banner

NFL

NFL Parity and 20-Point Blowouts


Courtesy of Jim Feist


For years, pro football has been the sports leader when it comes to parity. Pete Rozelle was credited with, "On any given Sunday any team can beat another." The last few years it seems as though parity has disappeared from the NFL. The Broncos this season and last are dominating, the 2008 Saints and Colts started a combined 16-0 SU/11-5 ATS and the 2007 Patriots had a remarkable 16-0 regular season.

A close look, however, shows that parity is alive and well. The Broncos have had a pair of 7-point wins and lost at Seattle, 26-20. Last year the Packers may have started 8-0, but they had a 5 point win over Minnesota, gave up 38 points in a close win over San Diego, along with 7 and 8 points wins over Carolina and New Orleans. In 2008 four wins by the Colts were by 4 points or less, while the 2007 Patriots were just as lucky as they were good - until the Super Bowl!

What New England did in 2007 was unique, but let's not forget that they were fortunate to run the regular season table. They had wins over the Colts, Eagles, Ravens and Giants by 4, 3, 3 and 3 points. Counting the playoffs, the Patriots went 2-9 against the spread their final 11 games. They were double digit favorites in their final ten and went 2-8 ATS.

Last season, parity really roared its head. The Chiefs and Chargers played much better than expected, making the playoffs, the Steelers and Ravens both finished 8-8. In the NFC the Cardinals, Panthers and Eagles were huge surprises, while the NFC North was won by Green Bay going just 8-7-1! The Bears (8-8) and Lions (7-9) finished just behind.

This year, the Cowboys, Lions, Cardinals, Bills and Browns have defied most prognosticators with consistently strong play in many areas, plenty of wins and covers.

Would you believe just over a year ago the Jets were expected to be a strong team? Seems like 100 years ago after their horrid start to 2014. The Cowboys were expected to roll over the rival Redskins on Monday night a few weeks ago as 10-point chalk, but ended up losing the game. The same for Seattle on Monday night against the Rams, who followed that big upset by getting smoked by the Chiefs, 34-7.

The Falcons and Saints continue to have defensive troubles, particularly in the secondary, while the Jets have already suffered through a 7-game skid with no offense. Injuries are the most obvious factor in leveling the playing field, turning powerhouse teams on paper into paper tigers. The Colts completely fell apart when Peyton Manning was on the shelf with a neck injury. This season offensive line injuries have been the biggest factor, with problems in Carolina, New England in September, St. Louis, Pittsburgh and both the NY Jets and Giants.

There's an old wagering adage about going against pro football teams who roll by 20 points in back-to-back games. That's not easy to do. If a pro team beats another by 20-plus points in consecutive weeks, it can be a good time to look at the other side, as the club off two blowout wins can be overvalued. In order to win by that kind of margin in consecutive games, a team has to play close to two perfect games back-to-back. In this day of parity, that takes a rare combination of talent, execution, health and luck.

Remember how bad the Chiefs started in 2011? Kansas City opened the season with back-to-back colossal stinkers, losing 41-7 and 48-3. They were a +16 dog the next game, but a very different team showed up in a 20-17 loss at San Diego, an easy cover.

Before that the Jaguars got routed by the Chargers (38-13) and Eagles (28-3), then as a +7 dog beat the Colts, 31-28. In 2009 after losing road games by 23 and 37 points, the Raiders stumbled home and not only covered, but beat the Eagles as 14-point dogs, 13-9. That same season the Browns lost back-to-back games by 20+ in Weeks 2 and 3, then got the cover against the Bengals as a +6 home dog. After losing by 35 and 28, the Rams got the cover in a 23-20 loss at Jacksonville as a +9 dog. It is hard to wipe out a pro team by 3 TDs three games in a row.

It might not seem like it at times, but this is parity at work, with salary caps and free agency making it difficult for teams to simply buy players to shore up weak areas, as is the case in baseball. In football, if you pay a lot to get or retain a key player, you may lose a star in another area. Overall, You rarely see pro teams keep up 20-point or more dominance for more than two games.

