Odds on which team Tom Brady will take his first snap with this season are up at sportsbooks in a handful of states, a historic moment in American sports betting.
The New England Patriots are consensus, odds-on favorites to keep Brady at each of the sportsbooks offering the prop. The Tennessee Titans, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers and San Francisco 49ers are among the next tier of contenders on select oddsboards in New Hampshire, New Jersey and Nevada.
Limits are low, and the odds vary wildly from one book to the next and can move dramatically -- sometimes even with a single tweet. By all indications, there is little certainty in the betting market about where Brady will play this season.
At some sportsbooks, the betting interest on the Brady proposition has exceeded expectations but remains modest overall. The bulk of the wagers are small, no more than a few hundred dollars at most, and are generally evenly distributed among the teams. At some books, there are more bets on the Titans than there is on any other team. At other shops, the Raiders are attracting the most action.
"We're getting bets on all these teams," Jeff Sherman, vice president of risk management at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas, said. "We even have a few wagers on the Vikings at 1,000-1."
A few days after online sportsbook PointsBet posted odds on Brady's next team, they had taken only 80 bets. DraftKings said the Brady prop had attracted about 50% of the number of bets as had been placed on the odds to win the Super Bowl at its books. A few thousand dollars total had been wagered on the Brady prop in the first week it was up at the SuperBook.
On Sunday night, as rumors swirled that San Francisco could be a viable landing spot, a few bets began to trickle in, and online sportsbook PointsBet halted betting on the prop, before moving the 49ers' odds of acquiring Brady from 80-1 to 14-1 and reopening the wager.
The SuperBook in Las Vegas also received recent interest on the 49ers and shortened their odds from a 100-1 to 12-1.
"There's so much smoke and noise out here that every day there's going to be a different twist," Sherman of the SuperBook said Wednesday. "Now, the flavor of the day is the 49ers. We've only got one ticket on the Patriots. It's getting spread out everywhere. It's not like they're zeroing in on one team."
The volatility of the Brady betting market requires constant monitoring of social media, which is part of the reason that, until now, Nevada sportsbooks have not offered such player destination prop bets. Fears of inside information also concerned bookmakers and regulators, but, as the U.S. sports betting market continues to expand, competition is increasing, and bookmakers are becoming more aggressive with the offerings. In New Jersey, FanDuel also is offering next team odds on quarterbacks like Nick Foles and Teddy Bridgewater.
In February, bookmaker William Hill U.S. asked -- and received -- approval from the Nevada Gaming Control Board to take bets on "Which team will Tom Brady take his first snap with in Week 1 of the 2020-21 regular season?"
"I know the first four bets were on the Titans after we put it up [on Feb. 25] ," Nick Bogdanovich, director of trading for William Hill U.S., told ESPN. "No one wants to the bet the Patriots."
With this type of wager now being offered in the U.S., bookmakers are looking forward to offering more player destination prop bets in the future (they would've liked to do it on Kawhi Leonard 's free agency last summer or LeBron James in 2018). For now, though, all eyes are on the 42-year-old Brady, whose Patriots contract expires this month.
Beginning March 16, Brady's agent can negotiate with other teams. According to ESPN's Bill Barnwell, March 18 is a "de facto" deadline for New England.
In the meantime, the betting on where an all-time NFL great will play next will continue.
"Ticket count's high, volume's high," Bogdanovich said of the Brady prop. "We lose with the Raiders and the [Indianapolis] Colts, but everyone else is good. I'd call it a very successful prop, because one, it's got a us a ton of publicity, and two, it's writing bets. That's the two-team parlay in what you're looking for in a prop."