The NFL Draft taught us many things. Chase Young and Rob Burrow are going to be bankers all season. The Green Bay Packers forgot how to draft well. Oh, and sometimes, if you are looking for a great partnership at the heart of your team’s chances, then it’s just good planning to steal one.
When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the destination for Tom Brady after he left the Green Bay Packers following a period of unprecedented success, a few eyebrows were raised. However, the recent signing of Rob Gronkowski has made the decision to draft in Brady something of a double coup.
The Buccaneers, however, haven’t won the Super Bowl since 2002… so what has convinced some industry experts proclaiming this will be their year based on the Brady-Gronkowski partnership alone?
There has been a lot of excitement on social media around the renewal of the most powerful partnership in the NFL, not least from the guys themselves, as Tom Brady’s excited Tweet shows:
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) April 22, 2020
Gronkowski himself is delighted with the move, as he explained shortly after its confirmation.
So why are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the shortest odds they’ve been to win the Super Bowl since 2003, the year after their most recent victory?
Tampa Bay have come in to as short as +1000 in some places (odds courtesy of OddsShark.com), and while Brady and Gronkowski will be hoping that they can “run it back”, both men might be past their prime.
It’s not putting anyone off making the bet that The Bucs will top the NFC South in the forthcoming season, however, with our tip of them at 2/1 just the other week before Gronkowski’s trade seeing odds shortening from 2/1 to a best-price 8/5 that is fast disappearing.
There’s no question that Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady has had a major impact on the betting markets around The Bucs, but while some of this is understandable, turning around the form of a side who haven’t made the post-season play-offs since Flo Rida and T-Pain were top of the Billboard Hot 100 with ‘Low’ is tough to do. Just look at the last 10 years for Bucs fans.
|2019||Bruce Arians||Won 7 Lost 9||3rd – NFC South|
|2018||Dirk Koetter||Won 5 Lost 11||4th – NFC South|
|2017||Dirk Koetter||Won 5 Lost 11||4th – NFC South|
|2016||Dirk Koetter||Won 9 Lost 7||2nd – NFC South|
|2015||Lovie Smith||Won 6 Lost 10||4th – NFC South|
|2014||Lovie Smith||Won 2 Lost 14||4th – NFC South|
|2013||Greg Schiano||Won 4 Lost 12||4th – NFC South|
|2012||Greg Schiano||Won 7 Lost 9||4th – NFC South|
|2011||Raheem Morris||Won 4 Lost 12||4th – NFC South|
|2010||Raheem Morris||Won 10 Lost 6||3rd – NFC South|
While coach Bruce Arians has improved matters in Tampa, it’s still a reach to see The Bucs topping the NFC South, and is no odds-on bet. The New Orleans Saints remain the favourites, and they had a satisfactory draft as Sean Payton discussed on ESPN.
Somehow, The Bucs sit in fourth place on the oddsboard for Super Bowl 55, rated as +1000 bets. To win the NFC Championship, Brady et al are +600, while winning the NFC South sits at +140 by current odds.
Interestingly, the split on regular season wins has changed dramatically too, though noticeably not as much with the addition of Gronkowski. Before Brady signed on the dotted line, Tampa Bay were likely to have a familiar 7-9 winning record, or rather, a losing one. That flipped on its head when Brady signed, moving to 9-7, before Gronkowski’s arrival made the split 9.5 on the moneyline.
The Bucs were +5000 shots to win Super Bowl 55 before trading for Brady, and that changed to +1600. That has now shortened a lot further by comparison to the win split, with Tampa available at just +1000.
Before the free agency moves, Tampa Bay Buccaneers were a huge +1200 to win the NFC South, so the movement to +140 is nothing short of astonishing. Gronkowski may have been the Tight End to end them all but his injuries restricted him during his career. Now in the twilight of his NFL time, can we expect that to be any different?
Despite reservations, if The Bucs can keep the pair fit, they’re likely to have a major influence on how the NFC South shapes up. The NFC Championship and the Super Bowl? We’ll reserve judgement, but at the present moment, it feels like a throw that – just as it did for Tom Brady in the Super Bowl once – might fall that bit short.