LAS VEGAS – It looked like a mismatch even before Denver’s Peyton Manning hooked up for his first touchdown pass to Wes Welker and the rest of the league found out just how bad the Jacksonville Jaguars are.
But now it’s official. The Denver Broncos (5-0) are the biggest favorite for a league game since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 — a whopping 28-point choice Sunday at home against the hapless Jaguars (0-5).
ESPN.com, citing The Gold Sheet — a sports-handicapping publication that has been tracking point spreads since the 1950s — said the 28-point number ties the highest spread of all time. The Baltimore Colts were favored by that margin over the expansion Atlanta Falcons in 1966.
Despite the fact they have to give so many points, many bettors are putting money on the Broncos.
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“It didn’t take people long to jump on the Broncos’ bandwagon, which is at its capacity now,” said Jay Kornegay, who runs the sports book at the LVH hotel in Las Vegas.
“And we expect that to continue.”
Raiders release ex-Seahawk Flynn
ALAMEDA, Calif. – Oakland released quarterback Matt Flynn, about six months after bringing him in to be its starter.
The Raiders acquired Flynn in April from the Seahawks for a 2014 fifth-round draft pick and a conditional pick in 2015. They reworked Flynn’s contract to give him $6.5 million in guaranteed money this season.
But Flynn was beaten out for the starting job in the exhibition season by Terrelle Pryor and fell to third string behind undrafted free agent Matt McGloin last week.
“It just didn’t work,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “Terrelle came in and he took over the job. He has earned the position that he’s in. So, we just felt like it’s probably best to move on from that.”
Flynn, 28, struggled in training camp with a sore elbow.
• Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub still has his starting job, despite throwing passes that were intercepted and returned for touchdowns in each of his last four games and being unpopular with the fan base.
“You watch the struggle and you just want to be a part of the solution,” Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. “You want to be a part of helping him work his way through that. The only way I know how to do it is, you play our way through that stuff.”
• Carolina Panthers receiver Steve Smith remains upset with the officiating in Sunday’s 22-6 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, calling a member of the crew “garbage.”
Smith, 34, took verbal aim at umpire Dan Ferrell, saying Ferrell was “the sorriest referee I’ve ever met.”
Smith acknowledged his comments would likely draw a fine from the league, but added he doesn’t care.
• Quarterback Josh Freeman, 25, who was cut by Tampa Bay last week, signed a one-year contract with the Minnesota Vikings.
• League officials are prepared to meet with an Indian tribe pushing for the Washington Redskins to drop the team’s nickname. Just not this week.
As league owners gathered Monday in the nation’s capital for their fall meetings, the Oneida Indian Nation held a symposium across town to promote its “Change the Mascot” campaign.
Oneida representative Ray Halbritter said the NFL was invited to attend.
Instead, league spokesman Brian McCarthy said, a meeting has been scheduled for next month — and could occur sooner.
• The Detroit Lions are investigating whether center Dominic Raiola verbally abused members of the University of Wisconsin marching band during Sunday’s game at Green Bay, won 22-9 by the Packers.
Raiola, 34, is accused of making profane and homophobic remarks to some band members.
|Luke Joeckel, T||Jaguars||Ankle||Out for season|
|Robert Francois, LB||Packers||Achilles||Out for season|
|Amini Silatolu, G||Panthers||Knee||Out for season|
|Dustin Hopkins, K||Bills||Groin||Out for season|
|Owen Daniels, TE||Texans||Leg||Could miss few weeks|
|Blaine Gabbert, QB||Jaguars||Hamstring||Won’t play Sun.|
|Clay Matthews, LB||Packers||Thumb||Uncertain|
|Michael Vick, QB||Eagles||Hamstring||Uncertain|