One of the most impressive streaks of Tom Brady’s legendary career has come to an end.
Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 3.5-point underdogs for their Week 1 road game against the New Orleans Saints this Sunday. Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, this ends Brady’s streak of being a betting favorite in 74 consecutive regular season games.
The last time Brady was an underdog in a regular season team? You’d have to go back to Week 2 of the 2015 season, when the Patriots visited the AFC East division rival Buffalo Bills. The Patriots narrowly won that game by a final score of 40-32.
New England was a slight underdog against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2018 AFC Championship Game. Of course, Brady and the Pats wound up victorious, winning a thrilling back-and-forth contest 37-31 in overtime.
During Brady’s 20-year tenure with the Patriots – especially during the golden 2001 to 2004 and 2014 to 2018 dynasty years – the team was rarely a betting underdog. And if they were, it was ever so slightly.
But Brady is no longer working with Bill Belichick, the greatest head coach of all time, nor the golden franchise of the 21st century. He’s now playing for a Tampa Bay team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2007, so you can expect the six-time Super Bowl champion to pop up more as an underdog.
The Buccaneers have one of the league’s toughest schedules in 2020. They have five games against teams who made the playoffs in 2019, and six against teams who recorded winning records.
On top of that, Tampa Bay must face extremely talented teams like the Las Vegas Raiders, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons (twice), all of whom are expected to be more competitive in 2020.
But as everybody has learned over the years, it’s never a good idea to bet against Brady.
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