Biggest Point Spreads in NFL HistoryBy
Here are the biggest point spreads in the NFL regular season since 1972.
December 5th, 1976
Pittsburgh Steelers -27 vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pittsburgh won 42-0 and covered the spread.
Notes: Tampa Bay dropped to 0-13 in their inaugural season. Their average loss over the first 12 games of that season was 18.2 PPG. The Steelers allowed a total of 28 points over the previous 7 games with an average margin of victory of 20.4 PPG.
November 25th, 2007
New England Patriots -24.5 vs Philadelphia Eagles
New England won 31-28 but did not cover the spread.
Notes: New England was 10-0 coming into this game and just got done drubbing the Bills 56-10 at Buffalo on a Sunday Night NBC game the week before. A few weeks before that New England beat Washington 52-7 where the Patriots were allegedly running up the score. Philadelphia started backup QB A.J. Feeley. This game was also a nationally televised Sunday Night NBC game which may have inflated the line.
December 5th, 1993
San Francisco 49ers -24 vs Cincinnati Bengals
San Francisco won 21-8 but did not cover the spread.
Notes: San Francisco was coming off five consecutive wins of 14, 23, 24, 35 and 25 points. The Bengals came into the game 1-10 and off their first win of the season after starting 0-10. This game was a Sunday Night ESPN game which may have inflated the line.
October 11th, 1987
San Francisco 49ers -23.5 at Atlanta Falcons
San Francisco won 25-17 but did not cover the spread.
Notes: Strike replacement game (or was it?). Among the 49ers regulars who played in the game were Joe Montana, Roger Craig, and Dwight Clark. Future Lions and Bears QB Erik Kramer started for the Falcons that day. This game qualifies as the biggest road favorite in the NFL since 1972.
October 2nd, 1977
Dallas Cowboys -23 vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Dallas win 23-7 but did not cover the spread.
Notes: The Buccaneers were 0-16 in their history after dropping their first two games in 1977 and scoring 3 points in each of those games. The Cowboys opened the season beating the defending NFC Champion Vikings in overtime on the road and followed that up with a 20 point drubbing of the Giants the next game.
December 23rd, 2007
New England Patriots -22.5 vs Miami Dolphins
New England won 28-7 but did not cover the spread.
Notes: The Patriots were 14-0 coming into this game while Miami was 1-13 and off their first win of the season the previous week in overtime against the Ravens.
These are the only six games in the NFL since 1972 where the spread was more than three touchdowns. The underdog covered in 5 of the 6 games.
The largest true road favorite during this time, not including the strike replacement game in 1987;
December 12th, 1976
New England Patriots -21 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New England won 31-14 but did not cover the spread.
Notes: This game came on the heels of the 42-0 loss by Tampa Bay to Pittsburgh the prior week, which was the largest point spread in NFL history. This loss closed out an 0-14 inaugural season for the Buccaneers. The Patriots came into the game 10-3 while winning 5 straight games.