Tthe New England Patriots will play host to the Oakland Raiders this upcoming Sunday, but don't expect them to play nice. The Patriots are coming off of consecutive offensive performances that needed plenty of work and you can be certain that Tom Brady and company won't rest until they're comfortable with the improvement.
So when the spread is currently Patriots +15.5, it means that people believe the Patriots are not just the favorites- they're expecting them to play hard for the entire game.
Patriots under Bill Belichick are 7-9 ATS when favored by 14+. 10-6 over on the O/U. More importantly, they're 16-0 in these games.— Rich Hill (@PP_Rich_Hill) September 18, 2014
But just because the Patriots are expected to play hard and people are betting around the 15.5 point mark, it doesn't mean they'll win by 15.5. However, history points out that the Patriots have never lost a game where they've been favored by 14 or more.
Even more interesting, is when the Patriots have been favored. Nine of the sixteen games happened in 2007. Seven of the games came week 12 or later- and they have not covered any of those games.
The Patriots are 7-2 against the spread when favored by 14+ when the game occurs prior to Week 11. It's important to note that one of those failed covers came in the game that Tom Brady was injured, so in reality it's more like 7-1.
So what should we think? If history is of value (where it probably isn't in this case), we might lean towards the Patriots covering the spread.