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What Brady ruling means for Pats, Week 1, Vegas

How does the judge's ruling affect New England's win projection? The Week 1 line vs. Pittsburgh? We tell you what kind of difference Tom Brady makes.
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As soon as a judge overturned Tom Brady's four-game suspension in the Deflategate case, William Hill sportsbooks moved the Patriots from -3 to -6.5 for their season opener against the Steelers next Thursday.

Impact of Brady decision
  Win Loss Win% Div Playoff
Brady out 4 games 10.1 5.9 63.1% 45.9% 70.7%
Brady not suspended 10.9 5.1 68.1% 61.8% 83.2%
Impact 0.8 -0.8 5.0% 15.9% 12.5%

That was just one of several immediate Vegas adjstments.

The Week 1 total shot up from 48.5 to 51.

William Hill dropped the odds on the Pats winning the Super Bowl from 12/1 to 9/1. And the book raised the Over/Under on New England's regular-season wins from 10 (Over -155) to 10.5 (Over -115). 

The Westgate LV SuperBook cut New England from 10/1 to 8/1 to win the Super Bowl, tied with Indianapolis for lowest odds of any AFC team and behind only Green Bay 6/1 and Seattle 9/2. The book reopened the Pats as 7-point favorites over the Steelers.

Basically, the Week 1 line is back where it opened before Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended the star quarterback. Every book, in Vegas and offshore, is dealing New England in the range of -6.5 to -7.

That's how much oddsmakers value Brady over second-year quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, at least against Pittsburgh's porous defense.

With Brady suspended the first quarter of the season, the SportsLine Projection Model had New England winning 10.1 games. Now the Pats are projected to win 10.9 -- a significant difference given the Over/Under on their regular-season win total stood at 10 wins Wednesday.

According to SportsLine, the Pats now have a 62 percent chance of winning the AFC East for the seventh straight time, compared to 46 percent with the suspension intact. Their shot at the playoffs jumped from 71 percent to 83 percent.

SportsLine's Vegas insider, Todd Fuhrman, said the twists and turns in this case have been a boon to smart bettors.

Impact on first four games
  Win Loss Win%
Brady out 4 games 1.97 2.03 49.3%
Brady not suspended 2.75 1.25 68.8%
Impact 0.78 -0.78 19.5%

"Not because he'll be back on the field Week 1 but rather the arbitrage opportunities that were created by all the offseason speculation," Fuhrman said. "Sharp bettors made plays on New England at -3 when the market bottomed out, knowing the worst-case scenario for the Patriots sans Brady meant the line might tick down to -2.5.

"However, with the appeal being upheld, those holding a New England ticket -3 are presented with an interesting scenario: able to keep their position on the favorite at a great number or look to bet the Steelers back +7 as the line climbs, hoping for a coveted middle. 

"Books that kept the Week 1 number up throughout the season face liability, putting them in a difficult position especially given the rash of injuries/suspensions to the Steelers. It will be interesting to see where the public takes this number, potentially creating value on the Steelers +7.5 were it to climb that high.

"Let's just say there are bookmakers out there praying the Patriots don't win by 4, 5, or 6 points, putting their shops in a precarious position."

Click here for SportsLine's updated pick and predicton for Steelers-Patriots

Larry HartsteinSenior Analyst