Tom Brady’s History as a Playoff Underdog: The Goat Is a Pooch for Only 7th Time

Jan 15, 2019 07:58 AM EST
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Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Tom Brady

  • The New England Patriots opened as underdogs for Sunday's AFC Championship Game.
  • This is only the seventh time Tom Brady has been listed as a betting underdog in the playoffs.
  • Closing as an underdog would break his streak of 67 consecutive games favored since September 2015.

With the Patriots’ dismantling of the Chargers as 4-point favorites this past Sunday, Tom Brady is now 19-18-1 against the spread in the playoffs. He’s been listed as the betting favorite in 31 of those 38 starts, going 15-15-1 ATS. (He was listed as a pick-em once in 2005.)

Now Brady opens the week leading into the AFC Championship Game against the Chiefs as an underdog — only the seventh time he’s been listed as a pooch in his playoff career.

Closing as an underdog this week would snap his 67-game streak as a betting favorite, in which he’s gone 42-23-2 ATS.

After the Patriots’ win over the Chargers, Brady told CBS that “everybody thinks we suck and can’t win any games.” Wide receiver Julian Edelman added: “We’re the underdog this week (against the Chiefs). I’m going to jump on that train and roll with it. That’s my life.”

So how has he done as a playoff dog? Let’s go game-by-game, starting with a little bit more context for Sunday’s matchup at Arrowhead Stadium.

2019 AFC Championship Game

  • Spread: +3
  • Opponent: Chiefs

Sunday will be Brady’s eighth consecutive conference championship and his fourth as an underdog. He’s 1-2 straight-up and ATS in the previous three.

2014 AFC Championship Game

  • Result: Lost, 26-16
  • Spread: +5
  • Opponent: Broncos

Brady’s last playoff game as an underdog came against Peyton Manning and the Broncos in Denver almost five years ago exactly.

The Broncos led wire-to-wire in a 26-16 win en route to a 43-8 Super Bowl loss to the Seahawks.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Peyton Manning, Tom Brady

2007 AFC Championship Game

  • Result: Lost, 38-34
  • Spread: +3.5
  • Opponent: Colts

Another road conference championship, another all-time game against Peyton Manning.

The Patriots led 21-6 at the half before the Colts outscored Brady and Co. 32-13 in the second half, including a last-minute touchdown by Joseph Addai that gave Indy its first lead.

2007 AFC Divisional Round

  • Result: Won, 24-21
  • Spread: +5
  • Opponent: Chargers

The Patriots were underdogs in San Diego against a 14-2 Chargers team that had won 10 consecutive games.

The Chargers got out to an early 14-3 lead before the Patriots stormed back to tie it at 21. Stephen Gostkowski hit the game-winning 31-yard field goal in the final minute.

2006 AFC Divisional Round

  • Result: Lost, 27-13
  • Spread: +3
  • Opponent: Broncos

The Broncos went 13-3 behind Jake Plummer in the 2005 season and facing the Patriots off a 28-3 wild-card win over the Jaguars.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Patriots were the first on board in the second quarter to take a 3-0 lead. The Broncos scored 24 of the game’s next 27 points to close out for a 27-13 win.

Super Bowl XXXVI (2002)

  • Result: Won, 20-17
  • Spread: +14
  • Opponent: Rams

Brady was listed as a two touchdown underdog against the high-flying Rams in his first Super Bowl, making him the second-largest dog in the game’s history behind Joe Namath and the Jets in Super Bowl III.

Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Brady beat the Rams on a last-second field goal by Adam Vinatieri to give the Patriots their first Super Bowl win.

2002 AFC Championship Game

  • Result: Won, 24-17
  • Spread: +10
  • Opponent: Steelers

Brady was listed as an underdog for the first time in his second career playoff game.

After beating the Raiders at home in the famous “tuck rule” game, the Patriots hit the road to face Kordell Stewart and the Steelers. Brady started the game, but was replaced by Drew Bledsoe who finished out the Patriots’ win.

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