Of all the storylines leading into the NFL 2020 season, the biggest item of curiosity on the field might just be how Tom Brady performs with the Buccaneers after 20 years in New England, and how Cam Newton meshes with the Patriots organization.
Brady is a Hall of Fame lock with a renowned work ethic, and Newton is a former NFL MVP with plenty to prove after missing significant time and struggling statistically while battling injuries the past couple of seasons.
At DraftKings Sportsbook, oddsmakers are pitting Newton and Brady against each other in a series of Player Proposition Match-bets. With these prop bets you pick whether Brady or Newton will have more passing touchdowns or more passing yards during the regular season.
Tom Brady or Cam Newton: Which player will have more passing TDs?
Tom Brady (-670) vs. Cam Newton (+470)
In Tampa Bay, there is no real competition for Brady in terms of taking snaps. But the Patriots organization is notoriously fickle and creative, plus Bill Belichick has long postured in support of Jarrett Stidham as the next long-term QB in New England.
Newton is competing for a starting gig and is by no means guaranteed to get the same amount of opportunities as Brady. Outside of Julian Edelman, his receivers are inexperienced and not necessarily dominant targets in the red zone, whereas Brady will be able to target two of the best big receivers in the game in Rob Gronkowski and Mike Evans.
To top it off, Newton is obviously far more of a threat to run in the red zone and Patriots OC Josh McDaniels is sure to utilize his legs in those situations. Brady has rushed for 22 career TDs and almost all have come on sneaks near the goal line, but he’s quite clearly a pocket passer and the Bucs’ pathetic run game will ensure that he’s given ample chances to convert with passing scores.
Tom Brady or Cam Newton: Which player will have more passing yards?
Tom Brady (-560) vs Cam Newton (+400)
The same factors figure into this prop bet, although Newton’s ability to run may not diminish his ability to rack up yardage as much as it prevents him from throwing for scores.
What will hurt Newton’s chances to rack up yardage is the Patriots’ schedule. New England has a brutal non-division schedule that includes matchups with the elite pass defenses of the Ravens, 49ers, and Rams, as well as two conference games against the shutdown Bills.
Brady moves to the weak NFC South, which features a Falcons secondary that ranked 25th in DVOA pass defense last year, and the inconsistent defenses of the Saints and Panthers. Playing in domes and warm climates is quite clearly an advantage for racking up yardage, so it would be surprising if Brady didn’t top 4,000 yards for a fourth consecutive season. Newton has not hit the 4,000-yard mark since his rookie season.