Raise your hand if you believed when Tom Brady graduated from the University of Michigan in December 1999 that, a little over two decades later, the sixth-round draft pick would be playing for his seventh Super Bowl ring at age 43.
If your hand is up … put it down, you filthy liar.
The former Wolverine quarterback has defied all expectations while putting together the greatest NFL resume any signal caller has ever established. Brady is the GOAT. It was beyond dispute four years ago. It’s beyond beyond dispute now.
In his first season in the NFC, Brady has led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the Super Bowl, where, in their home stadium, they’ll face the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
If there’s anyone who could theoretically someday challenge Brady’s GOAT QB status, it’s Patrick Mahomes. So if Brady could claim his seventh championship while simultaneously denying Mahomes his second, he’ll go a long way toward ensuring that nobody is rethinking this GOAT thing 10 or 15 years from now.
The Brady vs. Mahomes matchup makes this year’s Super Bowl feel even more special than usual. And making it particularly special in Michigan is the fact that this is the first Super Bowl that folks in the state can legally bet on.
In this article, we’ll focus on some of the opportunities the various regulated online sportsbooks in the state are giving bettors to put money on Michigan alumnus Brady — as well as some of the promotions they’re offering while mobile sports betting is fresh and new in “the mitten.”
Basic Brady player props
Brady has been named MVP in four of the six Super Bowls his team has won, and most sportsbooks have a price on him to earn that honor a fifth time. While Mahomes, playing for the favored Chiefs, is right around even money at most books, Brady is +190 at BetRivers, DraftKings, and Barstool Sportsbook (all of which take their opening odds from the same provider, Kambi) and a slighter more appealing +200 at BetMGM and FanDuel Sportsbook.
For a passing yardage prop, the over/under line varies slightly from book to book. At the Kambi sportsbooks, Brady’s line is 295.5 yards, with -118 juice on the over and a -106 price on the under. FOX Bet set the line at 300.5 yards, with the juice almost exactly reversed: -105 on the over, -118 on the under. FanDuel is at 296.5 with a -110 vig both ways, and William Hill is all the way up at 304.5 with -115 juice in both directions. The beauty of a competitive sports betting marketplace is that savvy gamblers have some wiggle room to find the line and price that works best for them.
The consensus line for Brady touchdown passes is 2.5, with the over an underdog as high as +140 at PointsBet and the under a favorite at a best-in-state price of -150 at William Hill. But there are variations. At BetRivers, there are lines for over/under 0.5, 1.5, and 3.5 TD passes as well. BetMGM has numbers for the exact number of TDs TB throws for TB: no passing TDs pays +800, one pays +280, two pays +190, three pays +260, and four pays +550. And if you think Brady will toss five or more — something he’s done once in 44 career postseason games — it pays out at 10/1.
The line on Brady pass attempts is 39.5 at all books and the completions over/under is 24.5, though the juice varies slightly depending upon the operator. BetMGM, meanwhile, offers much longer odds on exact numbers of pass attempts or completions — for you pick-a-number-on-the-roulette-wheel types.
Brady vs. Mahomes, and other creative props
Another way to put your money on Brady is to pick him in head-to-head matchups with Mahomes.
BetRivers has a slight boost on Brady at +150 to throw more TDs than Mahomes, and the site also offers him to throw a TD before Mahomes at +115, to complete more passes at +133, and to finish with a higher completion percentage at +120. FanDuel has a slightly better price on that last one, paying +125 if Brady posts the higher completion percentage of the two quarterbacks. FD also has a +120 price on Brady to rack up more passing yards than Mahomes — or a -115 price on Brady’s passing yards total +27.5 to exceed Mahomes’ total (essentially, spread betting on head-to-head passing yards).
Then there are props that lump the two QBs together, like FOX Bet’s small odds boost, from -120 to +100, if both Brady and Mahomes throw at least two touchdown passes.
BetRivers has perhaps the most creative wager combining Brady and Mahomes. The sportsbook is calling it the “Act Your Age!” prop: Brady, who is 43 years old, to complete at least one pass of 43 or more yards, and 25-year-old Mahomes to complete at least 25 passes, paying out +220 on the parlay. (You can only bet the “yes” on this one.)
William Hill has a few unique Brady stat props involving single complete passes:
- First TD pass over/under 12.5 yards (+105/-125)
- First completion over/under 9.5 yards (-110/-110)
- Longest completion over/under 40.5 yards (-115/-115)
Then there are the cross-sport prop bets. BetMGM has an interesting one half-based around Brady, asking which will be higher: Brady passing touchdowns (-250) or Alexander Ovechkin points in the Capitals-Flyers game at noon ET on Sunday (+200)? Meanwhile, BetRivers has a prop combining GOAT Brady and in-the-conversation-for-GOAT LeBron James: Bucs to win the Super Bowl and LA Lakers to win the NBA championship in 2021, paying out at +768 odds.
They can’t give it away fast enough
It’s not opening weekend for Michigan mobile sportsbooks anymore, but they’re still fighting just as hard for customers. And that means there’s some free money to be had — if you’re a new customer at the sportsbook in question.
DraftKings Sportsbook is almost definitely handing new customers a free 50 bucks, with their promotion paying even money if a touchdown is scored in the game (max bet size $50).
FOX Bet has a similar offer that literally can’t lose: Ten times your money on a bet of up to $10 if either team scores. Since a postseason game isn’t allowed to end in a tie, we know at least one team will score. However, there’s a catch: The wager pays out in “free bets.” When you use a “free bet,” the house keeps the stake, and the player only keeps the winnings. So if you make a $10 “free bet” at -110 odds and it wins, you get $9.09 in your account, not $19.09. That disclaimer aside, this is still a tremendous value proposition on a $10 spend.
PointsBet has what it’s calling “Big Game GOAT Insurance,” playing off Brady’s age. If you make a moneyline bet on either team up to $50, you’ll get the money back (in “free bets”) if your team loses, as long as they don’t lose by more than 43 points.
And FanDuel has an odds boost for players making their first deposit that can become a sure winner if you hedge it. FD is offering 55/1 odds on a moneyline bet up to $5 on either team — meaning it pays $275 if it wins. If you use it on the favored Chiefs, you can hedge with a moneyline bet on the underdog Bucs and lock in a profit — or you can hedge with the Bucs against the spread (+3, +100 on FanDuel as of Friday morning), lock in a profit, and have a shot at winning both bets.