NFL Week 7 round-robin moneyline parlay: Value options are scarce
Overtime, you cruel mistress. A profitable round-robin underdog moneyline parlay died in overtime in Week 6, marking the second time that has happened this season.
The Patriots lost a late lead, took it back, and then lost it again. The Cowboys closed out the game after New England wasn't awarded a drive-extending penalty, killing our hopes for another winning week on our long-shot moneymaker.
Four underdogs got home in total in Week 6, meaning the path to victory at least existed - even if we only found two of the four.
How it works
We parlay five underdogs together 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. If three teams pull off the upset, you'll likely double your money. If four teams win, as they did in Week 3, you're connecting on four separate parlays and will be very pleased with the return. If all five teams win like they did in Week 1, then it's back into the pool, swimming in gold doubloons like heirs to the McDuck fortune.
Who to play
Miami Dolphins +125
Let's get this out of the way - this week is rough for viable underdogs. So we'll start with the shortest one on our card to begin the theme of every week, which is value. We faded the Dolphins last week in London and they were embarrassed, becoming the first team to lose to the Jaguars in more than a year.
Embarrassment is the No. 1 motivator for NFL players, and I believe it's actually a good thing they didn't take the typical post-London bye. If Xavien Howard and Byron Jones return on defense, they should handle the Falcons' offense. Tua Tagovailoa was serviceable against Jacksonville, and a couple of healthier options for him to throw to would help in what is probably the Dolphins' last stand in a season slipping away.
Cincinnati Bengals +225
This is probably the most controversial inclusion, but that's what the price is for. Market-wise, we've already seen this number come off -7, so someone out there sees value with the Bengals. But can they win the game?
The handicap in this one lies in the defenses. The Ravens only know one mode: blitz. Baltimore brings an extra man on 32% of its snaps (fifth most), while the Bengals rush more than four defenders only 20% of the time. Joe Burrow and Lamar Jackson both invite the blitz, but the Bengals quarterback is going to see more of it.
Cincinnati is giving up just 3.9 yards per carry and is fourth in the NFL in net yards per pass attempt at 5.7. It's strange to say, but the Bengals' defense is actually better than the Ravens'.
Philadelphia Eagles +150
This is purely a buy-low/sell-high spot. The Raiders won an emotional divisional matchup last week and proved what they needed to prove without Jon Gruden. Meanwhile, we all saw the Eagles lose to the Buccaneers in a game that wasn't as close as the spread-covering final score indicated. Philadelphia will have more success on offense than the banged-up Broncos did and we'll get another close game in Las Vegas. The Eagles are worthy of a bet at this price.
Indianapolis Colts +165
This was our upset of the week before the Colts lost a key player on defense a day after publication when Julian Blackmon tore his Achilles tendon in practice. While we're not quite as bullish on Indy now, for one game we'll hope the Colts can patch things up on the back end. That makes this price worthwhile.
Seattle Seahawks +200
I dropped Seattle to a 40/100 in my ratings, which is exactly the number you'd assign to the Seahawks if they were truly five points worse than Pittsburgh. With that number seeming pretty accurate, if not low, then the Saints can't be more than two-point favorites on the road on Monday night given the 56/100 rating that I assign to New Orleans.
While the fumble on the penultimate play wasn't a good look for Geno Smith, who continues to fill in for the injured Russell Wilson, it's not like he was firing interceptions all over the field. Like last week, I'm content with taking the home 'dog at 2-1 odds to hopefully close out a winning week.
Here's how the odds shake down 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.