NFL Week 14 round-robin underdog moneyline parlay
Underdog bettors' greatest fear was realized in Week 13 - no 'dogs won.
The Bengals were the only team with a "plus" in front of their odds to win, but the defending AFC champions at home hardly qualifies. A 1-4 record against the spread drops us to 38-24-3 this season. The Jets might have averaged 10 inches on three quarterback sneaks to take a lead late, while the Texans' offense outscored the Browns' offense 14-6, but neither covered. Welcome to the razor's edge of the NFL.
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
They are few and far between, but sometimes particular matchups do matter in the NFL. Cleveland has won five straight over the Bengals. The Browns are being downgraded for Deshaun Watson's terrible play in Houston, but given how predictable that was, his second game should involve fewer jitters.
Ja'Marr Chase was missing from the last matchup, as he and Joe Burrow skipped last season's finale, but it's possible the Browns' defensive line is a bad matchup for the Bengals' offensive line, having sacked Burrow 17 times in the teams' last four meetings and allowed just over 3 yards per carry to Cincinnati tailbacks in those games.
I like the number more than I like the Broncos, but that's always the case with a big underdog. The illustrious combo of Vic Fangio and Drew Lock nearly shocked the Chiefs in a standalone Week 18 game last season, and while Russell Wilson looks more like Lock than we ever imagined, it's the Broncos' defense that's made Denver the best under bet this season. A low-scoring game usually means a close one, and if the Broncos' offense can catch Kansas City - 31st in opponent's passer rating - on something of a letdown after last week's loss in Cincinnati, we might see another surprisingly close contest.
The Panthers are 3-3 in their last six games. They're a chip-shot field-goal miss in overtime away from flipping one of those losses, and another came with the since-released Baker Mayfield at quarterback.
No one is dying to make a case for a Sam Darnold resurgence, but the same could have been said of Geno Smith. The Panthers want to run the football, doing so 46 times in a win over Denver before their bye week. Only four teams give up more yards per carry than the Seahawks.
Carolina is not great against the run either, but can banged-up Seattle tailbacks take advantage? The Panthers, meanwhile, are top 10 in yards per pass attempt (YPA) allowed. Smith's last six victories have come against teams that are 30th, 16th, 18th, 24th, and 23rd in YPA.
The respective injury reports are going to be key, particularly on the offensive line. The Chargers' offense becomes considerably less efficient when center Corey Linsley is out, as he was last week. He's progressing through concussion protocol. Meanwhile, Derwin James and Mike Williams need to be green-lit for the Chargers to be live in this one.
On the flip side, with right tackle Austin Jackson already on IR, the Dolphins' really need Terron Armstead to keep Tua Tagovailoa comfortable. All the moving parts provide uncertainty to a game with two high-variance teams, so +150 on the moneyline is worth a shot on the home underdog in a game that it needs badly for its playoff chances.
If we can catch two of the above, it should create a moneyline bet on the Cardinals that's better than the singular price above, and maybe we get lucky and three (or four!?) win.
Of course, that means we're relying on Kliff Kingsbury to beat Bill Belichick and win a game late in the season. However, Kingsbury does get something of a bad rap. Last year, the Cardinals were without Deandre Hopkins and had a banged-up Kyler Murray. With last week's late bye week, Arizona has a fresh Hopkins, the return of Marquise Brown, and Murray healthy enough to run for 56 yards against the Chargers last week.
The Cardinals have seen their red-zone efficiency rise in recent games, whereas the Patriots are the league's worst team at converting those trips into touchdowns.
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.