NFL Inception: Betting on Brady
by Bovada Sportsbook Staff | September 12, 2012
Bettors prove kicking off the 2012 season with a world-class QB is never a bad idea.
When checking out our top five wagers to start the 2012 NFL betting season we shouldn’t be surprised numero uno is Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
Brady makes “one percent” money, has a hot wife, could be the greatest quarterback ever and has a dimple chin. God went all-in on him so why not bettors? We thought there would be apprehension from our Bovada Sportsbook bettors with Brady and company laced with the dreaded “road favorite” line. The Pats were -6 on the road versus the Tennessee Titans, considering the Titans went 9-7 straight up in 2011 it was hardly an easy play.
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But there was still one glaring stat in the Pats favor, head coach Bill Belichick is undefeated versus first-time starters, and with that 85.5 percent took the -6 odds at -105 and 95 percent took the -245 moneyline. Things looked dicey for bettors as Titans QB Jake Locker was effective at moving the ball downfield early and Belichick keyed on running the ball with Stevan Ridley instead of the aggressive pass-happy style that blew up spreads in years past.
The focus on teams with elite QBs continued throughout Week 1 but the results were mixed. When weighing the option between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys bettors couldn’t deny Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning. But when the game kicked, Cowboys QB Tony Romo played like he’d been waiting all summer to prove he was the pre-Jessica Simpson Romo, leading the ‘Boys to a 24-17 victory. Sixty-nine percent lost the wager by taking the Giants at -4, another 63 percent lost on the Giants -200 moneyline.
Another top five bet was San Francisco 49ers at the Green Bay Packers. Alex Smith versus Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau Field? We’re actually a little surprised only 64 percent bet on the Pack at -6 and 63 percent on the -250 moneyline, after all it is a QB league (as ESPN likes to say at nauseam). But the Niners proved defense can still dominate in today’s game. Rodgers was rattled, Packers RB Cedric Benson went nowhere and Smith was “game manager-plus;” 30-22 Niners. We’re interested to see if the 49ers betting bandwagon gains weight in Week 2, San Fran faces the Detroit Lions at home.
Is Cam Newton an elite QB? He sure put up elite numbers his rookie season, and with his Carolina Panthers visiting a Tampa Bay team fresh off a 4-12 2011 bettors gave him attention. Seventy-seven percent took the Panthers at -3, 65 percent took the Panthers -160 moneyline. But two things should’ve given pause: The Buccaneers are an NFC South division rival; that division rival is a home ‘dog and under a new coaching staff. The Bucs displayed toughness, a new willingness to stop the run and energy we haven’t seen since 2010. 16-10 Bucs was the surprising final.
Disappointed with the new elite bettors finished the weekend with old faithful, Peyton Manning. Questions galore on how Manning would perform versus the vaunted Pittsburgh Steelers defense, but bettors wagered like he still had a horseshoe on his helmet. Fifty-nine percent took the -3 (EVEN) odds, with no moneyline listed another 55 anticipated a shootout, betting OVER 45.5. Once Manning hit the field only thin air and bright orange nylon reminded us it wasn’t 2010. He was in command, he was accurate, he was calling a billion audibles — 31-19, Broncos win, bettors win.
We somewhat anticipated a Manning comeback with the Broncos listed at -3, however Sunday proved it’s only a matter of time before he’s pre-injury Manning. Expect oddsmakers to adjust.
Week 1 had the most rookie starters since the 50s, but Brady and Peyton Manning were still the money makers. We’ll see if bettors follow the vets into Week 2.