Here we are in week 3 of the NFL season and there are some of the largest point spreads in recent memory on the board. Seattle is favored by a whopping 18 points at home against Jacksonville and Denver is a home favorite of 15.5 over Oakland on Monday night. What is very surprising is that the number has crept up all week on both of these huge favorites.
Most of the online sportsbooks around the world have seen huge movement on these two numbers. Seattle opened as a 16.5 point favorite and the Broncos began the week favored by 14.5 points. As of this writing industry giant Bovada has moved the Seahawks to a -19 favorite and the Broncos to a 16.5 point favorite. With these point spreads already in the stratosphere, where will they land on Sunday and are huge favorites like this a good value for bettors?
According to several sources it looks like the line moves for the Broncos are being driven entirely by the public with over 80% of the wagers on the favorite. This is still an early season divisional game and the Broncos are without two of their best players in Ryan Clady and Von Miller. The Broncos are coming off a big victory in New York to travel back home to take on the Raiders in a snoozer. The line movement and public betting fury must be the Peyton Manning factor. Peyton’s gonna throw 7 touchdowns again this week!
We fully expected the point spread to move on the Seahawks and the betting numbers are similar on Seattle to cover. Kevin Bradley, sportsbook manager at Bovada, tells OSGA, “Despite being the highest point spread we have offered since 2007, when New England was over 20 point favorites to Miami, we are currently taking 3/4 of the money on Seattle to cover.” The Jaguars are just plain dreadful this year and the Seahawks are among the league’s best team, especially at home. The line movement of 2.5 points, tells you that everyone believe that the Jags really are that bad and Seattle really is that good at home.
Bradley sees this trend continuing over the next several weeks. “Poor Jacksonville has to go into Denver in Week 6 and if the Seahawks do end up covering this weekend against the Jags and Denver is still undefeated by then, you will see a point spread of at least 3 touchdowns in that game,” said Bradley.
Here’s a note of caution for bettors who like to back big favorites, the undefeated 2007 New England Patriots had 10 games that season with point spreads of -13 or higher. Their ATS record in those games . . . 5-5. In addition, there have only been 11 times that a point spread closed at 19.5 points or higher and the favorites covered the spread in just three of those games.
It’s easy to say that one of these two huge dogs is going to cover, it’s up to you to find the right side if you want to bet a more-than-two-touchdown favorite in NFL games.