To twist a quote from A Tale of Two Cities: It was the worst of teams, it was the best of teams. The Denver Broncos (5-0) host the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5) in a game that sees the biggest point spread in NFL history, which still sees plenty of money coming in on Peyton Manning and company.
Point spread: Broncos opened as 27-point favorites; the total was 51.5. (Line updates and Matchup report)
Computer Prediction: 43.8-6.2 Broncos
Why the Jaguars can cover the spread
First of all, 27.5 points is the largest NFL spread in history (although there is talk that a 1966 game between the Colts and Falcons was 28 points). If you can't cover 27.5 points, you might as well fold the team, or at least relocate. Jacksonville is 0-5 both SU and ATS, but had chances to cover against both the Seahawks and, last week, at the Rams.
And the Jags actually out-gained St. Louis. It isn't much, but perhaps it's a start. They are also 4-1 ATS in five recent games against Denver.
Why the Broncos can cover the spread
Denver scored as many points Sunday in beating Dallas, 51, as Jacksonville has scored all season. Peyton Manning and the offense are almost unstoppable; the offensive line has allowed a league-low five sacks in 200 pass attempts, and how does anybody expect to limit Manning if he can't be hit?
The Broncos are on pace to set several NFL offensive records, and a game against the Jags only offers opportunity.
OddsShark's NFL computer is predicting a 44-6 Denver victory, and about the only thing that might keep that from happening would be a blizzard. Unfortunately for Jacksonville, who couldn't cover as 20-point dogs at Seattle a few weeks ago, the forecast for Sunday in the Mile High City calls for a beautiful day.
As long as the Broncos don't call off the dogs too early, they should cover that ridiculous spread. Interestingly, in the other six biggest spreads in NFL history, the underdogs covered five times.
Denver is 1-4 ATS in its last five games when playing Jacksonville. The total has gone OVER in five of Denver's last six games when playing at home against Jacksonville.