We have a new arena for the Bill Belichick vs. Tom Brady debate: Las Vegas.
With Brady leaving the Patriots to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after 20 seasons, sportsbooks are wrestling over whether New England is still a contender without the greatest quarterback of all time.
But several betting outlets are surprisingly bullish on the 2020 Patriots while setting their Super Bowl LV odds, for one obvious reason: New England still employs the greatest head coach of all time.
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"If this were any other team, we'd probably just adjust them up to 100-1," Matt Metcalf, the sportsbook director for Las Vegas bookmaker Circa Sports, told ESPN's David Purdum. "But with Belichick, you can't do that."
Instead, the Patriots are listed at 20-1 to win Super Bowl LV at many sportsbooks -- the same odds they had to win Super Bowl LIV entering last season's playoffs, according to Purdum.
Ironically, Brady's Bucs also have 20-1 odds to win Super Bowl LV at Caesar's Sportsbook. But should a talent-deficient Patriots team really be on the same level as a loaded Tampa Bay squad led by a six-time Super Bowl champion?
Caesars director of trading Jeff Davis also cited Belichick in his rationale.
"It's hard to say," Davis told Purdum, "But is there anyone who's done more with less than Belichick? I'd say, no."
Interestingly, Purdum cites two more reasons why sportsbooks haven't dropped the Patriots' odds more: 1) They still play in the mediocre AFC East; and 2) they still could sign a "high-profile" quarterback like Cam Newton, Jameis Winston or Andy Dalton.
Our Tom E. Curran has reported that second option is unlikely, but even if Belichick rolls into 2020 with Jarrett Stidham, sportsbooks are wary of writing the Patriots off.