Tom Brady won the breakup with Bill Belichick in blowout fashion, winning the Super Bowl in his first season in Tampa Bay after 20 years in New England.
In their first face-to-face meeting since they split up, the ageless quarterback got the best of his former coach again. Barely.
The Buccaneers escaped with a 19-17 win over the Patriots in the middle of a downpour in Foxborough, Massachusetts, when Nick Folk missed a 56-yard field goal try that hit the left upright with 59 seconds left.
Brady won, despite not throwing a touchdown pass for the first time this season. But the vast majority of bettors lost on the game as Tampa Bay failed to cover as 7-point favorites.
“It was a very positive result,” Westgate SuperBook vice president Jay Kornegay said. “I was hoping that field goal would be good, but we’ll take the cover by the Pats. We had a good day.”
The Bucs were a wildly popular play, attracting more than 90 percent of the tickets and money wagered on the game at BetMGM and other Las Vegas sportsbooks.
“It’s actually the biggest regular-season decision I can remember,” Red Rock Resort sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said before before kickoff. “It’s starting to resemble close to a Super Bowl-type decision.”
It was a healthy six-figure decision at the SuperBook and BetMGM. The game staying under the total of 49 helped books to another winning day.
“The Bucs and over was certainly the worst-case scenario we’ve seen this year,” Kornegay said. “It was our biggest liability of the season to this point.”
Trailing by one with 4:34 left, Brady directed a 45-yard drive to set up Ryan Succop’s game-winning 48-yard field goal with 1:57 left.
A Caesars Sportsbook bettor won a $500,000 wager on the Patriots +7 that paid $454,545.
Underdogs excel again
New England’s cover ensured a fourth straight winning week ATS for NFL underdogs, who are 8-6-1 ATS in Week 4 with six outright upsets, including overtime wins by the previously winless Jets and Giants.
“New York, New York. We were singing it back here,” Esposito said. “Having those two teams winning outright was huge.”
The Jets’ 27-24 victory over the Titans as 5½-point underdogs was the best decision of the day for the books.
“We were very thankful for the Jets,” Kornegay said. “They were really the only one to upset a parlay favorite in the Titans.”
The Giants outlasted the Saints 27-21 as 7-point underdogs.
Underdogs are 38-24-1 ATS overall this season with 27 outright wins.
Lions’ share of action
Detroit (0-4) and Jacksonville (0-4) are the league’s only remaining winless teams after the Lions lost 24-14 to the Bears as a popular public 3-point underdog in one of the best decisions of the day at BetMGM.
“I never say this, but the public was on the Lions,” MGM Resorts director of trading Jeff Stoneback said. “After the pathetic offensive performance by the Bears last week, there was a reason to jump on the Lions.”
Now there’s a reason to jump off the Lions again.
Hail to the Chiefs
Bettors finally cashed in on Kansas City, which covered the spread for the first time this season and for only the third time in 15 games in a 42-30 rout of Philadelphia as 7-point favorites.
Kornegay said the Chiefs were the worst decision for the book in the morning games.
“The Chiefs continue to get a lot of support from the public,” he said.
In the Cards
Arizona (4-0) and the Raiders (3-0) are the league’s only remaining unbeatens after the Cardinals crushed the Rams (3-1) 37-20 on the road as 4-point underdogs.
“They keep impressing,” Kornegay said. “We know the Cardinals can put up some points. The question is always their defense. But the defense played well.”
Bettors won on the Packers (-6) in their 27-17 win over the Steelers.
“We built a solid cushion in the morning games but went 0-4 in the afternoon and almost gave it all back,” Kornegay said.
In the other afternoon games, the Ravens (+1) beat the Broncos 23-7 and the Seahawks (+2½) knocked off the 49ers, 28-21.