Patriots

Taking a look at Tom Brady’s and other players’ prop bets in Sunday’s Buccaneers-Patriots game

The Buccaneers are seven-point favorites.

Tom Brady Patriots
Oddsmakers project Tom Brady to have a big performance against the Patriots. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Sunday’s Buccaneers-Patriots game is one of the most highly anticipated regular-season games ever. It’s also one of the most-bet-on regular-season games, too.

Some betting sites have even created Super Bowl-like prop bets for Sunday’s game. The Buccaneers are currently seven-point favorites. Here are some of the player prop bets for Sunday’s game, via DraftKings Sportsbook.

The quarterbacks

Tom Brady over/unders: 301.5 passing yards, 2.5 passing touchdowns, 0.5 interceptions.

Tom Brady’s return to Foxborough should see him put up big numbers, oddsmakers project.

The Buccaneers quarterback is off to one of his best starts ever. Through three games, Brady’s thrown a league-best 10 touchdowns and is second in yards with 1,087. Brady’s thrown for 300-plus yards in two of his first three games, including a 432-yard day against the Rams last week. However, he only threw one touchdown as the Rams were in control for much of the day. Brady was also interception-free for the second-straight week.

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Brady’s been on a tear statistically since the end of the last regular season. He’s thrown for at least 300 yards in five of his last six regular-season games and has thrown for three or more touchdowns in four of his last five regular-season games.

Brady goes up against a Patriots passing defense that’s looked strong through the first three weeks, but has faced relatively poor competition. The Patriots feasted off of rookie Zach Wilson in Week 2, intercepting him four times. Wilson’s 210 passing yards are also the most the Patriots have allowed to an opposing quarterback so far this season. Jameis Winston threw for just 128 yards last week, but his receiving corps is nowhere near as talented as Brady’s.

Of course, there’s also the idea that Bill Belichick knows Brady as well as anyone, which could theoretically make Brady’s day tougher than usual.

Mac Jones over/unders: 257.5 passing yards, 1.5 touchdown passes, 0.5 interceptions.

Mac Jones faced trouble for the first time in his young NFL career against the Saints in Week 3. The rookie was under duress for much of the game, getting hit 11 times and threw three interceptions. The Patriots did have some success moving through the air in the second half as Jones finished the day with 270 yards. Prior to Week 3, Jones had a 281-yard passing day against the Dolphins and a 186-yard day against the Jets.

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Jones has thrown just two touchdown passes through his first three games, showing the trouble New England’s had in the red zone to start the year. With James White out for the season, Jones will have to find another reliable check-down target to throw to.

Luckily for Jones, he’s going up against a Buccaneers defense that’s struggled mightily against the pass to start the season. All three quarterbacks the Buccaneers have faced so far have thrown for at least 300 yards with multiple touchdown passes. It should be noted though that all three (Dak Prescott, Matt Ryan, and Matthew Stafford) are far more proven than Jones.

The running backs

Leonard Fournette over/unders: 48.5 rushing yards, 26.5 receiving yards. Anytime touchdown scorer: +105. Multiple touchdown scorer: +600.

Ronald Jones II over/unders: 28.5 rushing yards. Anytime touchdown scorer: +275. Multiple touchdown scorer: +1700.

The Buccaneers have been really reliant on the passing game to move the ball down the field to start the season. Leonard Fournette has just 98 rushing yards and Ronald Jones II has just 52 rushing yards to start the year. As a matter of fact, Brady was the Buccaneers’ leading-rusher in Week 3 against the Rams.

While Fournette shined in the Buccaneers’ playoff run last year, he’s only rushed for 48 yards or more five times in the regular season since last year. Jones II hasn’t reached 28 yards rushing in a game yet this season, but he did rush for at least 66 or more yards in four of the Buccaneers’ final five regular-season games last year.

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Both running backs should see more touches with Giovani Bernard, who’s mostly been used as a receiving threat, out for Sunday’s game.

As for the Patriots’ rushing defense, it hasn’t been spectacular to start the year. They rank 22nd in rush defense and allowed 142 rushing yards against the Saints last week. They allowed 151 rushing yards against the Jets a week prior.

Damien Harris over/unders: 45.5 rushing yards, 7.5 receiving yards. Anytime touchdown scorer: +130. Multiple touchdowns: +750.

