NFL betting: Jets one of five teams ever to win straight up as underdogs of 17 points or more

Frank Schwab
·2 min read

In terms of shock value, the New York Jets’ win over the Los Angeles Rams feels like the biggest upset we have seen in the NFL.

According to point spread history, it’s close.

The Jets, who were 0-13, closed as 17-point underdogs for their game against the Rams. They were up to 17.5-point underdogs briefly during the week at BetMGM, before coming down to 17. The Jets pulled off a remarkable upset, winning 23-20. It’s tied for the second-biggest upset of all time, in terms of point spreads.

According to Stathead, whose database goes back to 1978, only five teams who were underdogs of 17 or more points won straight up, including the Jets on Sunday

Two of those winners were 17.5-point underdogs. Strangely, it was the New England Patriots losing both times, 41 years apart. The Baltimore Colts beat the Patriots 34-27 as 17.5-point underdogs in 1978, and in the season finale last season, the Patriots lost to the Dolphins 27-24 on a last-minute touchdown. That cost the Patriots a bye in the playoffs and helped the Kansas City Chiefs win a Super Bowl.

Two 17-point underdogs before Sunday had won straight up, according to Stathead. Washington beat the Dallas Cowboys 14-13 in 1995 and the Jets beat the Buffalo Bills 14-13 in 1992.

New York Jets cornerback Lamar Jackson, second from right, celebrates with teammates after recovering a blocked punt against the Rams. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
New York Jets cornerback Lamar Jackson, second from right, celebrates with teammates after recovering a blocked punt against the Rams. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Four of the five instances of an underdog of 17 points or more winning a game happened in December.

The win could end up being damaging to the Jets in the long term. They now trail for the race to get the No. 1 pick, which should be Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. The Jacksonville Jaguars lead the Jets due to a tiebreaker.

But the Jets did something memorable. Not many teams have pulled off an upset like that one.

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