What’s With All the Huge NFL Spreads?

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I remember a time when a double-digit point spread for a NFL game was a rare sight. When it did happen, you got so many people jumping all over it, it was always moved down. What’s causing this? Is parity in the NFL become a thing of the past? Don’t be so quick to side with this thinking, and here’s why.

This season has seen twenty games close with a 10-point favorite or greater. Only three weeks didn’t have a line 10 or above, Week’s 5, 7 and 9. But we have also saw one week (Week 6) with four games with a 10-point spread or greater and three others with 3 games (Week’s 2, 8 and 10).

But here’s the kicker…the favorite has only gone 7-13 Against the Spread in those games. Yes, that’s right, only 7 of the 20 games were covered. Not only that, but in five games where the spread was 10 or greater, the favored team lost.

That’s right, five times this year a team has lost the game Straight Up when favored by 10-points or more. You probably remember some of them, as it happened on opening night. Sportsbooks had the New England Patriots closing as a 10-point favorite when they kicked off the 2017 NFL season with the Kansas City Chiefs coming to town.

The line did open at 7.5, but with so much time to get action on Week 1 games, it was bet up to 10. Rookie running back Kareem Hunt took the football world by storm rushing for 148 yards on just 17 carries. He also caught 5 Alex Smith passes for 98 yards and found paydirt three times.

The aforementioned Smith outdueled Tom Brady on the night. Alex Smith completed 28 of his 35 pass attempts for 368 yards with four TD’s and no interceptions. The Chiefs’ defense had Brady’s number all night, holding him to 267 yards, no TD’s or INT’s, all while completing only 16 of 36 passes.

The Patriots woes didn’t end there as the heavy favorite at the bookie window. Week 4 saw them open a 9.5-point favorite hosting the Carolina Panthers. Before kickoff, it was bet up to 10 as Cam Newton and the Panthers completed the upset with a 33-30 win at Gillette Stadium. As well, the week before, New England closed as a huge 15-point favorite when they played host to the Houston Texans.

QB Deshaun Watson literally threw his name in the hat to be in the rookie of the year conversation, which unfortunately played out with him ending up on the IR two weeks later. The Patriots did not lose their Week 3 game, but if not for some late heroics from the GOAT, they would have. The 36-33 win was nowhere near enough to cover though.

OK, so that leads us to the point of this article. This week we have five games with spreads of 10-points or greater, including….you guessed it…the New England Patriots at Gillette. They are hosting their divisional rival Miami Dolphins, and are currently a huge 16.5-point favorite.

Is Miami the pick of the week? That I can’t tell you that, but if history tells you anything, this game will be a lot closer than the Sports odds makers will lead you to believe. There is another big spread for the Sunday Night Football with the Pittsburgh Steelers a 14-point favorite when they host the Green Bay Packers. If you’re looking to wager on the Steelers, remember they closed an 11-point favorite Week 1 in Cleveland, winning that one by 3.

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