Betting against the Miami Dolphins seemed like a safe wager until last Sunday. So did betting on another Patriot’s win, which is why they still play the games. Upsets happen. Teams have bad weeks, and the ball takes funny bounces. Still, the bookies carry on, leaving us to ask, what are the long and the short odds this week?

Lomgest Odds
The Atlanta Falcons are at the wrong end of the longest odds this week. (Image: Deadspin)

Only the Cincinnati Bengals remain without a win in the NFL, and their odds are long against the Baltimore Ravens this week. The good news for Bengals fans, however, is that they’re not the longest. That honor(?) goes to the low-flying Atlanta Falcons who take on the New Orleans Saints in a battle of first vs. last in the NFC South.

Longest Odds

The one-win Atlanta Falcons (1-7) travel to New Orleans this Sunday to take on the 7-1 Saints. The Falcons are winless on the road, losing to the Cardinals, Texans, Colts, and Vikings. At home, the Falcons lost to the Rams, Seahawks, and Titans. Their one win came in Week 2, when they slipped by the wingless Eagles, 24-20.

The Saints season is a mirror opposite of the Falcons. New Orleans lost in Week 2 to the Rams. They also lost quarterback Drew Brees in that game. Back-up Teddy Bridgewater then led the Saints to five straight victories before Brees returned last week. The Saints not only survived the injury to their future hall of famer, they thrived. At 7-1, they hold a two-game division edge over the Carolina Panthers. Meanwhile, the Falcons are mired in the NFC South basement.

All of this adds up to this week’s longest odds:

Atlanta Falcons      +480
New Orleans Saints -660

For spread bettors, the line opened at -11.5 for the Saints. Expect the line to move longer as we get closer to Sunday because the Falcons are that bad, Drew Brees is back, and the Saints are at home.

Shortest Odds

The short-odds game this week is a puzzle for oddsmakers and gamblers alike. It’s the LA Chargers traveling to the Oakland Raiders on Thursday night. Are the Chargers going to show up as the team that beat the Green Bay Packers last week, or will the other bumbling, stumbling Chargers team show up? The Chargers are hard to predict this season. The Raiders aren’t much better at playing a consistent game.

The Chargers are 4-5, while the Raiders are 4-4. Everything about this game shouts pick ’em, so the odds are really short.

Oakland Raiders  +102
LA Chargers     -120

The point spread opened with the Chargers as a 1.5-point underdog, but they’ve been bet to a 1-point favorite. Short, short odds on this one, no matter how the bets go down.

New York, New York

Another game to watch, if you’re a masochist, is the New York Jets at home again the New York Giants who are also, technically, at home since they share custody of MetLife stadium. As such, home-field advantage means nothing, except for who gets to call the coin flip. The Jets are 1-7, and lost to Miami last week. Repeat, they lost to Miami. The Giants are 2-7 after losing to the Cowboys on Monday night. Even an average performance against the Dolphins would have made the Jets a favorite this week, and perhaps, saved head coach Adam Gase his job, which is close to being history. Even so, the game is still nearly even.

New York Jets  +114
New York Giants  -133

The point spread opened with the Giants a 2.5-point favorite. The over/under is 43.5. It’s hard to predict if this will be an offensive or a defensive game, but the early betting is on the over.

odds source: USA Today SportsBookWire