The Patriots’ running back situation is in an interesting spot entering Week 4. Damien Harris has shown signs of being a top running back, but ran just six times in Week 3. Brandon Bolden has seen more playing time than anyone expected. J.J. Taylor’s been active, but has just five touches so far. Rookie Rhamondre Stevenson hasn’t seen the field since his fumble early in Week 1. Oh, and James White is likely done for the season after suffering a hip injury in Week 3.

Harris will presumably lead the team in carries on Sunday like he has for all three games this season. But if the Buccaneers get a big lead quickly like the Saints, it wouldn’t be a shock if the Patriots moved to passing the ball on most downs. Since rushing for 100 yards in Week 1, Harris has rushed for just 76 yards on 22 carries. However, he has rushed for at least 46 yards in five of his last six games.

The Buccaneers’ rushing defense has been strong to start the season. They’re fourth in the league in rushing defense and have allowed just 3.3 yards per carry to opposing running backs.

The wide receivers

Chris Godwin over/unders: 5.5 receptions, 71.5 yards. Anytime touchdown scorer: +125.

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Mike Evans over/unders: 4.5 receptions, yards not listed. Anytime touchdown scorer: +105.

Antonio Brown over/unders: 4.5 receptions, 54.5 yards. Anytime touchdown scorer: +140.

Cameron Brate over/unders: 2.5 receptions, 31.5 yards. Anytime touchdown scorer: +140.

The Buccaneers’ receiving corps has proven to be one of the best in football to start the season. They could have another big week with Stephon Gilmore out and J.C. Jackson potentially missing the game with a knee injury.

Chris Godwin has had at least six receptions and 72 receiving yards in four of his last five regular-season games, proving himself to be a constant threat. He also had a touchdown reception streak of five games going back to last season that ended last Sunday.

Statistically, Mike Evans has had some up-and-down performances over his last eight regular-season games. He’s had 100-plus receiving yards in three of those games, but also has four games in which he’s had less than 60 yards receiving. He’s recorded five receptions or more in four of those games over that stretch. He’s had a touchdown in just three of those games, but had a multi-scoring game in all three.

Antonio Brown returns to the lineup this week after missing Week 3 due to testing positive for COVID-19. He was dominant in Week 1 with five catches for 121 yards with a touchdown but only had a catch in Week 2. Brown’s recorded at least five catches in seven of his 10 regular-season games with the Buccaneers and could have an opportunity for more targets with Rob Gronkowski out.

Speaking of Gronkowski, Cameron Brate projects to start at tight end for the Buccaneers this week. Gronkowski looked like his old self to start the year with four touchdown receptions so far. Brate could be a solid replacement for Gronkowski after recording four catches for 35 yards last week.

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Jakobi Meyers over/unders: 5.5 receptions, yards not listed. Anytime touchdown scorer: +190.

Nelson Agholor over/unders: 3.5 receptions, yards not listed. Anytime touchdown scorer: +260.

Hunter Henry over/unders: 3.5 receptions, yards not listed. Anytime touchdown scorer: +300.

Jonnu Smith over/unders: 3.5 receptions, yards not listed. Anytime touchdown scorer: +350.

Kendrick Bourne over/unders: 2.5 receptions, 24.5 yards. Anytime touchdown scorer: +350.

As mentioned earlier, the Patriots’ passing attack is still a bit of an unknown with rookie quarterback Mac Jones throwing mostly to targets new to the team.

So far though, the new targets haven’t been too impressive. Agholor had a solid Week 1, catching seven passes for 72 yards with a touchdown. But he only has five catches for 38 yards over the last two weeks.

Kenrick Bourne stepped up last week, catching six passes for 96 yards and a touchdown. But prior to last week, he had just three catches for 27 yards.

Tight ends Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith haven’t shown the potential many hoped they would in New England. Both players have yet to catch a touchdown this season. Henry did have five receptions last week after having only five catches through his first two games. On the flip side, Smith had nine catches in his first two games but only one last week. Either player could be a candidate to step up though with James White out.

Jakobi Meyers has been the one consistent so far. He had nine catches for 94 yards last week. Dating back to last season, he’s recorded at least six catches in four of his last six games. However, he still hasn’t found the endzone in his NFL career.

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