Patriots open as biggest playoff favorites since 1998

Look, we all know the Texans aren't in the Patriots' class, but this is unprecedented. The Pats opened as 14.5-point favorites for their Saturday night date with Houston, but the number quickly swelled to 16 points or more--at MGM Las Vegas, the Pats are 17-point chalks. That makes them the biggest favorite in a playoff game since 1998, and one of only four 16+ point favorites in the postseason since 1966.

Obviously, bettors are moving the number up because of the Patriots' 27-0 blowout win over the Texans back in Week 3--without Tom Brady. With their All-Pro QB, the Patriots have covered another 17-point spread earlier this year. That was against the Jets, whom they blew out, 41-3.

The other three 16+-point favorites have been a mixed bag. Both the 49ers (-19 in Super Bowl XXIX) and the Vikings (-16.5 vs the Cardinals in 1998-99) covered. The other game? Super Bowl III, where Joe Namath led the 18-point dog Jets to victory.

If you don't want to risk the points and just want to bet on a New England win, you can do that too. But you're going to have to cough up some serious dough to win anything--the Pats are currently sitting around -1200 on most moneylines. That means you're going to have to bet a whopping $1200 to win just $100. The Texans, meanwhile, are hovering by +900, meaning a $100 bet on them would win you $900.

The Patriots have shown they can cover such a big spread before, and they've done it against the Texans, too. But is it worth the risk in January? That's for you to decide.

Via The Washington Post

Photo courtesy New England Patriots

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