Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and sorry we're late. But you know, I was just taking a look at the vast selection of entertaining NFL playoff props at America's Bookie and came across something where I think I'm going to be able to get you some value.
As you know, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are traveling to the District of Columbia on Saturday night - not to storm the capitol building, mind you - but to play the Washington Football Team in the NFC Wild Card round of the playoffs.
Actually the 8:15 PM ET kickoff is taking place outside of D.C. at FedEx Field in Landover, MD, so it's a good bet these guys missed the melee.
But we can offer you a bet that is just as good, as it involves Tom Brady, who as it turns out, has had a banner season.
Brady has flourished upon leaving New England, and it doesn't hurt one bit that he may have the most stacked group of receivers in all of pro football. And the Bucs added to the arsenal with Antonio Brown, who caught 45 passes, with a lot of help from Brady, who has basically brought the problem child back to life.
On the year, Brady has completed 65.7% of his passes for 4633 yards and 40 touchdowns. The yardage total is something he has surpassed only four times in his career. His TD total is the second best he's ever had. And if he'd had two more completions, he'd be at his career high.
Bring in Bruce Arians' offense promoted getting the ball down the field, as they say, and indeed Brady led the NFL with 9.1 "Intended Air Yards" per attempt (yards past the line of scrimmage). That would have been almost unheard of in the offense he was running with the Patriots.
His average was 289 yards per game. And here is the prop for passing yards in the game against Washington, as it is posted at America's Bookie:
What I find interesting about this proposition is that the number is so close to his season average. Yet, if you take a long look at Brady's numbers, you'll find there is quite a difference in his production levels when he plays against teams - and specifically defensive units - that are above average.
I think four teams in particular qualify on this list - the New Orleans Saints (whom he played twice), the Chicago Bears, the Green Bay Packers and the Los Angeles Rams. All of these teams are in the playoffs. I left out the Kansas City Chiefs, because their stop unit is not as good as these other clubs.
There were five combined games played against the aforementioned teams. The closest Brady got to his season's average in passing yards was 253 against Chicago. In the five games, his average was just under 217 yards a game. He completed less than 60% of his passes, for just 5.7 yards an attempt (compared to 7.6 overall), with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also suffered ten of his 21 sacks in those five games.
That is very "average" stuff.
Those teams accounted for four of his five lowest QB ratings, five of his six lowest accuracy rates, and five of his seven lowest yardage totals. Tampa Bay was on TV a lot, and you could sense that there were things these playoff-level defenses were doing that had him flustered. They greatly limited the range of what he was trying to do, and when you are going after more yardage than you used to (in other words, throwing it farther down the field), it becomes even more difficult. And you also may recall that after some of these games, he was called out by his own head coach.
We say all this because Washington might have a defensive unit that is better than any of those teams. They ranked third in the league when it came to yardage and points allowed per drive. They forced three-and-outs on 22% of their opponents' possessions. They are one of only three teams in the NFL to allow fewer than 200 passing yards per game (the Rams and Steelers are the others). They held eight of 16 opponents to 300 yards or less.
They are also fourth in the NFL in Sack Percentage, and there is little question that they have the ability to make Brady uncomfortable. They can do it by flooding the middle with pass rushers, making him move outside of the pocket. Or a guy like Chase Young, who looks like an All-Pro right now, can just beat his man to the outside. Either way, Brady will find himself under siege.
So 285.5 yards? At -120? mark it down as an UNDER, and jump all over it.
Charles Jay is unlike most analysts associated with
handicapping and the gaming industry, in that he also has had extensive
experience in the so-called "mainstream" media as well.
He has been involved with professional sports industry for
almost two decades, working in all capacities, as a matchmaker, booking agent,
manager, and also as an editorial consultant on USA Network's "Tuesday Night
Fights," which, for a time, carried "Charles Jay's Line" on
upcoming fights. As a broadcaster, he has called world title fights around the
world for various outlets, and has served as a color commentator for Sunshine
Network and Prime Network.
His radio experience includes being the host of numerous
programs, including "Sportswatch with Charles Jay" on KDWN in Las
Vegas, "Total Action" on WAXY 790 in Miami, and "Charles Jay's
Winning Edge", syndicated into 55 markets by the American Radio Networks,
and he's done podcasts on all subjects related to sports, gaming and popular
Working within the casino industry, he has a special events
consultant for Casino Magic in Mississippi, as that venue established itself in
the early 1990s as a hotbed of boxing activity in particular. Prior to this, he
had been engaged as a casino gaming columnist for, among others, Casino Player,
Card Player and Sports Form (now known as Gaming Today), specializing in
blackjack. And later on, his investigative series on boxing, entitled
"Operation Cleanup," won him much critical acclaim, including the
2003 "Dignity" Award, in the category of "Best Sports
Writer," as bestowed by the Retired Boxers Foundation, a non-profit
organization dedicated to rendering assistance to ex-fighters in need.
In 2006 he established a content services division of his
company, which has eventually evolved in JayWords, and he is arguably the
world's most prolific sports & gaming writer, with over 20,000 articles to
his credit, the vast majority of which have been sports handicapping pieces. So
you might say he has analyzed as many sporting events as anyone alive during
this period. He has also brought some interest with his so-called
"gimmick" odds on special events, including the Academy Awards, the
NFL Draft, and the Super Bowl, for which he posted dozens and dozens of
different odds propositions with various sportsbooks.
This renaissance man is a winner of the Retired Boxers Foundation's "Dignity Award" and a member of the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame; graduate of the University of
Miami (Florida) who currently resides in the South Florida area.