Patriots & Cowboys, Both Favored by 21+ Points, Make Betting History in Week 3

Sep 20, 2019 09:02 PM EDT
  • The Dallas Cowboys (-22.5 vs. Dolphins) and New England Patriots (-22 vs. Jets) are massive favorites in Week 3.
  • Since 1993, only seven teams have closed as a favorite of 20 points or more and those teams are 7-0 straight up, but 1-6 against the spread.

Through the first three weeks of the NFL regular season, favorites of a touchdown or higher are 8-0 straight up.

The biggest upset so far has been the Buccaneers dismantling of Cam Newton and the Panthers (-6.5) on Thursday Night Football this past weekend.

With favorites dominating straight up, the biggest story across the league has been the starting quarterback. From retirements, to injuries, to just bad play, 2019 has been a carousel so far.

  • Colts: Andrew Luck retires. Hello, Jacoby Brissett.
  • Jaguars: Nick Foles injured. Welcome, Gardner Minshew.
  • Jets: Sam Darnold gets mono. Trevor Siemian gets injured. Enter, Luke Falk (!!!).
  • Giants: Eli Manning starts 0-2. It’s Daniel Jones time.
  • Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger done for the year. Mason Rudolph gets his shot.
  • Saints: Drew Brees hurt 6-8 weeks. Teddy Bridgewater, step right up.
  • Panthers: Cam Newton questionable in Week 3. Kyle Allen meet Riverboat Ron.

Week 3 brings the betting world a new normal: The Cowboys are 22.5-point favorites at home vs. Miami, and the Patriots are 22-point favorites vs. the Jets. (Odds as of Friday morning and via PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match — deposit $50, bet with $150.)

According to our data, this it the first week since at least 1993 where two teams are favored by 17 points or more. (ESPN Stats & Info cited Week 5 of the 1987 season, a strike-shortened year, as the last time we had two 20-plus-point favorites in the same week.)

Since 1993, only seven NFL games have closed with a point spread of 20 points or higher and those teams are 7-0 straight up, but just 1-6 against the spread.

Since the Patriots’ 18-1 run back in 2007, favorites of 20 or more points are 0-5 against the spread, failing to cover the spread by 11.4 points per game.

If the Pats close as 20-point favorites or higher against the Jets this week, it will be their fifth such game in this span. The rest of the NFL has had only four such games!

It is also worth noting that the Patriots have been the exception to the rule when it comes to large point spreads ( … but not too large).

Sunday will be the 20th time since 2007 that New England will be above a two touchdown favorite and the results have been predictable for the Pats.

The Cowboys, on the other hand, who could also be laying 20+ points this week, have a bit of a different history.

Dallas head coach Jason Garrett is 7-13-1 against the spread as a favorite of a touchdown or higher, the second-least profitable coach in the Bet Labs database in that spot (since 2003).

When you look back at history, too, Dallas is the NFL’s scarlet letter.

In the last 25 years, the biggest point-spread upset came at the hands of the … Dallas Cowboys. In 1995, Dallas, as a 17.5-point favorite, lost outright to the Redskins at home.

Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys’ will be facing the 0-2 Miami Dolphins, who have lost by a combined 92 points through two games this season.

Including their Week 3 game in Dallas, the Dolphins have been on average a 15.5-point underdog through three weeks, five points higher than any other team since 2003.

Largest Average Spread Through Week 3 (Since 2003):

  1. 2019 Miami Dolphins: +15.8
  2. 2018 Buffalo Bills: +10.5
  3. 2009 Detroit Lions: +10.2
  4. 2007 Buffalo Bills: +9.8
  5. 2010 Buffalo Bills: +9.8

In case you were wondering, the 2008 Detroit Lions and the 2017 Cleveland Browns, both teams who eventually went 0-16 during the regular season, were nowhere near the Dolphins mark.

  • 2017 Cleveland Browns: +2.8
  • 2008 Detroit Lions: +1.5

With two of the biggest underdogs in the last 25 years on tap for this weekend, some bettors may want to go for the gold.

If you decided to bet $100 on a Dolphins (+1300) and Jets (+1300) parlay, that would net you a cool $19,500.

Of course, if you wanted a safer bet, a parlay of the Cowboys (-3000) and the Patriots (-3200) would net you an airport water bottle at $6.56 (have a fun flight!).

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