The Biggest Mismatch Of All: Anticipation Is At A Fever Pitch For Broncos-Jags

  • Joe Concha, @ConchSports

jaguars fans

Are the Jacksonville Jaguars the worst team in the history of the sport?

Outscored 129-31.

Outscored 65-5 AT HOME…

Quarterbacks’ names: Blaine and Chad.

Averaging 49 yards a game on the ground with a (former) All-Pro running back.

Led once this entire season (fittingly, by a score of 2-0).

Now the darling of Survivor/Elimination pools everywhere, the Jags are also a lock to be double-digit underdogs for the rest of the season, with the only slight exception (maybe) coming when the Cardinals and Bills come to North Florida later in the season.

But THE game making the rounds already on social media comes in Week 6, when the most putrid, confused, insulting uniforms in the league travel to Denver to take on Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Remember that stat of the Jags being outscored by 98 points in four weeks? Denver has done almost the opposite, outscoring their opponents (Ravens, Giants, Raiders, Eagles) by 78.

So what happens when these two teams are put on the same field?

A blowout, obviously.

But in the eyes of Vegas, the only question is by how much?

A few weeks ago, the Jags were 19-point underdogs to the Seahawks in Seattle. Despite a late push for a back door cover, the home team covered with nine points to spare. And with respect to the Seahawks (who should meet the Broncos at the Meadowlands in an all-former-AFC-West showdown come Super Bowl time), Russell Wilson’s offense is built to punch foes in the mouth via Marshawn Lynch, thereby limiting the potential for 50-plus points, which is the stratosphere the pass-happy Broncos explored last week against the Oregon Eagles.

So to quote the movie Wall Street (the sequel never happened, by the way), how much is enough? In the matter of Jacksonville-Denver, the word is (based in total logic) is that Vegas will deem Denver 28-point favorites, the highest in NFL history. To put this number in context, one Vegas bookmaker guesses the line for a Broncos-Alabama Crimson Tide game would be 40 (meaning the Jags would be 12-point favorites over a college team. Personally, I’d take ‘Bama). Here’s what Kevin Bradley, a major sports book manager, says about the game:

“With the Broncos rolling once again [Sunday] and the Jags getting blown out, I have been asked numerous times already what the projected Week 6 spread will be when Denver hosts Jacksonville. Before yesterday I would have said it would be three touchdowns but considering results (of the aforementioned Week 3 game between the Seahawks and Jaguars), the fact that Seattle easily covered 19.5 at home against Jacksonville, and how our bettors have been pounding Denver every week and betting against the Jags like it is free money, this spread is looking closer to four touchdowns. Barring any injuries or something very dramatic occurring, I would expect this to be the biggest spread we have ever posted.”

So what IS the biggest spread to this point? You have to go back 37 years to 1976, when the team of that decade (the Steelers) hosted a bumbling expansion team (the Bucs) in December as 27-point favorites. Pitt won 42-0.

For a league that prides itself on parity, the Jaguars are a walking parody.

Add one more dubious record the franchise will set in 2013.

Los Angeles…are you sure you want this team?

Because Vegas wants no part of ’em…

Follow Joe Concha on Twitter @ConchSports