The 2016 NFL draft may be the main focus right now, but that doesn’t mean NFL fans and sports bettors aren’t already locked in on the Week 1 lines released by Las Vegas. When the NFL released the 2016 NFL schedule, sports betting lines came out along with it.
Now, before we discuss the 2016 NFL betting lines, let’s look back at last year’s games that Las Vegas got completely wrong; maybe a team that was favored by multiple points, but got blown out, or a team that was a big underdog and pulled off a huge upset. They happen more than you may realize, so let’s look at eight different occasions that went a bit haywire.
Week 1: Tennessee Titans vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3)
It was the matchup that fans had waited for, as the No. 1 pick was set to take on the No. 2 pick in Jameis Winston against Marcus Mariota. While Winston and the Buccaneers were three-point favorites on their home field, things didn’t quite go as planned.
Mariota and the Titans came out firing, dominating the Buccaneers by a score of 42-14 in a game that truly could have been even worse. While Winston struggled in that game, and Mariota looked like a star, the two players evened out as the 2015 NFL season rolled on.
Week 1: Minnesota Vikings (-2.5) vs. San Francisco 49ers
While the Vikings wound up being playoff bound in 2015, that doesn’t mean they started out the season by making waves. Instead, they were stunned by the 49ers who wound up with the No. 7 pick and finished at 5-11 on the season. This game was set up as the return of Adrian Peterson for the Vikings, and he was a large reason why the team was nearly a field goal favorite.
Peterson just couldn’t get anything going though, as he rushed 10 times for 31 yards and the 49ers defense stepped up in a big way. On the flip side, San Francisco running back Carlos Hyde went for 168 rushing yards and two touchdowns. The 49ers may have gotten the win here, but the Vikings got the last laugh on the season.
Week 2: New York Jets vs. Indianapolis Colts (-6)
The Jets were on the road against the Colts — before anyone really knew that the Jets were a pretty good team and the Colts were in for a rough season. The Colts were at home on Monday Night Football, so it was widely expected that Andrew Luck and company would put on a show.
Unfortunately, it was just the opposite. The Indianapolis offense couldn’t get going at all, scoring just seven points in a 20-7 loss. The money line bet on the Jets would have been the right play here.
Week 3: Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins (-1)
At home for the first time in 2015, the Dolphins got some love as small favorites against Tyrod Taylor and the Bills. Instead of showing up for their home fans, they got completely run out of the building.
The Bills won this game 41-14, and were down 27-0 at halftime. In Miami’s home opener, it wasn’t hard to imagine them showing up and getting a win, but the Dolphins laying an egg here just shows that almost everyone underestimated the Bills.
Week 6: Miami Dolphins vs. Tennessee Titans (-2.5)
The Titans and Mariota got some love here in this Week 6 matchup against the Dolphins, but apparently it was unwarranted. Not only did the Dolphins pull off the upset, they absolutely rolled.
Miami made life brutal for the rookie quarterback, while Lamar Miller rushed for 113 yards and a touchdown in a 38-10 victory. That’s a nice 30.5 point difference from the projected final score that Las Vegas oddsmakers put out. Tough to call this one, but hey, it was still way off.
Week 10: Chicago Bears vs. St. Louis Rams (-7)
While the Bears were just 3-5 coming into this game, they were fresh off a road victory against the San Diego Chargers. Even still, they got almost no love heading to St. Louis to take on the Rams, as they were underdogs by a full touchdown.
As you can tell, that was completely irrelevant, as the Bears just routed the Rams, putting up 37 points with their defense holding the Rams to just 13. It was a huge difference between the projected line on the game, and one of the bigger ones of the season.
Week 11: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Philadelphia Eagles (-6.5)
When these two teams met in Week 11, the Buccaneers were 4-5, while the Eagles were 4-5 as well. So, it’s kind of hard to imagine exactly why the Eagles were favored by a touchdown.
Maybe a field goal would be understandable, but as we saw, the Buccaneers immediately proved oddsmakers wrong. Tampa won this game in dominating fashion 45-17, and the rookie Winston threw for five touchdowns.
Week 13: Philadelphia Eagles vs. New England Patriots (-9.5)
The 4-7 Eagles on the road against the powerful 10-1 Patriots. There was no questioning why the Pats were favored by nearly double-digits, but the Eagles didn’t care in the slightest.
They built up a 35-14 lead early in the fourth quarter, and were able to hold off a furious Tom Brady-led rally to win this game 35-28. So while the Eagles and Sam Bradford were nearly 10-point underdogs, they wound up winning by a touchdown, in a game that really didn’t even seem that close.
All sports betting lines from FootballLocks.com.