Tom Brady Heads to Buccaneers, Is Tampa a Super Bowl Contender?

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On Tuesday, the NFL world was turned upside down after news broke that Tom Brady would be signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The longtime New England Patriot left the only franchise he’s known to play for Bruce Arians and the Bucs.

Without official contract details as of this writing, the multiyear deal is said to be at a salary of $30 million dollars per year. The 42 year old QB is expected to play for two more years before retirement. He will turn 43 this season.

With that in mind, NFL betting sites have seen a dramatic shift in Super Bowl 55 odds for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But, will the Bucs actually be a contender for the NFC title in 2020? Let’s huddle up and take a closer look at “TB to TB” and see if there’s any value to these updated football odds.

Why Did Tom Brady Choose the Buccaneers?

At first glance, it’s a bit shocking that Tom Brady would choose to go to the dreadful Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They’re one of the handful of NFL franchises that are often considered undesirable due to long stretches of futility.

However, having the greatest QB of all-time choose to go the Buccaneers, the franchise’s image will definitely receive a huge boost. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Brady’s arrival signals more players signing with Tampa. One such player is Antonio Brown.

The troubled wide receiver is still under review with the NFL and not yet cleared to play. However, reports have circulated that Brady gave a strong impression to interested teams of wanting Brown to join him wherever he signed.

It’s possible the Bucs will choose to sign Brown in the future. However, putting Brown’s status aside, this team is already loaded with passing weapons for Brady, which is a major reason why he chose them.

Tampa has two 1,000 yard receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Evans is a dominating one-on-one receiver while Godwin does his damage underneath. The Bucs also have two talented tight ends in Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard. Even young running back Ronald Jones is a passing weapon.

It’s clear, the Bucs have more talent on offense than the Patriots did last year. The offensive line in Tampa is above average, but it will need to improve offensive tackle play. The Bucs could draft one of the best OTs with the #14 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Defensively, the Bucs have plenty of talent and the cap space to find more contributors. They were one of the best in the league against the run last year and 5th in DVOA.

Lastly, Bruce Arians will do everything he can to build a system around Brady’s strengths and give “TB12” as much input and freedom during games. It has all of the makings to become a fantastic partnership between coach and QB.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Updated Betting Odds

Initially, Tampa Bay was listed as a +700 underdog to sign Brady. The Chargers, who have also been linked to Brady this offseason, were the odds on favorites to win the “TB12” sweepstakes. However, after Brady stated he was leaving the Patriots, the Bucs shot up to a -400 favorite to land the QB according to many online betting sites.

These weren’t the only betting odds that changed for the Buccaneers. Like Buffalo’s odds did after trading for WR Stefon Diggs and making some key free agent acquisitions, the Bucs have also seen their odds improve for winning the NFC South, NFC Conference, and Super Bowl 55.

Super Bowl 55 Odds

At the beginning of 2020, many sportsbooks had listed the Buccaneers at +6600 odds to win the Super Bowl next year. After the Super Bowl, the Bucs saw an improvement as their line went up to +3300. However, following the news that Brady was heading to Florida, Tampa’s odds jumped to +1200.

Sports betting websites like BetOnline have seen the Bucs improve their Super Bowl 55 odds all the way up to +2000. Bovada has bumped the Bucs all the way up to +1500.

If you are inclined to roll with Brady winning another Super Bowl then I would jump on BetOnline’s +2000 line as I don’t see these odds staying at this level for long. I expect the odds to shrink throughout free agency and then with the NFL Draft.

And, if Brady can convince the Buccaneers to sign Antonio Brown, once he’s cleared to return to the NFL, then you can expect these odds to improve even more.

NFC Conference Betting Odds

In addition to improved SB 55 odds, Tampa Bay has also seen a sizable jump in its NFC Championship odds. Prior to this month, Tampa wasn’t even considered to be contenders for the NFC conference crown. Many football betting websites had the Bucs listed at +2000 odds.

After the news broke that Brady would be heading to Tampa, their conference odds have shot up to +1000 with many sportsbooks. In fact, some sports betting sites even list Tampa as high as +850.

Most oddsmakers still have the San Francisco 49ers and the New Orleans Saints listed as higher betting favorites than the Bucs. Some even have the Dallas Cowboys, Seattle Seahawks or Philadelphia Eagles ranked with higher odds.

Like mentioned above, I can see these odds lowering for Tampa after the next two months of free agency, the NFL Draft, and possibly bringing in Antonio Brown. The odds aren’t going to get worse before the season starts.

If you are eager to bet on Brady and the Bucs then this could be an option right now as the value will only decrease between now and the start of the regular season.

NFC South Betting Odds

Have you spotted the trend yet? All of Tampa’s betting odds have improved significantly since the announcement of Brady’s arrival.

With the NFC South division, Tampa went from the 3rd or 4th team to the clear cut #2 team behind the New Orleans Saints. Their odds went from +500 to a range of +150 to +200 depending on the sportsbook.

In reality, this division is still the Saints to lose. They have all of the pieces to make a run at the NFC title and a possible trip to the Super Bowl. Other than the 49ers, the Saints are the best team in the NFC. I don’t see Tampa Bay being able to beat out the Saints for this division.

Stay away from this NFL futures bet for now. I would imagine the odds will increase during the season and offer better value.

Tampa’s Win Total for 2020

The Bucs went 7-9 last year with Jameis Winston’s 30/30 historical NFL season. He was a hindrance to the team’s success along with an inconsistent running game. However, the offense still put up some big passing numbers which was evident by having two 1,000 yard receivers.

Following Super Bowl 54, the Bucs were listed with an Over/Under of 7.5 wins. That number has shifted up to an O/U of 9 wins for 2020 now that they’re bringing in Tom Brady.

The Buccaneers haven’t won nine games since the 2016 season, but they clearly have a chance to hit that mark this year with Brady at the helm. The question you have to ask yourself is if the Bucs can hit the 10 win mark in 2020.

I believe they will go at least 3-3 in the division, but then that means they will have to go at least 7-3 outside of their NFC South games.

This year, Tampa will play against the NFC North and the AFC West. They will have their toughest non-divisional games at home as they host the Chiefs, Packers, Vikings, Chargers and Rams.

They will play at the Lions, Broncos, Bears, Giants and Raiders. Tampa has a good chance of going at least 3-2 in these games. I believe they can beat the Giants and the Lions. They have a decent shot of beating the Bears and Broncos as well depending on their starting QB.

However, Tampa’s postseason hopes will come down to how well they play against the non-divisional opponents at home. They could be 6-5 in the other games, which means they will need to go 4-1 in these five home games. And, I don’t see that happening.

The Bucs could beat the Chargers, the Vikings, and possibly the Rams. But, I don’t see them beating the Packers and the Chiefs. That means they will most likely go 3-2 and end up at 9-7 on the season.

This win total NFL wager will most likely be a push. If you can get it at 8.5 or less then jump on it. Otherwise, I would avoid this football prop bet as well.

Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...

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