Tom Brady is widely considered to be the greatest quarterback in the history of football. And when you look at the 42-year-old’s accomplishments, it’s extremely hard to argue against that.
His illustrious 20-year career with the New England Patriots has been one of the greatest individual and team runs in sports history. Brady is a six-time Super Bowl champion, a four-time Super Bowl MVP and a three-time regular season MVP. His 14 Pro Bowl appearances are tied for the record of most selections ever.
The number 199 pick in the 2000 draft once told an ESPN reporter that he was glad at the moment of being drafted that he didn’t need to become an insurance salesman. New England fans are certainly happy that he got to play a little bit of football instead!
Brady is the winningest quarterback in NFL history. No player in the history of the sport has won as many playoff games as he has. He is first in all-time career passing yards and touchdown passes.
We could go on listing Brady’s achievements for quite a while here. But let’s instead look at the case for him as an investment for sports traders and see how he has historically fared against the spread.
Tom Brady against the spread
Before we look at the ATS data from Tom Brady’s career, let’s establish that sportsbooks are usually extremely good in evening things out over long stretches of time with popular teams and players. That means that when sports traders look at raw ATS team winning percentages from a sample size that covers multiple seasons, the numbers are most often very close to 50%.
In this light, the ATS results from Brady’s career can be a bit surprising.
The data we fetched starts from 2003 and is hence missing Brady’s first three seasons. During that period of time, New England held an incredible straight up win/loss record of 239-71.
Overall, the Pats have been by far the best team against the spread in the NFL during that period of time with a cover rate of 59.3% (the Indianapolis Colts are second at 55.8%). This is probably one more testament to Brady’s greatness – the bookmakers haven’t been able to find an appropriate line for him and his team during the 17-year span that we’re covering here!
Amazingly, Brady’s Patriots have gone under 50% against the spread in only one season during his career. They’ve had four even 50% seasons though, which would have been losing years for investors who would have bet on New England against the spread in each of their games.
But overall, it’s pretty incredible that investors would be up 13% from such a simple pick as New England against the spread over a 17-year span.
When we try to dissect the ATS data for that entire period, their number stays close to 60% in almost all scenarios. For example, the home and away ATS splits are 58.7% home and 60.1% away since 2003. They are 59.0% against conference rivals and 60.0% against non-conference opponents. As underdogs, the number is at 64.9%. But that’s a rare occasion with only 39 qualifying games.
Only in playoff games does their ATS record take a dip, standing at an even 50% in 38 postseason encounters.
When it comes to over/under stats throughout Brady’s career, the Pats have been a very slightly positive investment since 2003 on that front, as well when choosing the over (at 52.5%).
With Brady heading to the sunny shores of Tampa, FL, it is possible that his incredible ATS run is coming to an end. However, with his new high powered offense under head coach, Bruce Arians, the G.O.A.T. very well may be playing late into January once again. And if so, the California cool boy will be a little warmer.
Now, while it’s only fitting that Brady’s career has been so incredible that bookmakers haven’t been able to handicap his Pats team efficiently, we should note that the 13% ROI from ATS investments over a 17-year span is certainly not a great return. Investing your money in the S&P 500 index would have been way more profitable, and our sports trading systems here at ScoreMetrics certainly aim to make a heck of a lot more profit in a single season – let alone in that amount of time.
To get a taste of how such systems are built, check out our sports guru John Todora’s new book – “Zero Correlation Investing – The Score Metrics Secret”. It’s currently on sale for a limited time, so go get yours now!
The ScoreMetrics Lab is the engine that runs the Sports Trading System operation, consisting of a team of researchers and writers who are constantly testing and retesting algorithms. They work hand in hand with our Head Trader and Creator of ScoreMetrics, John Todora to help find new breakthroughs and develop new systems.