Tom Brady's Week 1 game against the New Orleans Saints will be different in more ways than one.
The most obvious change is the fact that he's no longer playing for the New England Patriots. After spending 20 years with the Patriots and leading them to six Super Bowl titles, Brady is now the starting quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Brady's first game with the Buccaneers is a really tough matchup against the New Orleans Saints on the road. In fact, Brady will be an underdog in Sunday afternoon's matchup, which ends a streak that goes back to the 2015 regular season.
Tom Brady’s team is an underdog in a regular-season game for the first time since 2015, per @ESPNStatsInfo. Before this week, Brady’s team had been favored in 74 straight regular-season starts.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 10, 2020
The Saints are 3.5-point favorites against the Bucs (Odds provided by our partner, PointsBet).
This line isn't really a surprise. The Mercedes-Benz Superdome is a very tough place for opposing teams to win, and the Saints have a 19-5 record at home over the last three seasons. New Orleans has also won seven of the last nine meetings with Tampa Bay at the Superdome.
So, while the Saints do have the advantage of being at home, it's still tough to bet against Brady. The Patriots had an incredible 189-128-7 ATS record when Brady started at quarterback, per ESPN Stats & Info.
The race for the NFC South division title should be among the most competitive in the league. Tiebreakers could become an important factor late in the season, which is one of several reasons why this head-to-head matchup is so critical for both teams.