Patriots 2022 Betting Odds: How Betting Perception of New England Changed Without Tom Brady
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images. Pictured: Bill Belichick.
It’s truly amazing how much one person can change the perception of a single company or organization.
Take Elon Musk away from Tesla, remove Warren Buffett from Berkshire Hathaway, take Walt Disney away from Disney — the perception and execution of that company gets put into question immediately.
So, when Tom Brady decided to up and leave New England for Tampa Bay in 2020, why did we expect anything different?
The Talent Conversation
When analyzing the Patriots’ results over the last two seasons without Brady, I believe there are two separate conversations: actual roster talent and the perception of the team/organization from the betting markets.
When Brett Favre moved from the Packers to the Jets in 2008, Green Bay was coming off a 13-3 season, similar to the Patriots 12-4 campaign in 2019.
Favre threw 28 TDs and 15 interceptions in 2008, Brady threw 24 TD and nine interceptions in 2019. The small difference? The Packers already had Aaron Rodgers in waiting, while the Patriots went to Cam Newton before drafting Mac Jones.
Like I said, one major factor here is actual roster talent. Two years after losing Brady, the Patriots have regressed:
- Their win total of 8.5 this season is their lowest for the franchise since 2003.
- As of now, the Patriots are +475 to win the AFC East, their longest odds to win the division since 2001 — Tom Brady’s rookie season.
When it comes to roster construction, there are positives and negatives.
According to Action Network NFL Analyst Brandon Anderson, they still own the ninth-best offensive line and believe it or not, the Patriots have ranked in the top 10 in Football Outsiders’ run blocking metric for an absurd 15 straight seasons.
But overall, it’s not as pretty. PFF and ESPN ranked the most talented rosters for all 32 teams. The Patriots ended up ranked 18th, which was the 10th overall best roster in the AFC.
The Betting Markets
Entering the 2022 season, how are bettors projecting the Patriots?
At both BetMGM and PointsBet, New England represents about 1% of the total bets, which is ranked between 22nd and 23rd overall of all 32 teams.
From a division perspective, the betting markets match the odds. They are receiving 11.4% of bets at BetMGM, fewest of all four AFC East teams and at PointsBet, they have just 2.3% of the handle, also last in the division.
The win total markets have been a bit of a different conversation.
BetMGM is receiving 60% of the money on the under 8.5 wins, while PointsBet has 75% of the handle on the over 8.5 wins.
It is worth noting though that betting is often correlated with a team’s odds to win the future bet.
For example: Patriots are +4000 to win the Super Bowl. There are 21 teams with the same or better odds to win it all. In correlation, the Patriots have the 23rd-most bets.
Odds & Ends
From strictly a covering the spread perspective, Tom Brady has exceeded expectations like nobody in history.
Including the playoffs, Brady has finished at least .500 against the spread (ATS) in 18 consecutive seasons (excluding 2008), between 2003-21. He is 190-130-9 ATS (59.4%) in that span.
Think it is fair to say, even with 10 Super Bowl appearances, the Patriots may have been undervalued in the years Brady was in Foxborough.
If you would have bet $100 on the Patriots to win the AFC from 2001-19, you would have been up $3,550. Take out the miracle ’01 run, you would still be up $1,550.
Since leaving New England, Brady is 22-17 ATS with the Buccaneers, while the Patriots are an even 17-17 ATS in that span.
Because of Brady’s success, everything is always about expectations with his teams.
The Patriots spent 18 years with preseason odds of 20-1 or shorter to win the Super Bowl with Tom Brady.
Over the last three seasons without him, New England has had odds of 40-1, 30-1 and 40-1 to win it all.
Chicken or the Egg?
When Brady left New England, the only topic of conversation across every media network was “Brady vs. Belichick.”
Two-plus years later, it’s hard to give many points to the coach.
- Brady has the Super Bowl win. Belichick doesn’t have a playoff win.
- Brady has the betting edge, with a better ATS record and win total overs both seasons in Tampa Bay.
- Overall, Brady is 209-144-10 (59.2%) ATS, while Belichick is just 36-35 ATS in his career as a head coach without Brady.
If we look strictly from a game-to-game point of view, even the betting public has backed away from the Patriots without Brady under center.
Over the last two seasons, the Patriots have played 18 games as the public side — having 51% of betting tickets or higher — 11 times in 2021 and seven games in 2020.
The Patriots went an even 9-9 ATS in those 18 games as the public side.
Brady on the other hand, has played 34 games as the public side, with a small 18-16 ATS edge.
As a tandem, Brady and the Patriots played 241 games as the public side between 2003 and 2019 (average of 14 per year). They were 138-97-6 ATS (58.7%), profiting a $100 bettor $3,752, the most of any QB in the NFL.
How about the other side of the spectrum? Well, when nobody believes in Brady, he performs at his best.
He is 37-23 straight-up (SU) and 41-17-2 ATS in his career as an underdog. The Patriots are 6-11 SU and 9-8 ATS as underdogs without Tom Brady since his first start in 2001.
Over the last decade, when Brady is both listed as the underdog and his team has under 50% of betting tickets, he is 7-2 SU and 9-0 ATS.
Can’t Deny Value
Popularity and value are also a massive part of this conversation.
Least valuable NFL teams in 1990-91 season:
1. Patriots $99.8M
2. Steelers $112.3M
3. Falcons $112.8M
(Source: Financial World)
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) February 6, 2017
Back in 1990, the Patriots had zero titles, one Super Bowl appearance and went 1-15 that season. The value of the franchise according to Financial World was under $100 million, lowest of any NFL team.
It wasn’t until 1994 till Robert Kraft ended up buying the team for $172 million, which at the time was the highest price ever paid for an NFL franchise.
Fast forward to 2001, coming off a 5-11 season with nine-year vet Drew Bledsoe as QB, New England had two Super Bowl appearances and still zero titles. The Patriots were a year away from moving from Foxboro Stadium to Gillette. At the time, the Patriots were valued at $524 million, which was then 9th in the NFL.
Now, in 2022, after 10 Super Bowl appearances and six titles, the Patriots are worth $6.4 billion according to Forbes, the second-highest evaluation in the NFL behind just the Dallas Cowboys ($8B).
A Different Week 1
Even if you just focus on Week 1 for New England, the comparison to past championship years feel like decades ago.
The Patriots are 2.5-point underdogs vs. the Dolphins in Week 1.
This will be just the second time since 2004 they are listed as underdogs in their opener and it also breaks a streak of 16 consecutive games as the favorite against the Dolphins dating back to the 2014 season.
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