The NFL will apparently make betting-line history this week, when the undefeated Cowboys and perfect Patriots take on the hapless Dolphins and Jets, respectively.
What’s so extra-special about these one-sided outings (at least on paper)?
This Sunday marks the first time in the Super Bowl era that a pair of 20-plus-point spreads occur on the same NFL weekend.
BIGGEST NFL POINT SPREADS OF THE MODERN ERA
1976 — Buccaneers @ Steelers (27 points … covered)
2013 — Jaguars @ Broncos (26 points … didn’t cover)
1993 — Bengals @ 49ers (24 points … didn’t cover)
1987 — Falcons @ 49ers (23.5 points … covered)
1977 — Buccaneers @ Cowboys (23 points … didn’t cover)
2019 — Jets @ Patriots (22 points)
2007 — Dolphins @ Patriots (22 points … covered)
2019 — Dolphins @ Cowboys (21 points)
1976 — Patriots @ Buccaneers (21 points … didn’t cover)
2011 — Colts @ Patriots (20.5 points … didn’t cover)
2013 — Jaguars @ Seahawks (19.5 points … covered)
Instead, we’ll get to pair these matchups against other historically exorbitant spreads, including Bucs-Steelers from 1976 (Pittsburgh covered the 27-point spread with a 42-0 romp) and Jaguars-Broncos from 2013 (Denver couldn’t cover the 26-point gap, but still gutted out a victory over Jacksonville).
After all, New York once owned a 16-0 lead in Week 1 (before falling to Buffalo) and surrendered only 23 points to the playmaker-heavy Browns on Monday night.
The Dolphins, however, have brought new meaning to the word wretched, losing their opening two games (both at home) by a cumulative score of 102-10.
Within that scope, would anyone have objected if the Cowboys (averaging 33 points per game) were 27-point favorites for Sunday, in line with the 1976 Steelers and 2013 Broncos?
Regardless, it should be fun to observe how the Cowboys and Patriots players/coaches react to being such overwhelming favorites. Will they for go the Vegas-style jugular Sunday … or just hit the Cruise Control lever sometime after halftime?
As for the other games on the college football and NFL dockets … BATSBY Sports offers its 15 most appealing picks for the upcoming weekend.
NOTE: This week’s college football and NFL odds are courtesy of OddsShark.com.
AGAINST THE SPREAD
(Home team in CAPS)
Michigan State (-9.5) over NORTHWESTERN
Southern Miss (+39) over ALABAMA
Central Connecticut State (+33) over EASTERN MICHIGAN
MISSISSIPPI STATE (-6) over Kentucky
Louisiana State vs. VANDERBILT (62 total
Western Michigan vs. SYRACUSE (65.5 total points) … OVER
BYU vs. Washington (50.5 total points) … OVER
AGAINST THE SPREAD
DALLAS (-21.5) over Miami
MINNESOTA (-8) over Oakland
SEATTLE (-4.5) over New Orleans
Chicago (-4.5) over WASHINGTON
N.Y. Giants vs. TAMPA BAY (48 total points) … UNDER
N.Y. Jets vs. NEW ENGLAND (43.5 total points) … OVER
BUFFALO vs. Cincinnati (44 total points) … OVER
KANSAS CITY vs. Baltimore (54.5 total points) … UNDER