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As of Thursday, the 42-year-old quarterback was -130 to return to the Patriots, the best price we've seen in an offseason filled with questions about his future. That number moved to -150 by Friday afternoon, while Brady's chances of leaving flipped from -110 to +110.
Those odds may come as a surprise following ESPN's Jeff Darlington reporting early Thursday that Brady is "operating under the belief" he'll find a new team in free agency. Darlington said he'd be "stunned" if Brady wears a Patriots uniform next fall, while The Athletic's Vic Tafur reports there's "strong buzz" the six-time champion's days in New England are over.
However, those aren't the only reports about Brady's future. NBC Sports' Peter King said Thursday his sources suggest the three-time MVP is "definitely going back to New England."
Could this all be posturing from Brady to force the Patriots' hand? Maybe, but it seems unlikely given the reports from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport that New England is willing to pay "in excess of $30 million per year" to keep the face of the franchise around. At this point, what's the impetus for feigning free-agent interest?
It's not often most of the information points one way and you can get plus-money in that same direction. But much of the value on Brady leaving has already been sapped, so it's worth avoiding that wager altogether.
Instead, it may be better to bet on which team could sign him if he leaves.
|Las Vegas Raiders||+200|
|Los Angeles Chargers||+300|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+1200|
|Green Bay Packers||+2500|
|San Francisco 49ers||+3300|
Las Vegas Raiders (+200)
The Raiders were one of three teams - along with the Colts and Chargers - to meet with Brady's agent at the NFL Scouting Combine, according to Rapoport. They were also the favorites three weeks ago when we broke down the odds for where Brady might sign.
The same concerns exist now that did then: There aren't quality receivers on the Raiders' roster, which is a priority for Brady this offseason. Unless the Raiders court a big-name wideout, this bet isn't remotely worth its short price.
Indianapolis Colts (+200)
We've been on the Colts since early January when they were 8-1 long shots to land the quarterback who's long been a thorn in their side. Those odds have rightfully shortened amid interest from Brady's camp, and the on-field fit is still strong.
One problem: There's so much smoke surrounding Philip Rivers' potential future with the Colts that it complicates the Brady-to-Indy connection. For now, lay off the short price unless Indianapolis emerges as a clear front-runner.
Los Angeles Chargers (+300)
This is the bet we've been suggesting since L.A. opened at 6-1 in January. Los Angeles has now pushed Rivers out the door, and the team secured a combine meeting with Brady. Yet of the top three clubs listed above, the Chargers still face the longest odds.
We said a few weeks ago that 4-1 was too short, even if the Chargers should be the outright favorites to sign Brady. Two things are true here: It's probably not worth laying 3-1 odds, but if there's a team to bet in the Brady chase, it's Los Angeles.
C Jackson Cowart is a betting writer for theScore. He's an award-winning journalist with stops at The Charlotte Observer, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Times Herald-Record, and BetChicago. He's also a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and his love of sweet tea is rivaled only by that of a juicy prop bet. Find him on Twitter @CJacksonCowart.