The New England Patriots are not participating in this year’s Super Bowl. However, one of the key architects of the Pats’ six Vince Lombardi Trophies will be involved Sunday at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
So, for Patriots fans, the question is: “Do you back Tom Brady?”
Some are blindly loyal to the 43-year-old future Hall of Fame quarterback who will try and win a seventh ring personally while helping the Tampa Bay Buccaneers win a second Super Bowl title. Some see value in taking the points with the Bucs as a side benefit.
Others may be rooting against Brady for leaving the Pats and will therefore back the Kansas City Chiefs come Sunday.
Since the books in the New England states and in New York are all handled by the big companies, don’t expect the numbers of Kansas City -3 and a Total of 56 to change dramatically. The risk managers who supply the numbers to those properties are well aware of Brady and the love-hate relationship with the bettors in that part of the country. They may add a little juice to the Kansas City side in order to balance out the action, but it’s highly unlikely you’re going to see 4s or 2.5s popping up at Twin River in Rhode Island, which works with William Hill, or in New Hampshire’s The Brook which has DraftKings as its risk partner.
In New York, the closest book to the Massachusetts border is in Schenectady where BetRivers oversees the sportsbook. The others are toward the central and western part of the state, which is Buffalo Bills territory. It stands to reason there’s going to be a lot of Chiefs action at those establishments as the Brady haters are a powerful force within the Bills Mafia. No way are they rooting for No. 12 come Sunday.
There’s no doubt the New York books would be doing big business had the Bills beat the Chiefs in the AFC title game two weeks ago. But it was not to be and as mentioned in this space last week, the fact the Bills are not in the Big Game will impact the handle in the Empire State.
The Brady props may also be popular, both for and against. Maybe his followers don’t care for the Bucs but will want to back Brady by himself. So his numerous props — from passing yards, to touchdowns thrown for, to interceptions, to whether he will rush for X number of yards — all figure to see plenty of support at the retail books as well as on the mobile apps.
This will also be Virginia’s first foray not betting the Super Bowl legally and FanDuel will have its full array of betting options on its mobile menu.
It will be interesting to see the betting patterns that come out of the Commonwealth as fans of the Washington Football Team and the Baltimore Ravens who dominate the base in the state, decide which way they’re going to wager.
A year from now, the East Coast sports betting landscape will look far different. Maryland will be on board. Connecticut figures to also be in the sports betting business. Maybe Maine figures it out and joins the party.
The big news would be if mobile betting is green-lighted in New York, thus paving the way for millions of accounts in the five boroughs of New York City, Long Island, Westchester and Rockland counties. We could be having a very different conversation this time in 2022.