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New England 19.5 Point Favorites Over Miami - But That Isn’t The Biggest Spread Ever!

by Mark Knight
September 11th 2019, 7:05pm

What made the final score even more disturbing than it was already, was the fact that the Ravens took it easy on the Dolphins in the second half. That, and the knowledge that an even better team was on deck, the New England Patriots.   

If Lamar Jackson can decimate the Dolphins as he did, then how bad can Tom Brady and the Patriots take them apart—especially now that Antonio Brown is on the roster? Oddsmakers seem to think the Patriots will have no trouble at all.

They have set the spread at an incredible 19.5 points (via FoxBet).     

Spreads like that are much more common in college football, but they have happened on occasion in the NFL (but not often). The talent disparity is usually not as wide in the NFL as it has been known to get in the college ranks.

However, from time to time, it happens.

Some of the largest spreads in history include:

  • Seahawks vs. Jaguars (2013): Seahawks -19.5
    Seahawks won 45-17
  • Rams vs. Panthers (2001): Rams -19.5
    Panthers won 48-14
  • Patriots vs. Colts (2011): Patriots -20.5
  • Patriots won 31-24, but the Colts covered
  • Buccaneers vs. Patriots (1976): Patriots -21
    Patriots won 31-14, Buccaneers covered
  • Patriots vs. Dolphins (2007): Patriots -22
    Patriots won 28-7, Dolphins covered
  • Cowboys vs. Bucs (1977): Cowboys -23
    Cowboys won 23-7, Buccaneers covered
  • Falcons vs. 49ers (1987): 49ers -23.5
    49ers won 25-17, Falcons covered
  • 49ers vs. Bengals (1993): 49ers -24
    49ers won 21-8, Bengals covered
  • Broncos vs. Jaguars (2013): Broncos -26.5
    Broncos won 35-19, Jaguars covered
  • Buccaneers vs. Steelers (1976): Steelers -27
    Steelers won 42-0

Of the ten largest regular-season spreads in NFL history, the losing team managed to cover the spread in seven of them.

It happens all too often when college teams have such large spreads as well. The winning team starts to play nothing but backups at some point in the second half which gives the underdog a chance to score a few points.

So—what should this tell us about the New England Patriots and Sunday’s game against the Dolphins? Twice, a Bill Belichick-coached Patriots team failed to cover a large spread. Should fans be worried about giving the points for this game?

Then there is also the Dolphins’ nasty habit of playing their best game of the season when the Patriots come to town. The Patriots have lost five of the last six times they traveled to Miami.

If New England’s bad luck in Miami or the spread have you spooked, don’t worry. The oddsmakers at DraftKings are offering alternative spreads for those not as eager to assume the risk or are looking for more.

The official spread may be impacted by the addition of Antonio Brown to the roster for the Patriots. But it would not be shocking if he were not to play in Week Two. He will have only had a single week of practice, will not have had much time to develop chemistry with Tom Brady, and will not know the playbook.

Sending him out this week could be setting him up for failure, and as he has shown in recent months, he doesn’t handle adversity well.

But with how the Patriots played against the Steelers, that shouldn’t matter. The passing game looked just fine with Josh Gordon, Phillip Dorsett, James White, and Julian Edelman seeing most of the work.

Throw in a decent ground attack powered by Rex Burkhead, Sony Michel, and James White and you have an easy win over a good Steelers team.

Bill Belichick is not one for backing down at any point in a game, but even if he does take Brady out, Jarrett Stidham can handle these Dolphins. So, if you are going to bet on this game, you might as well give more than 18.5 points.

At least then you can make a little money when the Patriots win.