How High Will the Jets-Chiefs Spread Go at NJ Sportsbooks?
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The defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs entered this week at New Jersey online sportsbooks as a 20.5-point home favorite over the winless New York Jets on Sunday.
“Twenty-one would be a top number, but I don’t think we’re going to get that high as the sharps would probably jump all over that. Early money has been on the Jets, but it’s very early,” said Johnny Avello, head of sportsbook operations for DraftKings. “This game and the Jets/Patriots in 2019 are the two largest spreads we have ever had.”
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Just eight games in modern NFL history have featured a closing point spread of 20 points or higher (based on Las Vegas odds). And only once in the last 10 years has the NFL regular-season schedule featured a game larger than this week’s game. That was the Denver Broncos favored by 28 points at home against the winless Jacksonville Jaguars on Oct. 13, 2013.
Knowshon Moreno ran for three touchdowns and Peyton Manning completed 28-for-42 for 295 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Broncos to a 35-19 victory.
Could Jets-Chiefs Spread Go Higher?
One newcomer to the New Jersey betting landscape — German-based Tipico, which debuted with a soft launch last week — said the spread could be a bit higher than the opening line.
“The early money and line movement on this game supports our belief that the upper bound on this spread is 21. At Tipico, we opened this game at 20.5 and have already moved it down to 18.5, as has most of the market,” said Brandon Friedman, Tipico’s U.S. regional sportsbook manager. “That three TD threshold is large and not often broken, but if this game does make its way to 21.5, it could get to 23.5 fairly easily because 22 and 23 are less common margins of victory than 21 and 24.
Friedman said the largest point spread Tipico Germany has ever taken was the Broncos-Jaguars 28-point spread Week 6 in 2013.
”Only once in the modern NFL has a favorite covered a spread of greater than 20 points when the Steelers beat Tampa 42-0 in Week 13 of the 1976 season to cover -27 margin,” he said. “So a three-TD spread for (Pat) Mahomes and crew to cover will be a tall order, even against these Jets.”
The only other game in the last decade with a spread of 20 points came in December 2011 when the New England Patriots were favored at home by 20.5 points against the winless Indianapolis Colts.
The Patriots led 31-3 after the third quarter, but Dan Orlovsky threw three TD passes for the Colts in the fourth quarter to beat the spread but lose, 31-24, to drop to 0-12 on the season.
Big Spreads Attract Action
One sportsbook said the opening line for Jets-Chiefs might be the highest it will go.
“We opened at -20.5 and currently are at -19. I don’t think it will get any higher than the opening line. More bets are currently coming in on the Chiefs, while more handle is coming in on the Jets, which is why the line has shifted against the Chiefs slightly,” said Michael Korn, a sports analyst at PointsBet. “The game is on pace to be one of our highest turnover games of the week as big spreads like this tend to attract a lot of public action as well as sharp play.
”The -20.5 is PointsBet’s largest opener to date as the Miami Dolphins had a couple of games last season that were close to a three-TD spread.”
In Atlantic City, some but not a lot of action has already taken place.
“Currently the line is at -19.5 after opening up Sunday night at -20.5. This is definitely the biggest spread on the NFL this season and I believe the biggest since PASPA was repealed in 2018, so the biggest in New Jersey’s brief legalized history,” said Thomas Gable, director of race and sportsbook for The Borgata. “So far, not a lot of early action but what we have taken, the majority has been on the Chiefs. We did take one $100 wager on the Jets money line Monday morning. So someone had $100 that they didn’t know what to do with.
”I don’t expect this to be an overflow of Chiefs cash. I definitely believe there will be some Jets backers if the number creeps back up over 20.”