In this series, I will pick an underdog every week that I think will not only cover the spread, but also have a good chance at winning outright.
In general I've found that people love fading streaks. They like to think that a team on a long losing streak is "due" for a win or vice versa. That is usually a quick way to go broke.
Underdog of the Week:
PIT @ MIN (in UK)
MIN +120 ML
Over the past 5 seasons, 5 winless teams have been favored with an overall record of 1-4. This week features two such teams in the Steelers and Buccaneers. The Buccaneers are a mess and have just benched Freeman, so I'm going to stay away. I like this matchup for the Vikings as they have been able to put up points and have playmakers such as Peterson and Jennings. Their main problem has been on defense, and I don't think Pittsburgh, which has had problems scoring so far this season, will be able to take advantage of that. The Vikings have a clear advantage in the running game, and that might come into play if the weather in London is poor. The line has been in flux as Vikings QB Ponder is listed as questionable, but I don't think that Matt Cassel is too big of a downgrade if Ponder can't go.
Interesting Stat of the Week:
Over the past 6 years, the Dallas Cowboys have been 1-4 as a favorite in week 4.
ML 2-1 +210