By Dave Schwab
It is not uncommon for Tom Brady to be the center of attention given everything he has accomplished in what is pretty much guaranteed to be a Hall of Fame career. The New England quarterback was in the spotlight this week because of his 40th birthday. He obviously has no intention of hanging up his cleats in the near future in his attempt to become the first starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl at 40 or older.
One of the top online sportsbooks in the sports betting game today has used this momentous milestone as a good reason to release a few special NFL props covering Brady’s performance in the 2017 regular season. After going through the posted betting odds for a few of these props, the following are my picks with the best value in the numbers.
Tom Brady-Total Passing Yards
The best odds on the board for this prop are set at +200 for 4500 to 4699 total passing yards. The longest odds for Brady’s total passing yards are set at +800 for 3899 yards or less. The odds that he throws for 5200 yards or more are +600. There are five other choices to choose from in this prop starting from 3900 yards and up in 200 yard increments.
Going back over Brady’s NFL career, in the 14 seasons where he has started at least 15 games he has thrown for 4000 yards or more eight times. From 2011 to 2015, his average passing yards per season were 4,657. The high was 5,235 yards in 2011 and the low was 4,109 in 2014. Last season Brady ended up passing for 3,554 yards after sitting out the first four games due to a league suspension.
Going with the assumption that Brady does start all 16 games this year, I believe that the best betting value in the posted odds for this prop would be +300 for 4700 to 4899 yards. The loss of LeGarrette Blount’s 1,161 yards in the running game last season could be a tough void to fill by both James White and Dion Lewis forcing the Patriots to rely more heavily on moving the ball down the field through the air.
Tom Brady- Total Passing Touchdowns
The sweet spot for this prop is even money odds (+100) for 30 to 33 touchdown throws. The NFL moneyline odds for 24 TD throws or less is +800. The odds move to +400 for 25-28 and +200 for 29-32. The two other choices in this prop are +130 for 34-35 TD passes and +250 for 36 or more.
With the exception of the 2008 season when Brady only started one game due to injury, he has thrown for at least 25 touchdowns in the regular season over the past 10 years. He reached 28 TD passes last season in 12 games and given that I already have him throwing more this season, it is safe to say he could easily be well north of 30 TD throws in 2017. From 2010 through the 2015 season, Brady threw for an average of 33.8 touchdowns. Taking everything into consideration, I would go with the +130 odds in this prop for 34-35 touchdown passes in 2017.
Tom Brady- Total Interceptions
The betting odds for this prop favor 7-9 interceptions at even money (+100). The longest odds at +500 are for zero to five interceptions and they move to +200 for 4-6 INT’s. The odds that Brady throws 10 picks or more are set at +400.
Once again, the key factor in finding the value in this prop is how much New England will rely on its passing game this season. When Brady has put the ball up 600 times or more in a season over the course of his career, he has also thrown an average of 10.4 interceptions. His best ratio was in 2015 when he threw the ball 624 times and was only picked off seven times. His worst ratio in recent memory was in 2013 when he was picked off 11 times on 628 attempts. I will take the middle ground in this prop in an effort to stretch the odds by going with 10 INT’s or more at +400.