The mainstream media loves games like Jacksonville at Denver.
While most sports reporters shy away from the sinful spreads in their columns, this massive 28-point line has everyone talking about Week 6’s first-versus-worst matchup.
The spread has been up since last week, when the LVH Superbook in Las Vegas opened its lookahead lines. And Week 5’s results – Denver win in Dallas, Jacksonville loss in St. Louis – have done little to change the odds.
“I equate this spread to this past weekend’s Georgia State-Alabama spread (56.5),” Peter Korner, founder of the Nevada based odds service The Sports Club, tells Covers. “If Denver gets up big in the first half, I don’t expect them to keep it up. There’s no incentive for it. They will pull their starters and get some rest. The line is deserved but if you’re a handicapper, you have to know that Denver won’t risk getting anyone injured.”
The Broncos also have an important conference game against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 7 – Peyton Manning’s former team. We looked at the biggest NFL spreads of the past 28 seasons last week, and favorites of more than 20 points - -20.5 to -24 - are a 0-7 ATS since 1985.
According to Covers Expert Bruce Marshall, editor of the famous Gold Sheet, the Broncos-Jags spread ties the highest line in NFL history – the expansion Atlanta Falcons hosting the Baltimore Colts (-28) in 1966. The Falcons covered, losing 19-7 in Week 10.
New York Giants at Chicago Bears (-9.5, 45.5)
Some books opened this spread as low as Chicago -7.5 but it seems like the betting market is finally starting to believe in the Giants’ 0-5 start.
“I don’t understand why they’re betting on New York. Up until Sunday, people were still hammering the Giants every week, thinking that they were due,” says Korner, who sent out a suggested line of Bears -10. “It was a mistake for any book to open this around a touchdown. Let the money take it down. The Giants have been big winners for books this season. And you never leave a hot machine at the casino.”
Green Bay Packers at Baltimore Ravens (+3, 48)
The defending Super Bowl champs are 3-point home underdogs against the Packers in Week 6. Korner says this line could go up to as high as Green Bay -4 before kickoff, but isn’t sold on the Cheese Heads being that big.
“Baltimore showed some life this weekend and is coming back around,” he says. “Green Bay wasn’t really that impressive beating a Detroit team missing its best player (WR Calvin Johnson). People have short-term memories when it comes to betting, so it would be no surprise to see this move up to 3.5 or -4.”
New Orleans Saints at New England Patriots (-1, 49.5)
Korner says he brought New Orleans as a slight road favorite to the table, but released a suggested spread of Patriots -2.5, hesitant to make New England a home underdog. But it wouldn’t surprise him to see the Saints close as the chalk.
“The Saints have that fearsome offense. And the Patriots do not,” Korner says. “If this line runs, it runs to New Orleans. It won’t go toward New England. There is nowhere to go but to New Orleans."