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Betting the biggest spreads in college football history

Week 13 of the college football schedule has more chalk than a daycare sidewalk, with plenty of power programs tuning up for their Week 14 rivalry games and season finales against softer competition this Saturday.

A quick glance over the NCAAF board leaves bettors wrapping their minds around spreads in the 50-point range –Alabama A&M at Georgia Tech (-51.5), Chattanooga at Alabama (-49), Idaho at Florida State (-57) – and a whole heap-load of games with spreads of 30 or more points.

Florida State backers are no strangers to these massive mountains of points. The Seminoles opened as 70.5-point favorites versus Savannah State last September and were bet down to a closing line of -67. The game was actually called after three quarters due to lightning with FSU leading 55-0, deeming it “no action” by most books who actually offered the beefy spread.

As of Thursday afternoon, the 57 points Florida State is giving Idaho is tied as the fifth-biggest college football spread since 1987 (as far back as our ATS database tracks). However, it’s not even the biggest spread NCAAF bettors have had to deal with this season.

Books tabbed Oregon as a 59-point home favorite versus Nicholls State in Week 1, with the Ducks winning and covering in a 66-3 victory at Autzen Stadium on August 31. And, Miami was a 60-point favorite hosting Savannah State in Week 4 – the second-highest NCAAF spread since 1987 – and won SU and ATS 77-7.

Of the 20 biggest NCAAF favorites over the last 26 years – ranging from 67 to 52 points – eight have managed to cover, with Savannah State-FSU ruled as “no action”. This season alone, bettors have dealt with spreads of 60, 59, 54.5, and 52.5 points, with the favorite going 2-2 ATS in those games.

Here’s a look at the 10 most-lofty NCAAF spreads since 1987 and their outcomes:

67 - Savannah State 0, Florida State 55 (called after three quarters) – Sept. 8, 2012
60 - Savannah State 7, Miami 77 - Sept. 21, 2013
59 – SMU 21, Houston 95 – Oct. 21, 1989
59 – Nicholls State 3, Oregon 66 – Aug. 31, 2012
57 – Oklahoma 59, Kansas State 10 – Oct. 17, 1987
56.5 – Missouri State 7, Oregon 56 – Sept. 17, 2011
55.5 - Charleston Southern 10, Florida State 62 – Sept. 10, 2011
55 – UL Monroe 6, Florida 55 – Sept. 8, 2001
55 – Florida A&M 13, Oklahoma 69 – Sept. 8, 2012
55 - Western Carolina 0, Alabama 49 – Nov. 17, 2012

*Eight of the 20 games with spreads between 67 and 52 points had accompanying totals, which finished 4-4 Over/Under.

**Oklahoma was the road favorite in its games against Kansas State (-57) and Kansas (-54.5) in September 1987, going 1-1 ATS in those contests.

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