Oddsmakers got out the big scoop when serving up points for the Jacksonville Jaguars’ trip to Houston in Week 11 of the NFL season.
The Jaguars opened as high as 17-point underdogs at some online books while Las Vegas shops posted an opening spread of Texans -16 for a matchup between arguably the NFL’s best and worst teams. Early action on Jacksonville has dropped the spread as low as -15 as of Thursday afternoon.
Jacksonville isn’t a stranger to super-sized spreads and was a 16-point underdog at Lambeau Field in Week 8, losing 24-15 to the Green Bay Packers. Those 16-point spreads are on the short end of the scale when looking back at some of the biggest lines of the past 12 years.
In fact, since 2000, teams getting a boatload of points have been solid bets to cover the spread. Underdogs of 17 points or more are 11-5-2 ATS in that span.
The largest underdog of the past 12 seasons was the Philadelphia Eagles +24 at the New England Patriots in Week 12 of the 2007 season. Philadelphia, which started backup QB A.J. Feeley in place of the injured Donovan McNabb, nearly stunned the mighty Pats, losing 31-28 on Sunday Night Football.
Here’s a look at the nine biggest NFL spreads since 2000:
Philadelphia at New England (-24) - 11/25/2007: New England 31, Philadelphia 28
Miami at New England (-22) - 12/23/2007: New England 28, Miami 7
N.Y. Jets at New England (-20.5) - 12/16/2007: New England 20, N.Y. Jets 10
Indianapolis at New England (-20.5) - 12/4/2011: New England 31, Indianapolis 24
Carolina at St. Louis (-19.5) - 11/11/2001: St. Louis 48, Carolina 14
Houston at Philadelphia (-19) - 9/29/2002: Philadelphia 35, Houston 17
New England at Baltimore (+19) - 12/3/2007: New England 27, Baltimore 24
Atlanta at St. Louis (-17.5) - 10/15/2000: St. Louis 45, Atlanta 29
Houston at Indianapolis (-17.5) - 11/13/2005: Indianapolis 31, Houston 17
Nine games had spreads of 17 points. Underdogs went 3-4-2 ATS in those games.
Note: In case you're wondering - those18 games with spreads of 17 points or more (since 2000) combined for a 13-5 over/under mark.