The NFL world was turned upside down on Tuesday when six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady announced he would be leaving the New England Patriots in free agency, most likely for either the Tampa Bay Bucs or Los Angeles Chargers.
Everyone knows how successful that the Patriots had been since Brady took over for an injured Drew Bledsoe early in the 2001 season, reaching a total of nine Super Bowls in that span, winning the AFC East title in all but two of those seasons (2002 & '08) and astonishingly winning at least 10 games each year since 2003.
Betting on the Patriots against the spread in games Brady started also was hugely profitable as he was 187-127-10 ATS, a nearly 60 percent cover percentage. Since 2003, the Patriots NEVER failed to cover four straight games in one season. In 2019, they took a three-game ATS losing streak into a Week 15 matchup in Cincinnati but easily covered a 10.5-point spread in a 34-31 victory.
However, Brady's final game as a Patriot was a rare home loss as a favorite. New England was -4.5 on the NFL odds in a Wild-Card Round game to Tennessee on Jan. 4 and lost 20-13. It was only the Patriots' fifth SU loss in their past 30 as a home favorite (19-11 ATS) including playoffs.
It actually also happened Week 17 of last season when the Pats were -17 and shocked 27-24 by the Dolphins to lose a chance at the AFC's No. 2 seed. That was easily the biggest upset loss of Brady's career.
New England hadn't been a home underdog under Brady since Nov. 2, 2014, when it was +3 against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. The Pats rolled 43-21. The Patriots haven't lost as home underdogs since Nov. 7, 2005, vs. Manning's Indianapolis Colts.
Brady started every single playoff game over his Patriots career and failed to play all 16 regular-season games just three times: 2001 – Bledsoe began the year as the starter before getting hurt; 2008 – Brady suffered a season-ending injury Week 1; and 2017 – Brady was suspended first four games for Deflategate.