NFL Week 4 round-robin underdog moneyline parlay: Weighted coin flips
Things almost got the right amount of uncomfortable last week as the Dolphins and Jaguars won outright, but another "close but no cigar" week means we're down two units on this gambit through three weeks despite a good 6-8-1 underdog moneyline record. An 11-4-1 record against the spread has eased the pain so far this season.
With this year's schedule, we were playing massive underdogs two weeks ago, hoping to hit just three. Now with the league tightening from top to bottom, 14 of the 16 games are lined under six points. We're actually trying to win all five this week!
How it works
We parlay five underdogs together - whom we bet against the spread - in 10 different three-team parlays. Using every combination of a three-team parlay is called a round robin, so we're going to use a total of 1.1 units to make 11 different bets: 10 three-team parlays and one five-team parlay, each for .1 units. You'll likely double your money if three teams pull off the upset. If four teams win, you're connecting on four separate parlays and will be very pleased with the return. If all five teams win, as they did for us in Week 1 last season, you'll be diving into a gold doubloon silo like a young Scrooge McDuck.
Who to play
Given the Ravens' struggles in their secondary at the start of the season and the injuries to the Bills' back end, we can assume this could get wild for the two early favorites for MVP. With hurricanes tormenting the Southeast, it may be wet and wild, with rain potentially a factor in Baltimore. The Ravens' ground game and special teams may end up being the difference-makers. Given that we're getting a price on what should be a toss-up game that's dropped from +4 to +3 on the point spread, we'll play the Ravens as short 'dogs.
This is the low-rent version of the game above. It also has two mobile quarterbacks, except neither strike fear in the hearts of defenders with their arm. So there'll be a lot of running in this game, with Saquon Barkley looking to be explosive against a weak Bears run defense and Chicago aiming to gash the even worse Giants run defense. After two wins to start the season got the New York faithful fired up, it wouldn't be surprising to see the G-Men fall twice in one week.
Zach Wilson is set to make his season debut. His youth and athleticism add new variables to the equation for the Jets. New York will move him around and out of the pocket, which should mask the line issues after another offensive tackle went down this week. The Steelers have just two sacks since T.J. Watt got hurt in Week 1. With more viable targets than Wilson had in his rookie year, and the Jets comfortable with a high-passing volume, they can score enough to outpace the struggling Steelers offense.
The Seahawks scored just enough in Week 1 against a tough Broncos defense but couldn't move the ball on the road against an even tougher 49ers unit in Week 2. Last week, they had offensive success in a losing cause to the Falcons - who have given up 6.0 yards per play. Now they face the Lions' defense, who've given up 5.8 yards per play. The Lions are renowned for backdoor covers against the spread, but in a rare role as decent-sized favorites, they could suffer that fate in reverse. And if they're not careful - with a key weapon in D'Andre Swift potentially out - they might get upset.
The theme of the RR MLP this week is grabbing the 'dog in a toss-up game. We were on the Colts' win over the Chiefs last week, but if we're being honest, that was more of a fluke than most would care to admit.
The Titans picked up a mandatory win over the Raiders last week and got Derrick Henry going by throwing him the football, creating safe throws for Ryan Tannehill. Neither defense has been remotely imposing, but Matt Ryan looks ready to give the ball up at any point, and we'll bet the Titans can do more with his mistakes than Kansas City did.
Here's how the odds look this week:
Who are your five underdogs for a football betting lottery ticket?
Matt Russell is a betting writer for theScore. If there’s a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on Twitter @mrussauthentic.