Why Tom Brady Terrifies Super Bowl 2021 Bookmakers

Bookmakers are "scared" of Tom Brady as they face losses worth millions of dollars if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeat the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV on Sunday.

The Chiefs opened as 3.5-point favorites two weeks ago, but the line has since moved to -3.

Super Bowl LV marks the first time Brady enters the NFL championship game as an underdog since the Patriots were 14-point underdogs against the St. Louis Rams in 2002 but shocked "The Greatest Show on Turf" to win the first of six Super Bowl rings with Brady under center.

The Bucs hadn't made the playoffs in 13 years and were as much as 65-1 long shots to win Super Bowl LV back in March, but the odds were slashed to 15-1 after they signed Brady in free agency.

"The worst result for us would definitely be a Tampa Bay Buccaneers win," Betfair spokesman Sam Rosbottom told Newsweek.

"I think it's safe to say we are scared of Tom Brady. He has had a huge impact with Tampa and he has the quality and Super Bowl experience it will need.

"Brady is certainly popular with punters and we would expect the Bucs as underdogs to attract lots of support on Sunday."

Last week, a bettor in Nevada placed a $2.3 million wager on the Bucs +3.5 at 5-6 with BetMGM.

Should Tampa cover the spread, the bettor would pocket a net $2 million.

On Wednesday, Houston furniture store owner Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale placed a similar bet, wagering $3.46 million on the Bucs and the points at 4-5 with DraftKings.

If the Bucs cover the spread, McIngvale will make a $2.47 million profit.

As far as BetMGM is concerned, however, the $2.3 million wager was positive news as the lion's share of the early action had gone on the Chiefs.

"This was a bet we were very happy to receive," Jason Scott, vice president of trading for BetMGM said.

"We had previously written several other six-figure bets, all on Kansas City, and the public is certainly behind Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes."

Earlier this week, Scott acknowledged that the book "come Sunday BetMGM will likely need Tom Brady and the Buccaneers to cover."

BetMGM, however, said it has twice as much liability on the Bucs than the Chiefs, while Johnny Avello, sportsbook director for DraftKings, told ESPN the bookmaker faced $1 million liability on Tampa to win the Super Bowl.

Earlier this week, William Hill said 82 percent of the money that had been bet on the Super Bowl point spread was on Kansas City, while BetMGM reported 62 percent of the bets staked had gone on the Chiefs.

Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrates their 31-26 win over the Green Bay Packers during the NFC Championship game at Lambeau Field on January 24 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Brady could win a seventh Super Bowl ring on Sunday. Stacy Revere/Getty

The scenario is drastically different at Unikrn, with 90 percent of the action going on Tampa Bay. The bookmaker, however, is confident it won't be nursing any losses come Sunday night.

"With the Chiefs outright favourites from the start of the season and now 1-2 to win on Sunday, the 'Tom Brady effect' could be a red herring," a Unikrn spokesperson told Newsweek.

"The market [is] suggesting this game is a bridge too far for Brady to cross."

While the Chiefs remain consensus three-point favorites, some bookmakers believe the line could move again towards the reigning Super Bowl champions.

"Despite seeing most of the early action we moved the line to -3 after significant action from our sharpest football players," Pat Morrow, Head Oddsmaker at Bovada, told Newsweek.

"Since the move, betting trends have remained the same with the Chiefs -3 seeing 75 percent of the action. If we continue to see this one way betting on the Chiefs, I would not be surprised if the line moved back to -3.5."

Tampa Bay is 11-8 against the spread this season covering by an average of 4.2 points per game.

More significantly, the Bucs are 4-1 against the spread—the NFL's joint-best winning percentage this season—as the underdog and Brady is 40-17-2 in the same scenario in his career.

Brady, however, is 4-5 against the spread in his nine Super Bowl appearances.