Buccaneers vs. Patriots: Inside Details of the 7-Point Spread With an Oddsmaker
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images. Pictured: Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski
What does Las Vegas know?
It’s an oft-used line when something looks off in the betting market. When something seems too good to be true.
It’s only Thursday, but bettors across the nation have used it plenty when referring to Tom Brady returning this week to Foxboro for the first time since leaving the New England Patriots.
The game opened this week with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as 5.5 point favorites and pushed up to 7.
That being said, PointsBet director of trading Jay Croucher says 93 percent of the money is still coming in on the Buccaneers.
So, as the masses often ask, why doesn’t it go up higher? Don’t the books want to balance out the money, so as to minimize their risk?
The truth is, that’s not what happens. Bookmakers take risks as much as bettors.
To understand it a little more, we did a deep dive with Croucher.
“We don’t care about 50-50,” Croucher told The Action Network. “All we want to do is get the number right and then from there we live with the consequences. We will have large imbalances all the time — often on favorites, often on Patrick Mahomes and on Brady.”
Croucher says that the game, which will be played Sunday night, “is just the perfect recipe for the public to line up on one side.”
“You’ve got the road team, who is the favorite — the elite team, the Super Bowl champion with the explosive offense,” Croucher said. “It’s so easy to talk yourself into Tampa Bay scoring heavily. On the other side you’ve got New England, who is a mid-tier team and (its) problem is explosive scoring.”
Croucher said that he believes New England has a better defense than they are getting credit for and their offense is probably better too, as Mac Jones gets more reps. And why would the public discount Bill Belichick getting his revenge?
“I think it’s because Bill Belichick isn’t on the field playing QB for the New England Patriots,” Croucher said.
For what it’s worth, rookie quarterbacks are 0-7 this year against the spread in games they aren’t facing each other.
While Croucher says he doesn’t care about the weight of the public money, he is keeping a keen eye on the sharps, who move quickly and come with bags of cash — especially when it involves moving around key numbers like seven.
“We know people are going to bet on Tampa Bay, but how far can we depart from what we think the actual number is and what can we get away with?” Croucher said. “If you move to 7.5, we expect that the sharps would hammer that number and they’re already getting involved at 7.”