill Speros | | 11 mins

NFL Week 4 Betting Recap: Patriots-Buccaneers Sets Money Record

NFL Week 4 Betting Recap: Patriots-Buccaneers Sets Money Record
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Tom Brady won his homecoming Sunday night against Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots in what turned out to be the most-bet regular-season NFL game in the history of DraftKings. The total overall money wagered on the game trailed just Super Bowl 55 and the AFC title game from last January in terms of all-time handles at the book.

Brady and the defending champion Bucs failed to cover the NFL betting line for the third time in four games while scoring the 19-17 outright victory. The spread favored Tampa Bay between 5.5 and 7.5 points before settling at 7 or 6.5 at kickoff, depending on the book.


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Either way, the Patriots and rookie QB Mac Jones scored the easy cover. The spread and moneyline liability for several betting sites and betting apps rested both ways heavily on Tampa Bay.

Tampa Bay briefly jumped to +105 on the ML once the Patriots took the lead 17-16 with 3:24 to play in the game.

Bucs-Patriots Sentiment

The numbers tell the overall story at sportsbooks. Here’s a look at the Patriots-Bucs sentiment with the sportsbook, closing line, and the percentage of public handle on various wagers:

SiteLine TB Handle %NE Handle %TB MLHandle % NE ML Handle % Total Over % Under %
FanDuel -783 17-30089+2401149 4456
WynnBet -784 16-32079+26021496931
DraftKings-795 5-29095+2305506734

While the books scored big on Tampa Bay’s cover, the Bucs outright win was a critical play in many parlays. Those losses also absorbed some of the money won off Belichick’s stalwart defense and the monsoon-like rains in Foxboro.

‘Little Tom’ Stands Tall

NFL Week 4 Betting Recap: Patriots-Buccaneers Sets Money Record 1

In the head-to-head battle between 23-year-old rookie QB Mac Jones (4 career TD passes) and Brady (591 career TD passes), Jones got the better of the GOAT in terms of in-game props. Jones took a beating all night but hung in, was never rattled, and drove the Patriots into a 56-yard field goal opportunity in the game’s final minute. Nick Folk’s kick doinked off the right upright, sealing the Patriots’ fate.

During the matchup, and if you blinked you missed it, Brady – who did not throw a TD in the game – broke Drew Brees’ all-time NFL passing yards record. Brady now has 80,560 yards passing in his career. Brees had 80,358. Before the season, DraftKings had Brady at +250 to reach the milestone in Week 4. Brady also became just the fourth quarterback to defeat all 32 NFL teams.

Public Takes Another “L”

Even before the Patriots-Bucs game kicked off Sunday night, the betting public was locked into another losing week as the favorites continued their struggles of 2012. Overall, betting favorites are 7-8 against NFL spreads thus far in Week 4 and are 25-38 on the season.

”Overall, a very good day,” Thomas Gable of the the Borgata AC told Bookies.com Sunday evening. “A lot of liability in parlays and teasers has been built up on Tampa tonight, but despite having 83% of the tickets written on Tampa, we have more money on New England. Best case scenario for us would be Tampa winning but failing to cover. Tonight’s game won’t determine the day for us. We are in good shape heading into the game tonight.”

A spokesman for WynnBET echoed similar sentiments in terms of how the overall week stood before the Brady-Belichick reunion.


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Dollars & Sense: Week 4 Betting Insight

NFL Week 4 Betting Recap: Patriots-Buccaneers Sets Money Record 2
  • RAISING ARIZONA: Sports betting in Arizona may not always be this easy. But bettors are enjoying the ride. The Cardinals rolled into SoFi Stadium +3.5-point and +140 ML underdogs before routing the host Rams 37-20. The Cards are 4-0 outright and 3-1 ATS this season. Kyler Murray is now the betting favorite to win NFL MVP honors, fetching +450 at DraftKings. He was +750 after Week 3.
  • HOW ABOUT THEM COWBOYS?: Dallas is the lone undefeated team ATS this season, raising its mark to 4-0 ATS and 3-1 outright with a 36-28 home victory over previously unbeaten (and 3-0 ATS) Carolina. The Cowboys were -4.5-point favorites at home. Six teams are now 3-1 ATS: Green Bay, Cleveland, Denver, Buffalo, Carolina, and Arizona. The Broncos lost 23-7 to Baltimore (+0.5) in Denver, losing QB Teddy Bridgewater to a concussion.
  • SPREAD THICK: The Bills gave bettors a lesson in how NFL betting has matured in 2021. Buffalo closed at a stratospheric -19 against the hapless Texans and -1600 on the ML. Giving up 19 points in an NFL game was once considered blasphemous. But the Bills – a Super Bowl contender - proved worthy and toyed with the Texans, who may well finish 1-16. When you see lopsided lines in lopsided matchups, don’t be wary if you feel strongly about the better teams. These disparities will only grow as the season progresses.

