Howard's win over UNLV is biggest upset vs. spread in college football history

Caylin Newton, Cam’s younger brother, had three touchdowns. (Getty)
Caylin Newton, Cam’s younger brother, had three touchdowns. (Getty)

Unless you were up late Saturday night, you missed a gambling upset of epic proportions.

FCS-level Howard, a 45-point underdog, took down UNLV 43-40 in Las Vegas. It’s the largest upset vs. the spread in college football history and the first win over an FBS opponent in Howard’s history.

Before Saturday night, Stanford’s upset of USC in 2007 was the biggest spread upset in college football. The Jim Harbaugh-coached Cardinal were 40-point underdogs entering the game. And while Howard’s upset is still notable, it is worth noting that spreads aren’t always given on games between FCS and FBS opponents.

If you had bet Howard to win straight up, you could have gotten rich too.

While UNLV isn’t a powerhouse, it made some sense why Howard — now coached by former Virginia coach Mike London — was such a big underdog. The Bison are 2-19 over the past two seasons at college football’s second level and were outscored 104-27 in games vs. Maryland and Rutgers a year ago. Remember, Rutgers was outscored 224-0 to Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State in 2016. Howard also lost 76-0 to Boston College in 2015.

Howard quarterback Caylin Newton had a big game. Caylin, the younger brother of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, had 21 carries for 190 yards and two touchdowns. He also was 15-of-26 passing for 140 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

The Bison weren’t the only big underdog to win Saturday night either. Liberty, a team making the transition to college football’s top level in 2018, beat Baylor 48-45. Liberty closed as 33.5-point underdogs.

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Maryland throttles Texas 51-41 in Tom Herman’s first game
Michigan LB escapes targeting penalty after hit that fits definition of targeting

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!