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Week 10 round-robin underdog parlay: Bookend upsets

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Two underdogs won in Week 9, but not two 'dogs that we bet. Out of 14 games on the schedule, just the Vikings (which we had) and Commanders won outright. I don't have Josh Dobbs' rocket science degree, but I do know it's hard to find three underdogs when only two are available. As for Week 10, well, there seems to be a limited selection to choose from.

How it works

We parlay five underdogs together - which we also 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'll 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, you'll be diving into a gold doubloon silo like a young Scrooge McDuck.

Who to play

Panthers (+150) over Bears

It's unscientific, but it would be quite something if the Heisman Trophy-winning, No. 1 overall pick, Bryce Young, lost to Harlon Hill Trophy winner (the MVP honor for Division II) and undrafted free-agent rookie Tyson Bagent. It's entirely possible that ends up being the case, but if we think this matchup is closer to 50-50, then getting a +150 or better price is worth starting our bet for the week on Thursday night.

Vikings (+125) over Saints

What's less enticing than backing the Saints as a big favorite - as they were last week? How about the idea that they're a road favorite against a team that's manufactured some mojo without its two best players?

We've discussed the Vikings' defensive turnaround repeatedly in this space. However, their relative weakness is against the pass. That's not something the Saints can take advantage of, as they're ranked 21st in yards per pass. Minnesota should be able to keep Alvin Kamara in check, as the Vikings field a top-five defense against the run and have allowed just 4.7 targets and 22.6 receiving yards per game to opponents' tailbacks. Outside of getting caught on a blitz and burned for a long touchdown, the Vikings did well against Christian McCaffrey.

Dobbs doesn't need to learn his teammates' names this week, but any increase in knowledge of the plays beyond a first read would be helpful and give the Vikings a chance to win.

Commanders (+220) over Seahawks

Sunday's selection of sizeable underdogs eligible for our weekly guilty pleasure bet is pretty limited. Fading the Ravens or Bengals doesn't sound appealing in their current form. Are the Giants something you might be interested in? Doubtful.

Almost by default, the Commanders are the look against the Seahawks. Washington's tweaked the offense to try to stem the sack avalanche that's run over Sam Howell this season. After being dropped almost six times per game, he's suffered four sacks combined in the last two. Relatedly, they almost beat the Eagles and won on the road in New England.

We tried Seattle as an underdog last week, citing that the Hawks could beat anyone and lose to almost anyone. The Commanders qualify as a group that can keep pace with the Seahawks - who lost by a million in Baltimore - and maybe pull off an upset.

Raiders (+100) over Jets

The Jets' offensive line was a problem on Monday night, and now they get a look at Maxx Crosby, who's a half-sack off the league lead. Let's just say we're expecting a Zach Wilson fumble in this one.

The question around the Raiders is whether the energy boost from ridding themselves of Josh McDaniels can continue for one more week. The reference point is last year's Colts, who never won another game after beating (coincidentally) Las Vegas in Jeff Saturday's coaching debut. However, the Colts faced the Eagles in their next game and nearly beat them outright. This version of the Jets isn't going to the Super Bowl, so look for the good Vegas vibes to extend one more week ... and then likely go up in flames in Miami in Week 11.

Broncos (+280) over Bills

It's a bookend week for the "RUMP," and we're saving the best for last.

The Bills haven't covered a spread since Oct. 1, a run that's seen their estimated market rating drop from the mid-70s to the mid-60s. Maybe bettors have landed on an appropriate rating for Buffalo, but now there's reason to believe we might collectively be too low on the Broncos.

The expectation that Sean Payton would completely turn around a bad Broncos team right from the start of the season probably wasn't fair. However, now that we've reached the midway point, Denver won back-to-back games going into its bye, as the team shifted its defensive personnel due to benchings and injury returnees.

Meanwhile, Russell Wilson's stats have taken a turn for the better:

2022 15 60.5  16:9
2023 8 66.1  16:4

How the odds look this week:

CAR+MIN+LV +1000
CAR+WSH+LV +1400
CAR+LV+DEN +1700
MIN+WSH+LV +1300
MIN+LV+DEN +1500
WSH+LV+DEN +2300

Who are your five underdogs for a football betting lottery ticket?

Matt Russell is the lead betting analyst for theScore. If there's a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on social media @mrussauthentic.

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