Now that the NFL season is over, it is fun to go back to see just how off some point spreads were this year. There are upsets every week that nobody can predict. That is not what these are. The list below includes games with point spreads that stick out as obviously wrong.
Bears -6.5 over Bills
The Chicago Bears were supposed to be good this year. The Buffalo Bills were not. This produced a point spread of Chicago -6.5 over Buffalo at Soldier Field. The Bills played a tough game and brought it to overtime. Buffalo won the game 23-20. As we found out later in the season, the Bears shouldn’t be favored over anybody by 6.5 points.
Bucs -4.5 vs Panthers
Also in Week 1, Tampa Bay hosted Carolina. Cam Newton could not play due to injury. It was the only game Greg Hardy played in the 2014 season.
Derek Anderson took over the duties at QB. Tampa Bay was allegedly a new team this year under Lovie Smith. The Bucs, who won just two games all season and have the number one overall pick in the draft, were favored by 4.5 points. The Panthers won the game outright, 20-14.
Anderson would also quarterback the rematch later in the season due to Newton’s car accident. He pulled off the season sweep of the Bucs.
Titans -3 vs Dallas
The Titans held their home opener versus the Cowboys, laying a field goal. Tennessee was fresh off a big upset at Kansas City. The Cowboys were embarrassed on national TV the week before by the 49ers. The Titans lost 26-10 and would go on to only win one more game, a narrow victory over the Jaguars.
Saints -6 at Browns
The Saints have never been a good road team, especially outdoors. New Orleans laid nearly a touchdown at the Browns, who played the Steelers close the week before. The Saints lost in Atlanta in Week 1. Cleveland ended up pulling off what was considered to be an upset at the time 26-24, but now looks like a game they should have been favored in all along at home.
Bucs -4 vs Rams
Nobody could believe that Tampa Bay was as bad as their Week 1 performance against Carolina’s backup quarterback. The Rams lost to the Vikings the previous week and were using a backup quarterback. The Rams, who later proved to be the real deal, won 19-17 on the road, handing the Bucs back-to-back losses against backup QBs.
New York Jets -2 vs Lions
As we all know now, the Jets are terrible. The Lions were a playoff team, but were somehow underdogs to the Jets. The Lions won the game 24-17.
Bears -1 vs Packers
It was Week 4 and bettors still couldn’t believe that the Bears were a bad team after road wins against two weak opponents. The Packers were somehow underdogs in Chicago, but pulled off a 38-17 blowout.
Saints -3 at Cowboys
Here we are again with a poor Saints team on the road laying points, this time, against a team that became an eventual division winner. Like the Packers, the Cowboys also won 38-17, in a game that was not even that close. It was one of many primetime blowouts during the 2014 season.
Bengals -3 at Patriots
This Sunday Night Football game was the week after the Patriots meltdown in Kansas City on Monday Night Football. Some in the media were suggesting that there may even be a quarterback controversy in Foxboro. As we know now, that was all nonsense. The Bengals are a terrible road and primetime team. They never should have been laying points in New England. The Patriots won this game 43-17.
New York Jets -3 vs Bills
Fast forward to Week 8 of the NFL season. The Bills were 4-3, while the Jets were 1-6. The Jets were somehow favored in this game, but lost by a score of 43-23. This was the most points scored by the Bills during the entire 2014 season.
Broncos -3 at Patriots
Here was another chance to take the Patriots as a home underdog. It worked out just as well as the Bengals game for those that were on the right side. The Patriots pulled off the “upset” so to speak by a score of 43-21. Moral of the story: Take Tom Brady and the points as a home dog.
Packers -4 vs Eagles
This game was a sharp’s dream come true. Mark Sanchez and the Eagles headed to Lambeau Field and only got four points. Sanchez threw two picks and lost two fumbles in this 53-20 rout by Green Bay.
Bills -3 vs New York Jets (Neutral Field)
This game was moved from Buffalo to Detroit due to an early season blizzard. It was rescheduled for Monday Night. This rematch seemed to have the wrong line all the way, even when it was -4 in Buffalo. The Bills played Thursday Night Football the previous week and had extra rest with the rescheduled game. The Bills blew the Jets out 38-3. The game wasn’t even that close.
49ers -1 vs Seahawks
The 49ers had a tumultuous season. There were rumors early on that Harbaugh would leave. The team’s performance seemed to show the stress from the locker room. Somehow, this troubled team was favored over the Seahawks. Seattle won 19-3 and dominated in every facet of the game.
Browns -2.5 vs Bengals
Who can forget Johnny Manziel’s first NFL game? He can, and so can Browns fans. The completely unprepared quarterback embarrassed himself on a game that went to two-thirds of the country. It seems the Johnny Football hype clouded the judgment of some bettors and handicappers.