The Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished last season 7-9. Shortly after Super Bowl LIV was finished, the Bucs were 60-to-1 to win Super Bowl LV.
How much of a difference does Tom Brady make? An enormous one, when it comes to BetMGM’s odds.
The Buccaneers’ Super Bowl odds have had a massive shift since Brady agreed to a deal with Tampa Bay earlier this week, going from from 60-to-1 to 16-to-1 at BetMGM’s New Jersey site.
The Bucs, who haven’t been to the playoffs since the end of the 2007 season and haven’t won a playoff game since they beat the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII more than 17 years ago, are now tied for the fifth-best odds to win the Super Bowl. That’s due to one guy.
While it’s easy to talk yourself into the Buccaneers being better after getting Brady to replace Jameis Winston, who threw 30 interceptions last season, it’s worth keeping in mind that Brady is 43 years old and no quarterback has had any success at that age. Brady is the ultimate NFL outlier, but at some point he’s going to hit the wall. Regardless, sportsbooks aren’t going to give you great odds if he has one more Super Bowl run in him.
Brady isn’t the only one to move the needle for Super Bowl odds. Let’s take a look at some of the teams whose odds have shifted, good or bad, after a wild start to free agency.
New England Patriots, from 12-to-1 to 20-to-1
When’s the last time the Patriots were 20-to-1 to win a Super Bowl? Considering we have no idea who their quarterback will be on opening day, it seems justified.
Given how drastically the Bucs’ odds moved with Brady, it makes sense that the Patriots’ odds have gone up. New England still has a good defense and Bill Belichick, and now might be the time to pounce if you think they can get creative and come up with a good quarterback solution soon.
Dallas Cowboys, from 12-to-1 to 20-to-1
This move is a bit peculiar. The Cowboys are a public team that always collects Super Bowl bets, and they didn’t lose Dak Prescott or Amari Cooper. But there were a lot of players who did leave.
The Cowboys lost multiple defensive starters and also No. 3 receiver Randall Cobb. We don’t really know how Prescott feels about getting the franchise tag or if a long-term deal can be worked out. Even with the personnel losses, this seems like a decent time to buy if you like the Cowboys with new coach Mike McCarthy.
Los Angeles Rams, from 20-to-1 to 25-to-1
It seems these odds should have gone up even more. The Rams have lost key defenders like defensive linemen Dante Fowler Jr. and Michael Brockers, linebacker Cory Littleton and safety Eric Weddle. And then on Thursday they cut running back Todd Gurley. Receiver Brandin Cooks could be traded too. At 25-to-1? No thanks. The Rams have taken a big step back.
Houston Texans, from 30-to-1 to 40-to-1
This makes sense. The DeAndre Hopkins trade was awful and 40-to-1 seems optimistic. Though top-shelf quarterback Deshaun Watson is still there. Then again, so is Bill O’Brien.
Arizona Cardinals, from 80-to-1 to 50-to-1
Like my guy Matt Gothard, I think the Cardinals are pretty tempting. I don’t think you’ll find too many 50-to-1 shots with this much upside. I’m not saying Kyler Murray will follow the Patrick Mahomes/Lamar Jackson path and win an MVP in his second season, but he’s going to put up big numbers with DeAndre Hopkins. The Cardinals defense isn’t good and the NFC West is really tough, but that’s why they’re still 50-to-1. At very least, it might be worth a small wager just to have some reason to watch the NFL’s most exciting offense each week.
Miami Dolphins, from 100-to1 to 66-to-1
Let’s take a look at one more big gainer this offseason. Am I a believer in the Dolphins? Not really. But the division is more wide open than usual because of the uncertainty with the Patriots. And while Miami has been a bit impulsive in free agency, they have added multiple players who are immediate upgrades. Most notably, $82.5 million cornerback Byron Jones should be a difference maker on defense. Assuming the Dolphins will find a way to land an exciting rookie quarterback, perhaps Tua Tagovailoa, the shift in odds is at least justified. Even if it’s still wasting money to take the Dolphins at any odds.
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