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Jaguars vs. Broncos: What Do the Numbers Say About Vegas' Biggest Mismatch?

JACKSONVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 12:  Robert Ayers #56 of the Denver Broncos attempts to tackle Mike Thomas #80 of the Jacksonville Jaguars during the NFL season opener game at EverBank Field on September 12, 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Gary DavenportNFL AnalystOctober 8, 2013

People have been gambling on football, well, since there was football. However, never before have we seen what's happening in the lead-up to the game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Denver Broncos in Week 6.

As Josh Katzowitz of CBS Sports reports, the oddsmakers in Las Vegas have installed the Jaguars as 28-point underdogs, the largest point spread in the history of the National Football League.

It's not hard to understand why the spread is large. After all, the Broncos are 5-0 and arguably the NFL's best team. The Jaguars, at 0-5, are arguably the worst.

Is there really such a wide gap between the two, though? Is this game such a lopsided affair that it warrants the largest spread ever?

Well, from a glance at the offensive statistics, yes.

As you can see, the Broncos are averaging over 30 points a game more than the Jaguars through five weeks. Jacksonville's 20 points in last week's loss to St. Louis was a season high.

The Broncos, meanwhile, have scored at least 20 points in seven of 10 halves this year.

OK, so the offense is a little lopsided. Chad Henne isn't exactly Peyton Manning.

Maybe the Jacksonville defense can keep the Jags in the game.

Then again, maybe not.

Yes, the Jaguars are ranked higher in total defense and pass defense. However, that has more to do with teams getting big leads and taking their foot off the gas than with any defensive prowess the Jaguars might have.

There's also the not-so-small fact that Jacksonville's defense is just as bad at stopping its opponent from scoring points as its offense is at putting them on the board.

That brings us to the most staggering stat of them all: point differential.

OK, so maybe in retrospect the spread isn't big enough.

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