Rookies Bounce Back

Five rookie quarterbacks started in Week 4. Four of the five covered and two won outright. Justin Fields of the Bears and Zach Wilson of the Jets got their inaugural NFL wins. Mac Jones of the Patriots and Trevor Lawrence of the Jaguars scored backdoor covers in tight losses. Davis Mills and the Texans were annihilated 40-0 by the Bills (-16.5). Trey Lance came in for the injured-what-else-is-new Jimmy Garoppolo but failed to rally San Francisco (-2.5) past Seattle in a 28-21 loss.

Here’s our Week 4 rookie breakdown:

TeamQB C/AttYPass TD INT Spread Final
JAXT. Lawrence17/2420400JAX +724-21, CIN
NEMac Jones31/4027521NE -719-17, TB
NYJZach Wilson21/3429721NYJ +727-24 (OT), NYJ
CHIJustin Fields11/1720901CHI -324-14, CHI
SFTrey Lance9/1815720SF -2.528-21, SEA
HOUDavis Mills11/218704HOU +16.540-0, BUF

According to ESPN, Mills' 0.8 QBR (total quarterback rating) was the worst performance in the NFL in the past three seasons. The Jaguars have now lost 19 straight games, including four starts by Lawrence since taking him with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft.

Mills became the sixth rookie QB to play in 2021 after Texans QB Tyrod Taylor was hurt in Week 2. Fields was pressed into service for the Bears after Andy Dalton suffered a knee injury.


Big Day In The Big Apple

NFL Week 4 Betting Recap: Patriots-Buccaneers Sets Money Record 3

”Do you believe in miracles? Yes!”

Before Al Michaels called the Patriots-Bucs game on NBC, his infamous close to the 1980 USA Olympic hockey win over the Soviet Union echoed across the Tri-State area Sunday afternoon as the Jets and Giants both emerged victorious, scoring their first outright wins of 2021.

Adding to the elevated blood pressure, the teams won in overtime on the same day for the first time ever. The Jets (-6, +210) beat the Tennessee Titans 27-24 at MetLife Stadium. The Giants (+7, +260) erased an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter to upset the Saints in New Orleans 27-21.

The public rode hard with favorites in both games, giving the books substantial victories given the amount of action in the handle-heavy environs of New Jersey.

At DraftKings, 94% of the spread handle and 95% of the moneyline handle swung with the Titans. The numbers were similar at FanDuel and WynnBET. The figures were a bit tighter for the Giants-Saints matchup. The variance had 80% of the spread handle and 82.7% of the moneyline liability on the Saints.

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Major Week 4 Wagers

There were Big Bets aplenty in Week 4. Here are some notable wins and losses listed by wager and odds :

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Plays Of The Day

One bettor at FanDuel is riding a pair of 11-leg parlays. He can’t lose Monday night.

Another FanDuel bettor turned $5 into $2,122.66 thanks to the 5-leg parlay above.


Monday Night Preview: Las Vegas Raiders at L.A. Chargers

The LA Chargers are holding as 3-point favorites over the unbeaten Las Vegas Raiders, according to the latest NFL odds. The total sits at 51 after opening at 52.5. Most books are seeing their liabilities rest with the visiting Raiders.

At DraftKings, the Raiders carry 71% of the spread handle and 71% of the moneyline backing at +155. The most-bet props at BetMGM include: Raiders TE Darren Waller to score the first TD (+1000); Waller anytime TD (+140); and Chargers RB Austin Ekeler getting 7+ receptions (+210.).

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(All odds and handle information is accurate as of time of publication.)

About the Author

Bill Speros for Bookies.com
Bill Speros
Bill Speros is an award-winning journalist and editor whose career includes stops at USA Today Sports Network / Golfweek, Cox Media, ESPN, Orlando Sentinel and Denver Post.