The Jacksonville Jaguars a study in futility face the Denver Broncos this weekend. The Jaguars are currently 27.5-point underdogs in the game. The question is for many can they cover the spread, while for a few it is can they actually upset the Broncos and win the game.
Jacksonville is 0-5 SU and ATS, while the Broncos are 5-0 SU, but just 3-2 ATS.
Before even discussing the possibility of an upset, one must determine if the Jaguars even have a chance to cover the monstrous spread.
Over the past 10 seasons, 14-point are higher underdogs have a record of 43-36-3 ATS. If you go all the way back until 1976, this is only the ninth game where one team was favored by 20 points or more during the regular season. In the eight previous games, the dog has a record of 7-1 ATS.
Pittsburgh is the only team that covered as a 20-point or more favorite. The Steelers did that back in 1976 against Tampa when they were favored by 27 points and routed the Buccaneers 42-0.
Some bettors on sites like betonline, Bovada and topbet are envisioning a blowout of huge proportions, but from an odds standpoint, the better bet is Jacksonville and the points.
Some sportsbooks such as sportsbook.com and Bovada have the Jaguars at 30 to 1 to win the game. That is not likely to happen, but bigger ‘dogs have had their days in the NFL.
Remember the 8 previous point spreads of 20 points or more, the ‘dogs were 0-8 SU. On spreads a bit smaller, it is even more in favor of the favorites. Since 2003, teams favored by 14 points or more have a record of 78-4 SU.
Jacksonville was an underdog by 14 points against Denver in 1996 in the divisional playoffs. The Jaguars defeated Denver 30-27 outright in that game and that has surely passed through the mind of John Elway this week.
Another huge upset was in 1997 when the Green Bay Packers took on the Indianapolis Colts. Green Bay was 8-2, while the Colts were 0-9 and a 12.5-point dog.
The Packers had Reggie White to stop the sluggish Colts offense, whose starting quarterback Jim Harbaugh was out injured, and Brett Favre to throw over the porous defense. The result was Indianapolis won 41-38.
Crazier things have happened and when football is mixed with spreads along with over and under anything could take place.