It’s not every day that sharp money pours in against Tom Brady heading toward an NFL Sunday.
And yet here we are.
Respected players are betting the Green Bay Packers in this weekend’s tilt against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs opened as a 3-point favorite and the market is already down to Bucs -1 at most American sportsbooks. The total has also been whacked down from O/U 48 to 41.5, almost a full-touchdown move.
“Both moves are correlated,” one professional bettor told NESN. “The market is shorting Tampa Bay because of all the injuries. Tom Brady faced a solid Saints’ defense and barely completed 50% of his passes. Tampa’s offensive line is a serious problem and Brady’s weapons are dropping like flies.”
It’s a very realistic possibility that Brady will be without receivers Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Julio Jones.
“Brady’ll be throwing to Breshad Perriman and Russell Gage all day,” the bettor continued. “And the line is just mangled right now. There’s no way that he’s going to have the protection he covets to rip through all his progressions and get the ball out quickly.
“Brady is Brady, but wise guys have no issue going against him when the supporting cast isn’t right.”
The Buccaneers’ offense has only scored two touchdowns in two weeks, which is tied for 26th-best in the NFL. And while it’s difficult to imagine things staying this bad over the course of a 17-game regular season, this might be the most hobbled Brady’s mates will be all year long.
Tampa Bay will also be without elite run stuffer Akiem Hicks, who is out with a torn plantar fascia.
“The Packers ran the ball down the Bears’ throat last week,” the bettor said. “That’s what Matt LaFleur wants to do. He pounds you with the run then lets (Aaron) Rodgers loose when you least expect it. If Green Bay controls the line of scrimmage and gets out in front, this could get away from Tampa Bay in a hurry.”