Sneaky Super Bowl Prop: Have Faith in Tom Brady’s Legs

Sneaky Super Bowl Prop: Have Faith in Tom Brady’s Legs article feature image

That title is not a joke. I have identified a Super Bowl 52 prop involving Tom Brady’s rushing ability that actually holds value. Yes, I’m referring to the same Brady who ran a 5.27 40 yard dash at the 2000 NFL Scouting Combine.

 
Yes, the same Brady who has still not reached 1,000 yards on the ground … for his entire career. After you stop laughing, at least just hear me out.

The Prop: Tom Brady Longest Rush Over 2 yards +150

If you look at Brady’s official postseason rush stats, he has 94 carries for 134 yards. That’s good enough for a staggering 1.4 yards per carry, which hints at value on the under from an official average perspective. However, you must remove the instances when Brady takes a knee from that data set to get a true number. Remember, I am not focusing on total rushing yards, which knees would count toward.

In his playoff career, Brady has taken an incredible 40 knees for -46 yards. That means he actually has 54 postseason rushing attempts for 180 yards after adjusting for kneel downs. That equates to an average of 3.3 yards per carry, which actually implies a bit of value on the over 2 yards from a true adjusted average perspective.

His kneels effectively decrease his official playoff rushing average by 57%. I can point to the same effect with his 2017 or cumulative career regular season stats, as illustrated by the chart below.

Tom Brady

I can see two realistic ways this prop gets to the window. First, since the Eagles lead the NFL in quarterback pressure percentage this season, Brady won’t be able to just sit in the pocket. I can see him frequently needing to scramble out of trouble, potentially getting loose for 3-4 yards up the middle when the pocket collapses from the outside.

Second, Brady will always take advantage of a defense not being set (or of an open gap) in short-yardage situations with a QB sneak. Given Philly’s trouble with no-huddle offenses, I think New England will run a lot of hurry-up offense on Sunday. That means we could see a few surprise sneaks.

Yes, Tom Brady is getting up there in age. But don’t forget when he juked Urlacher out of his jock. Or when he gracefully galloped 15 yards in last year’s Super Bowl against Atlanta. Or when he caught a 36-yard pass in 2015 against the Eagles. He also should be more willing to take off in the last game of the season.

Look, I realize relying on a guy who ran a 5.28 40 at the combine 18 years ago to cash a rushing prop seems asinine. However, I think he finds a way to fall forward for 3 yards at least once. Therefore, while not a lock, the ‘Brady longest rush over 2 yards’ prop holds value, especially at +150.

If this prop doesn’t tickle your fancy, take your pick from our epic 52 props for Super Bowl 52 article. Our entire Action Network staff contributed their favorite props with analysis. Good luck on whatever you decide to wager Sunday (unless you bet Brady’s longest run under 2 yards).

Credit: Mark J. Rebilas – USA TODAY Sports