Tom Brady may be considered the GOAT among QBs, but he’s made his fair share of enemies through the years, most recently with New England Patriots fans. This week, they will see their former hero in the flesh in Foxboro for the first time since he left the team in 2020. After the split, Brady and Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick have been on two completely different trajectories. Brady won a Super Bowl, his seventh overall, in his very first season with Tampa Bay.
Things didn’t pan out so well for Belichick. The Patriots initially found a replacement for Brady in the form of former NFL MVP Cam Newton, but they finished with just a 7-9 record and missed the playoffs in Year 1 of the post-Tom Brady era. That’s the first time the Pats missed the boat to the postseason since 2008. This season, the Buccaneers are rolling again, winning two of their first three games. The Patriots, who are 1-2, have moved on from Newton and installed a rookie, Mac Jones, under center to run the offense.
It will understandably feel weird for Patriots fans seeing Brady take snaps for a different team in his former stomping grounds, but here they are, about to witness him go up against Belichick for the first time – ever. This should be fun.
Betting Preview for the Tom Brady vs Bill Belichick Reunion as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Face the New England Patriots in NFL Week 4 2021
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro
When: Sunday, October 3, 2021, 8:20 PM ET
TV Broadcast: NBC
Brady vs Belichick Props
A special game deserves special betting props, which is exactly what TopBet has for this meeting between Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.
Among the most interesting props for this contest is whether Brady’s touchdown passes and interception total will go over or under 3.5. Brady had four touchdown passes and two interceptions in Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys. In Week 2, he threw for five touchdowns and zero picks against the Atlanta Falcons. Then last Sunday, he only had a touchdown pass without and an interception in the loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
Also worth noting are the odds for a potential Tom Brady-Bill Belichick hug/shaking of hands at the end of the game. If the two do indeed hug/shake hands, that will pay a $300 bet a total of $100 (-300) on a “Yes” pick. A “No” pick, meanwhile, has odds of +220.
Betting on a Brady Win (-7)
Brady and the Buccaneers are coming off their first loss of the season, as they fell prey to the Los Angeles Rams on the road last Sunday, 34-24. The Bucs were missing one of their key weapons on offense in wide receiver Antonio Brown (COVID-19), but that still left Brady with an elite receiving corps that featured Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Rob Gronkowski. There’s a big possibility that Brown will miss another game, but even if he gets ultimately ruled out of Week 4, the Bucs’ offense should still find ways to put up points on the board in Foxboro. Although the Patriots are giving up just 17.0 points per game, that’s mostly because they had faced dummy offenses in the first two weeks of the season. They allowed 17 points in the loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 1 and six points to the New York Jets in Week 2. Faced with a more cohesive offensive unit in Week 3 against the New Orleans Saints, the Patriots failed to make crucial stops on their way to their second loss of the season.
The Patriots are 5-0 against the spread in their last five games after a loss.
Betting on a Belichick Win (+7)
Life hasn’t been easy for Belichick and the Patriots since Tom Brady packed his bags and left New England. That continues to be the case for the Pats this season, as they are 1-2 after three games. In their last game, they suffered a 28-13 home loss to Jameis Winston and the Saints. Mac Jones continues to struggle under center, as the rookie went 30/51 for 270 passing yards and a touchdown and three interceptions against the Saints. Jones is not going to be a superstar right away in the NFL and nightmare performances like that is part of the maturation process for a pro quarterback, but New England needs to do a better job in protecting him. Jones was sacked twice and got hit a total of 11 times in the Saints game, which doesn’t bode well for the upcoming game against the Buccaneers. That said, Jones and the Pats could get a break if Tampa Bay misses the services of pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder injury). The Bucs’ secondary is also dealing with issues, as Tampa Bay just saw cornerback Jamel Dean go down with a knee injury in Week 3.
The Patriots are 9-2 against the spread in their last 11 games as the home underdog.
Tom Brady and the Buccaneers smell blood, and while the GOAT has nothing left to prove, he plans on enhancing his legacy even further. Belichick and the Patriots on the other hand, could easily have been 0-3 at this point if not for a Week 2 game against a bonus-round opponent in the Jets. And the Pats will face the reigning Super Bowl champions who are eager to bounce back from a loss against a fellow playoff contender. Take Brady (and the Buccaneers) to win and cover.
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