Panthers vs. Buccaneers: The best Tom Brady player prop bets
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are already assured of their playoff spot, although they could sneak into the No. 2 seed in the NFC if they beat the Carolina Panthers and the Los Angeles Rams lose a tricky game against the San Francisco 49ers. The New York Jets put up a spirited performance seven days ago against Tampa Bay, but Tom Brady did what Tom Brady does, with a stunning last-second game-winning drive.
The Panthers are in free-fall, losing six straight games and scoring more than 14 points just once in the last five weeks. The big question mark will be how many snaps Brady plays before Tampa Bay rotates, but in the final regular season game last season Brady played the full match and threw for 399 yards and four touchdowns, so there’s a decent chance he plays the whole game again here.
Sun, January 9 2022, 9:25 PM
We've examined the matchup closely, and have the best Tom Brady player prop bets below.
Over/Under 287.5 Passing Yards
Brady currently leads the NFL in yards per game with a whopping 311.9. That’s the second-highest average of his career, only beaten by his 327 yards per game average in 2011. Not bad for a fella in his mid-40s!
It’s also great news for his bank account. TB12 will pocket a $562,000 bonus if he finishes among the top five in passing yards, while he’s also the leading scorer in passing touchdowns and completion percentage. That means he’s likely to scoop another $1.68 million this weekend – easy money, right?
Speaking of bonuses – Rob Gronkowski needs seven receptions for a $500,000 bonus and 95 yards for another $500,000, so expect his favourite QB to target him plenty against Carolina. Mike Evans can also hit 1,000 receiving yards for the eighth season in a row if he can haul in 54 yards today, which is an extra incentive.
All of that suggests this should be a heavy passing game for the GOAT, despite a solid Carolina defense that has given up just 183.9 passing yards per game to opponents this year, the second strongest defense in the league.
Brady will be without Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown this weekend, and although that lowers expectations slightly, TB12 still put up 232 yards on the Panthers in Week 15 without Godwin and Mike Evans. Brady has averaged 309 yards per game in home games this season and 321 yards per game when the winning margin has been between eight and 14 points, as is anticipated here.
The Panthers are waiting for the season to end, while Tampa Bay are eyeing a Super Bowl run. Brady can pick them apart and help his teammates scoop some big pay days in the process.
Over/Under 2.5 Passing Touchdowns
For as good as Brady has been this year in finding the end zone – he has 40 touchdown passes, with Matthew Stafford the only other QB over 35 – this line is a little high. Brady has only thrown for three or more TDs twice in the eight games since the Bucs came back from a Week 9 bye.
Before the bye week, Brady had five 3+ TD games from eight matches, but Tampa Bay’s average points per game have fallen from 32.5 to 26.2 since the bye. It’s not that they’ve suddenly turned into a run-first team – 10 of the 14 touchdowns they’ve scored in the last five games have been through the air – but it’s hard to see them putting up more than 2.5 passing TDs.
They dominated the Week 15 game in Carolina, and although they blew the Panthers away 32-6, Brady only threw one TD pass. In eight career games against the Panthers, he’s beaten this 2.5 line just once.
With Godwin out that also limits Brady’s appeal in this prop. Godwin has demanded 47% of all red zone targets among the Bucs’ wide receivers this season, and although TB12 isn’t short of options with Gronk and Evans among others, this feels like a safe bet to duck Under. The Panthers have averaged just 12.2 points per game in their last five games, so this isn’t likely to be a match in which Tampa Bay need to score to heavily to win.