NFL Week 12 round-robin underdog moneyline parlay
The silver lining is it's easier to take a dramatic loss in the fifth game of the round-robin parlay when the first four all lost. Maybe that doesn't make us feel a whole lot better, and a 2-2-1 ATS record (34-19-3 overall) was underwhelming, but let's not be all doom and gloom. The Steelers had a halftime lead, the Colts led throughout, the Chargers were up four points with less than two minutes left, and Bears-Falcons was a coin-flip game. Maybe it just means we're saving the outright wins for a cluster on another week?
How it works
We parlay five underdogs we like against the spread in 10 different three-team parlays. Using every combination of a three-team parlay is called a round robin. 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 silo of gold doubloons like a young Scrooge McDuck.
Who to play
Why not kick off the week with a big shot? Admittedly, I don't expect the Lions to win outright, but they have won three straight games against professional football teams. The Bills have had a long couple of weeks, with the overtime dramatics in a loss to the Vikings, then dealing with a snowstorm and their game with the Browns being moved to Detroit. They traveled back and forth on a short week and are without five key defensive contributors.
Buffalo gets back Tre'Davious White, but he's unlikely to be in midseason form, and a top-tier cornerback is less necessary against a Detroit team that will try to battle the Bills in the trenches. A potential shootout could see a beneficial bounce go the Lions' way for a change on Thanksgiving, and +350 is too good to pass up.
Some good fortune has bolstered the Commanders' run with Taylor Heinicke. Barely beating the Sam Ehlinger Colts, getting all the calls and bounces against the Eagles, and then taking care of the Texans shouldn't boost their rating to a point where they're more than field-goal favorites to the Falcons. It's a strength-on-strength matchup, with Atlanta's run game against the Washington front. With minimal home-field advantage, we'll include this purely on value.
The Ravens are supposed to run through a weak remaining schedule - but hold that thought as they meet the rested Jaguars. Our third home underdog might be a little underrated, with Travis Etienne getting the primary usage at tailback. Off of a bye after a competitive loss at the Chiefs, Doug Pederson's group should have a plan for Baltimore's defense and can find some deep connections to Marvin Jones or Christian Kirk. The Ravens' offense still lacks dangerous playmakers to be afraid of, and the Jaguars are a top-10 run defense.
We missed the best price on the Cardinals, and backing Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury in November feels like a sub-optimal idea. But there's still reason to believe Arizona can topple the Chargers, which are never comfortable as favorites. The Cardinals seemed to quit late on Monday night against the 49ers, but there are more than a few teams that would be disinterested in getting hit in the mouth by that running game.
The Chargers will beat you in a different, less imposing way as they try to set up the deep pass from Justin Herbert. The Cardinals can handle that. Meanwhile, a dramatic loss to the Chiefs put the AFC West all but out of reach, so who knows where the banged-up Bolts' heads are at for a trip to the desert after a pair of good prime-time showings.
T.J. Watt and the Steelers get a rare chance to rush a statuesque quarterback on a fast track. Joe Burrow took advantage of Pittsburgh's soft corner play to move the ball down the field on Sunday, but the Colts' receivers don't strike the same fear. Matt Ryan should be a sitting duck, and the Colts' run game was unable to close out what could have been a win against the Eagles. Plus, Kenny Pickett gets his first chance to play in a controlled environment and should have some more success on deeper passes to George Pickens and Diontae Johnson.
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.