Patriots' dominance runs up point spreads

O, BY THE WAY

The Kickoff

November 21, 2007|By BILL ORDINE

It is impossible to make a point spread high enough for the undefeated New England Patriots. The Patriots are 9-1 against the spread, failing to cover only against the Indianapolis Colts by a single point. The Patriots have covered lines of 15 or more points five times, including a 16-point spread against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday night, winning, 56-10.

And now we're getting into record-setting territory. A couple of weeks ago, Sports Illustrated's Paul Zimmerman was wondering about the highest point spread ever for an NFL game. Robert Walker, the director of MGM Mirage Race and Sports Book, came up with a 1976 game between the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers and the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The spread was 24 points and the Steelers covered, 42-0.

In Vegas, this week's point spread for Philadelphia at New England is 23 1/2 at the Las Vegas Hilton and the Station casinos. A bunch of places don't even have a line yet but that could be because of thumb and ankle injuries to Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb. In a few days, we could bust that 24-point mark.

Meanwhile, the MGM Mirage has put up Super Bowl lines for potential Patriots matchups. Naturally, New England is the favorite in all of these:

Vs. Dallas Cowboys, 16.

Vs. Green Bay Packers, 18.

Vs. New York Giants, 21.

Vs. Seattle Seahawks, 22.

Vs. any other NFC team, 23. bill.ordine@baltsun.com

For more O, by the Way, go to baltimoresun.com/ordine

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