One of the largest upsets in NFL history occurred in 2019 when the Miami Dolphins defeated the New England Patriots in the final week of the season. They entered the matchup as 17.5-point underdogs, and came out of it with a 27-24 victory that completely shocked the sports world.
But the surprise that would come as a result of a certain 2020 Week 8 upset would be even higher. After all, the Dolphins were 4-11 heading into the division clash, with a 2-2 record in December bolstering their morale and proven warrior Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm. That's not to say it didn't take everyone off guard when they won in addition to taking some money out of extremely confident fans' wallets. It definitely did both of those things.
But if the lowly, 0-7 New York Jets — the only winless team remaining in the NFL — march into Arrowhead Stadium and take down the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs... I'm laughing even thinking about this hypothetical. It would be completely unfathomable for both fan bases, cataclysmic for the Chiefs and just confusing for the Jets. It would dominate sports headlines for days on end and spur some insufferable takes across social media.
Heck, it'd be the largest upset in modern NFL history. According to analysts from TheLines, the Chiefs entered Week 8 as 20.5-point consensus favorites over the Jets. Westgate SuperBook of Las Vegas had an even higher spread — 21.5 points — that only lasted for a short period of time due to heavy bets on the Jets covering that total. And apparently, the bets on New York are still flooding in, as TheLines now lists 19.5 points as the largest spread available across its featured books.
The Jets' point differential of -118 is far and away the worst in the 2020 NFL, more than 50 points lower than the second-worst team (Dallas Cowboys at -67). Three games have been lost by 20 points or more — a Week 3 loss to the Colts (36-7), a Week 5 loss to the Cardinals (30-10) and a Week 6 loss to the Dolphins (24-0) — though the latter two of those losses came with quarterback Joe Flacco as the starter.
There have only been 10 games since 1978 — which is as far as Pro Football Reference's data on Vegas spreads goes back — that had a spread of 20.5 points or larger. In all but one of these games, the underdog covered the spread but were unable to muster up an incredible victory. However, the aforementioned 2019 Dolphins, who entered Week 3 as 22-point underdogs against the Cowboys, ended up losing by 25 and couldn't even cover.
Due to the history of humongous spreads being covered — and because the spread is just so, so large — Westgate oddsmaker Ed Salmons expected the line to go down as it has to this point, a trend that may continue as we get closer to Sunday (via Dave Biezow of New York Post).
How much money do you need to bet to make $10 off this matchup betting on the money line? According to DraftKings Sportsbook, if you choose the Chiefs to win, you need to bet $200 just to win 10 bucks. But if you are looking at a miracle of an upset, one that would come as even more of a surprise than the Dolphins' 2019 upset over the Patriots, all you need to risk is 80 cents to win $10.
As is the case with all large spreads, it's hard to predict an outcome. Could it be 28-10 or 33-10, one of which leaves you a winner and the other of which makes you pull your hair out in frustration? I can't tell you. But be sure to check in with our guys on "You Better You Bet" to see how they're handling this matchup and more as we near the halfway point of the 2020 NFL regular season.