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Brady vs. Belichick: Who has the edge with bettors?

/ by Tom Giles
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I've long wondered how bettors value Tom Brady and Bill Belichick -- one of the winningest combinations overall and against the spread. 

So when they split up prior to the 2020 season, it gave the opportunity to see how they performed and give an idea as to which one is more valuable against the spread.

Before we get into the post-Brady era, it's worth mentioning how successful the quarterback was while playing in New England for Belichick. Using the NBC Sports Edge "Edge Finder," Brady was 220-65 straight up as QB of the Patriots, winning 77.2% of his games. The tandem was 193-54 straight up in regular-season games (78.1%).  Against the spread, they were 186-130-8, good for a 58.9% cover rate. 

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When you take out the postseason, Brady and Belichick were 165-112-6 ATS for a cover rate of 59.6%. Keep in mind that anything above 53% means you're beating the sportsbook, so the fact that they were hitting close to six of every 10 games is pretty remarkable.

Since he joined the Buccaneers, Tom Brady has gone 17-6 straight up, which includes the four-game playoff run to a Super Bowl victory. Brady and the Bucs have been 13-10 ATS, which puts them at a 56.5% cover rate. While that number is slightly lower than what we saw in New England, it's still profitable and a pretty impressive start through 23 games.

As for Bill Belichick, he's had a tougher time keeping up while using both Cam Newton and rookie Mac Jones under center. Through 19 games, the Patriots are 8-11 overall and 8-11 ATS. That means Bill and the 2020-21 Patriots have covered just 42.1% of the time -- well below the 53% line of demarcation. 

 

Additionally, the Patriots hit the over on the total at a clip of 52% while Tom Brady was their starter. But since then, the offense, as expected, has suffered and is going over the total just 28% of the time.  

So to this point, Brady has been much more valuable -- and profitable -- to sports bettors hitting the number 56% of the time while Belichick backers are losing money with a hit rate of just 42%. 

The only question for this week: how far should you go to back Brady? 

The line opened with Tampa Bay -3.5 when the schedule came out in mid-May. It shifted to Bucs -5.5 in most markets last week; as of Wednesday afternoon, Brady and the Bucs were favored by -7 in a line that could continue to grow.