Upcoming Match-ups

Odds to Catch Tom Brady’s First Touchdown Pass as a Buccaneer – Godwin Listed as Slight Favorite

Eric Thompson

by Eric Thompson in NFL Football

Updated Mar 9, 2021 · 4:18 PM PST

NFC South
FILE - In this Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, file photo, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) looks to pass against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of an NFL football game in Tampa, Fla. The Bucs face the Broncos on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio, File)
  • Who will catch Tom Brady’s first TD pass as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?
  • Chris Godwin has slightly better odds than Mike Evans after leading the Bucs in touchdowns in 2019
  • Rob Gronkowski leads all tight ends by a wide margin, despite sitting out last season

On Oct. 14, 2001, some backup QB named Thomas Edward Brady, made his third start for the New England Patriots and threw his first career touchdown to Terry Glenn. Turns out, the kid had plenty more where there came from: Tom Brady went on to shatter just about every passing milestone a quarterback could dream of and earned himself a flattering comparison to a farm animal.

Now, as he enters his 21st season in the NFL, Brady will have a chance to hit a brand new milestone, by throwing a touchdown pass for a team not named the Patriots. Even though the season is still a month away, you’d better believe you can already bet on who will be on the receiving end of Brady’s first TD pass as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Receiver for Brady’s 1st Buccaneers TD

Player Odds at FanDuel
Chris Godwin, WR +195
Mike Evans, WR +200
Rob Gronkowski, TE +340
Cameron Brate, TE +700
OJ Howard, TE +700
Ronald Jones, RB +700
Dare Ogunbowale, RB +1100
Justin Watson, WR +1600
Scotty Miller, WR +1800

Odds as of Aug 11th.

Which player currently offers the best value?

Will Brady Play Favorites?

No player has been more instrumental in Brady reaching 541 career TD passes than Rob Gronkowski. In nine seasons in the NFL, the hulking tight end has been on the receiving end of 78 scores thrown by TB12. Eager to make their new QB happy, the Buccaneers traded for the recently unretired Gronk earlier this offseason in order to reunite one of the most potent combinations in NFL history.

YouTube video

Injuries were a big part of why Gronk 1.0’s career ended so quickly, missing 16 games across his final three seasons. It’s unclear how a leaner-looking Gronk will hold up for an entire season, but for the purposes of this bet, he really only has to suit up Week 1.

First TD Pass of the Season: Tom Brady

Year Player
2010 Wes Welker, WR (Week 1)
2011 Rob Gronkowski, TE (Week 1)
2012 Aaron Hernandez, TE (Week 1)
2013 Julian Edelman, WR (Week 1)
2014 Rob Gronkowski, TE (Week 1)
2015 Rob Gronkowski, TE (Week 1)
2016 Martellus Bennett, TE (Week 5)
2017 Rex Burkhead, RB (Week 2)
2018 Rob Gronkowski, TE (Week 1)
2019 Josh Gordon, WR (Week 1)

In total, a third of Brady’s career TDs have gone to the tight end position, making OJ Howard and Cameron Brate look like solid options as well, since Gronk’s snap count may not be that high coming out of the gate.

What About the New Weapons?

Tampa fans won’t be shocked to hear that the first touchdown Jameis Winston threw in the 2019 season went to the opposing team.

But when it comes to receivers in pewter helmets, they’ve always had a pretty strong group during Winston’s time there, thanks in large part to Pro Bowler Mike Evans.

First TD Catch of the Season: Tampa Bay

Year Player
2015 Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE (Week 1)
2016 Brandon Myers, TE (Week 1)
2017 Mike Evans, WR (Week 2)
2018 DeSean Jackson, WR (Week 1)
2019 Chris Godwin, WR (Week 1)

However, the oddsmakers are giving the slightest edge in this prop to teammate Chris Godwin, after he became the first non-Evans player to lead the team in receiving since 2013. Together, the pair might be the best wide receiver tandem in the NFL. And though we just highlighted Brady’s affinity for throwing to tight ends, he’s always going to utilize the strength of his team. (Last season with a weak crop on the Pats, he threw just 2 TDs to tight ends.)

Though both of these receivers are outstanding, the reason to favor Godwin likely has more to do with Tampa’s Week 1 opponent, the New Orleans Saints, than anything else. Ever since Marshon Lattimore burst onto the scene and began shadowing Evans in 2017, he hasn’t been able to do much against their division rival, mustering just one TD in his last six games.

Brady will be excited to try out his new toys, but he’s not going to force something to Evans if it’s not there. Meanwhile, Godwin has feasted against New Orleans’ lesser corners, catching five TDs in his last five games vs the Fleur-de-Lis.

Do We Have a Godwinner?

He’s already a threat to score from anywhere on the field and entering his fourth season, Godwin is still trending upward. Certainly based on the matchup, he’s the player I would be targeting until we know more about what Gronk’s role in this offense will look like.

Pick: Godwin (+195)

Author Image