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Fisher Firing Leads to Biggest Spread this NFL Season

Jeff Fisher being relieved of his duties at the helm of the Rams coaching staff means a lot of things to a lot of people but what it means to me is line changes. Before Fisher’s termination was made public, the spread in the Rams’ next game against the Seattle Seahawks was an impressive 14 points. At the time of writing, the line had moved to +15 for the Rams and that number is significant for a couple of reasons.

The first reason is that a spread of 15 – or 14, for that matter – would be the largest closing spread in the NFL this year.

The second reason is that a team spotted 15 or more points on the spread hasn’t won a game since the Redskins beat the Cowboys as 17-point underdogs in 1995 – a run of 75 straight games.

A normal feature in the Rams’ head-to-head with the Seahawks has been Los Angeles and formerly St. Louis pulling off massive upsets against Seattle. Before his firing, Fisher was on a three-game winning streak as the underdog against Pete Carroll and the Seahawks. In their final meeting in 2015, the Rams beat the Hawks 23-17 in a game they were laying 11.5 points.

So you’re saying there’s a chance.

I am definitely not saying that the Rams moneyline is a good bet, I’m just saying there’s an organizational precedent for beating the Seahawks and teams who are playing their first game under a new coach have played surprisingly well, going 18-6-1 against the spread since the start of the 2014 season. Three teams – the Titans, Eagles and Dolphins – fired their coaches in the middle of the 2015 season and all three went on to win their next game under their interim coach. None were as big an underdog as the Rams are this week but all three – like LA – were the road underdog.

Seventy-five is a lot of games in a row and you know what they say, every dog has its day and every rule was made to be broken. If you were audacious enough to place a moneyline wager, it could pay off handsomely to the tune of +1000 at some books.

Let me reinforce this: I in no way encourage you to make this bet, I’m just telling you the trends. Anyway, here’s a list of every game since 2013 that’s closed with a spread of 15 points or more.  

Note the OVER/UNDER is 7-1 in the eight games played since 2013 that have had a closing spread of 15 or more points.

Games Since 2012 with a closing spread of 15 points or more
DateAwayHomeAway ScoreHome ScoreClosing SpreadClosing Total
September 27, 2015ChicagoSeattle02616.543.5
December 28, 2014OaklandDenver144715.548.5
December 29, 2013Kansas CitySan Diego24271545
November 3, 2013Tampa BaySeattle24271640
October 27, 2013San FranciscoJacksonville42101640
October 13, 2013JacksonvilleDenver193526.553
September 23, 2013OaklandDenver213716.549
September 22, 2013JacksonvilleSeattle17451939
December 30, 2012ArizonaSan Francisco13271638.5
December 30, 2012Kansas CityDenver3381741
November 18, 2012JacksonvilleHouston37431540.5
October 28, 2012JacksonvilleGreen Bay152416.545.5