On a day usually reserved for college basketball and NCAA Tournament odds, NFL news nonetheless found its way in the spotlight.
Tom Brady, widely regarded as one of the best players ever, announced he was unretiring after just over a month and returning to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. This instantly changed their Super Bowl betting odds.
These past two months I’ve realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands. That time will come. But it’s not now. I love my teammates, and I love my supportive family. They make it all possible. I’m coming back for my 23rd season in Tampa. Unfinished business LFG pic.twitter.com/U0yhRKVKVm
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) March 13, 2022
Though Brady is back, the outcome of Tampa Bay’s season is far from clear.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl odds
The Buccaneers are tied for the second-best odds to win Super Bowl 57 at +800. The Bills lead the way at +700, while the Chiefs are next at +800.
The Bucs have the leading odds to win the NFC at +375 and are favorites to win the NFC South at -225.
Before the news of Brady returning, the Buccaneers were +2500 to win the Super Bowl and +1100 to win the NFC.
Tom Brady MVP Odds
Brady has the fourth-best NFL odds to win his fourth MVP award at +900.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Bills quarterback Josh Allen are all tied for the top odds at +700.
Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and newly-acquired Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson are tied for fifth at +1200.
NFL MVP betting at @BetMGM
Line movement (open, now)
• Tom Brady +2200 to +900
• Russell Wilson +3000 to +1200
• Deshaun Watson +8000 to +3000
• Josh Allen 16%
• Wilson 15%
• Watson 9%
• Wilson 22%
• Allen 13%
• Watson 13%
— John Ewing 🦁 (@johnewing) March 14, 2022
Tom Brady Stats
Even at 44 years of age, Brady compiled one of the best seasons of his career in 2021. He helped Tampa Bay advance to the NFC Divisional Round and nearly orchestrated a historic comeback against the Rams, the eventual Super Bowl winners.
Brady, a seven-time Super Bowl winner, led the league in passing attempts (719), completions (485), yards (5,316), and touchdowns (43) during the regular season. He’s the third quarterback to do so since 1991.
Brady broke Drew Brees’ records for completions in a single season and career (7,263) and topped his career passing yards record (84,520). He owns the career record for touchdowns (624) as well.
Tom Brady's retirement pic.twitter.com/AExokGrJU1
— BetMGM 🦁 (@BetMGM) March 13, 2022
Beyond that, Brady was absurdly effective for his age.
He was ranked No. 1 by Football Outsiders’ DYAR metric, ahead of Rodgers, the 2021 MVP. Brady was graded the second-highest QB by Pro Football Focus, behind Burrow, among those who took 50% of the most snaps.
And even though arm strength was never his best attribute to begin with, Brady was sixth among QBs on passes of 20 yards or more downfield, according to PFF. After all this time, he still can attack various areas of the field.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Free Agents
Who the Bucs retain, add and lose in free agency and do in the NFL Draft is the true question regarding Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl odds.
Mere hours after Brady announced his return Sunday on Twitter, ESPN reported the Buccaneers were re-signing former Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen. However, the Bengals added Bucs guard Alex Cappa, who PFF graded tied for 20th at his position a season ago.
Buccaneers are giving center Ryan Jensen a three-year, $39 million contract, per source. https://t.co/9WM55arIQu
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 14, 2022
Last week, the Bucs placed the franchise tag on star receiver Chris Godwin. The go-to receiver for Brady ranked 11th in DYAR last season. Along with Mike Evans, who was fourth in that category, Brady will once again play with impressive weapons who bring diverse skill sets.
Rob Gronkowski, Jason Pierre-Paul, Ndamukong Suh, Leonard Fournette, Carlton Davis and Richard Sherman are all among Tampa Bay’s free agents, however. And according to Spotrac, the Bucs are in the bottom third of the NFL with minus-$3 million in cap space.
By announcing his decision to return to Tampa tonight, Tom Brady sends a message to the 24 Buccaneers free agents who could have begun entering into agreements with other teams at noon Monday.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 13, 2022
They have room to work with, especially depending on how much money these players are willing to forgo to continue playing with Brady.
Who returns, though, may be the true indicator of the Bucs’ potential.