Tom Brady and Drew Brees will face each other on the gridiron for just the fifth time in their lengthy careers when the New England Patriots visit the New Orleans Saints on Sunday as 6 1/2-point odds favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Brees holds the edge in showdowns with Brady, powering to victory in three of four career meetings ahead of Sunday afternoon’s Patriots vs. Saints betting matchup at Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
That record includes a 38-17 Saints victory as two-point underdogs in New England’s last visit to the Big Easy in November 2009. Brees threw for 371 yards with five touchdowns that day, but found the end zone just twice in the Patriots’ 30-27 win as two-point chalk at Gillette Stadium four years ago.
The 38-year-old led the NFL for a seventh time with 5,208 passing yards last year, but sputtered out of the gate in Week 1 on “Monday Night Football,” throwing for just one score in the Saints’ 29-19 loss to the Minnesota Vikings as three-point underdogs.
Brady also struggled in the Patriots’ stunning 42-27 opening-night loss to the Kansas City Chiefs that dropped the club’s Super Bowl odds to +450. Brady went a dismal 16 for 36 and failed to throw a scoring pass in Week 1.
Those slow starts have had no impact on the total in Sunday’s matchup, which has climbed to a lofty 55.5 after opening as low as 53.5. This marks the third straight meeting between these clubs where the total has been set at 51 or higher. The total finished under 57 in New Orleans’ 2009 win, but the over has prevailed in seven of nine matchups since 1986.
Sunday also marks the return to New Orleans of wide receiver Brandin Cooks, who was dealt to New England by the Saints during the offseason. Cooks was a primary target of Brees last season, leading the club with 1,173 receiving yards, and has tallied 98 or more yards in seven of his past 16 appearances at the Superdome.
Cooks was a direct contributor to the Saints’ current 4-2 SU run on home turf. The 23-year-old caught five scoring passes during the stretch, while the club averaged 30.66 points per game. New England also was prolific last season while going unbeaten SU in nine road games, averaging 30.2 points per game while holding opponents to 17 or fewer points on six occasions.
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Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
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