For more tips and sports betting information, check out Jim Feist TV


Other Stories

  • NFL: Chicago at Detroit

    Tomorrow at 12:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Philadelphia at Dallas

    Tomorrow at 4:00 pm on FOX50

  • SEC: Arkansas at Missouri

    Friday at 2:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • HSFB: Football Friday with Tom Suiter

    Friday at 11:35 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions

    Tomorrow at 12:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
UNC 66
BUT 74
Final
ECU 73
HAW 75
Final
DUKE 93
FUR 54
Final
CHA 97
POR 105
 
Final
NCSU 84
RICH 72
 
3rd
FLA 1
CAR 0
 
Final
PHI 91
BRK 99
 
Final
ORL 96
GSW 111
 
Final
CHA 97
POR 105
 
Final
CLE 113
WAS 87
 
4th
DET 95
LAC 101
 
4th
DAL 84
NYK 83
 
4th
ATL 105
TOR 118
 
4th
MIN 70
MIL 72
 
3rd
HOU 75
SAC 73
 
4th
OKC 78
UTA 64
 
3rd
SAN 52
IND 55
 
2nd
PHO 48
DEN 44
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
MEM
Final
UNC 66
BUT 74
Final
FRES 64
MAR 68
Final
CHAT 61
RMU 46
Final
EMICH 68
ROCH 35
 
Final
MRGST 51
LIB 50
 
Final
HAMP 60
AMER 64
 
Final
BEL 78
DEN 57
Final
UMASS 79
NE 54
Final
JMU 79
SHU 72
 
Final
KNST 84
SAMF 71
 
Final
ECU 73
HAW 75
Final
CHAM 60
MIZZ 74
Final
CCAR 61
LAMON 48
Final
OKLA 75
UCLA 65
Final
ELON 65
UNF 72
 
Final
UWMIL 66
ORU 69
Final
WCU 66
CHIST 61
Final
DUKE 93
FUR 54
Final
BYU 85
PURD 87
 
Final
EVAN 79
USF 72
 
Final
COL 71
GTDNS 75
 
Final
VERM 73
BRY 47
 
Final
OSU 91
CAMP 64
 
Final
LOU 45
CLST 33
 
Final
UCF 69
DAVID 95
 
Final
IONA 126
DELST 76
 
Final
OU 78
UGST 83
 
Final
TOWS 97
GOUCHER 43
 
Final
ND 81
GRAM 54
 
Final
YALE 82
LAF 60
 
Final
GWU 91
LONG 66
 
Final
VT 78
UMO 63
 
Final
WAKE 83
MNTER 49
 
Final
NAVY 67
PSUHARRIS 42
 
Final
NCSU 84
RICH 72
 
Final
MINN 61
STJ 70
 
Final
JVU 69
TRINBAPT 57
 
Final
YOUNG 66
UMKC 63
 
Final
UAB 43
WISC 72
 
Final
CORN 67
CAN 60
 
Final
WVU 103
VMI 72
 
2nd
DEP 64
LEH 72
 
2nd
UNT 65
MVSU 46
 
2nd
MARS 64
MORE 71
 
2nd
TCU 72
RAD 46
 
Final
SELA 86
TENT 65
 
2nd
SMU 68
TXSOU 49
 
2nd
UTAH 77
TXPA 46
 
2nd
LMU 56
UCR 47
 
2nd
SCAR 78
UNCA 62
 
2nd
SD 85
WAYNEST 67
 
2nd
PITT 56
KYST 43
 
2nd
UWGB 38
FLGC 27
 
2nd
IOWA 47
NILL 34
 
1st
ORST 30
AUB 31
 
Half
MONT 36
CARROLLMT 23
 
Half
SUTAH 34
EKENT 31
 
1st
NMST 38
FAM 15
 
1st
WYO 33
STET 16
 
Half
EWASH 37
NKENTUCKY 20
 
Half
IDST 25
WLVRN 28
 
1st
GEOR 13
UF 11
 
1st
GONZ 3
UGA 0
 
1st
NIOWA 6
NW 5
 
10:00pm Tonight
SDST
ARZ
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
CPSL
10:00pm Tonight
UCD
UTST
10:30pm Tonight
NDAK
ALAST
11:00pm Tonight
CSNO
PORST
11:30pm Tonight
AKAN
PAC
11:30pm Tonight
OKST
TULSA
Final
NYI 3
WAS 2
 
Final
BUF 1
WIN 2
 
3rd
FLA 1
CAR 0
 
3rd
TAM 4
NYR 2
 
3rd
DET 4
PHI 1
 
3rd
PIT 3
TOR 3
 
2nd Intermission
MIN 0
LOS 4
 
1st Intermission
COL 0
CHI 0
 
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
CAL