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.
Even though Dallas didn't pull out the victory, last week's pick was the one I'm proudest of so far this season. Not only were they the biggest underdogs I've picked so far since I started this, but it was astounding the amount of flak I got when I was telling people that Dallas had a good chance to win that game. I also want to point out that I spend a good amount of time on the "Interesting Stat of the Week" in addition to the weekly pick, and you would've hit a big winner if you followed last week's stat. By the time Monday rolled around, no underdog of 6.5 or more points had won straight up yet, and a play on the Jets to win outright as 10 point underdogs would've netted a tidy profit.
Underdog of the Week:
CIN @ BUF
BUF +260 ML
With 5 weeks of games behind us, it is becoming increasingly clear which teams are good and which are bad. But how do bad teams upset good teams? One of the simpler answers is turnovers, something that is nearly impossible to predict. Yet over the past 6 seasons, 7 favored teams lost in week 6 because their QB threw 3 or more picks. This has happened regardless of whether the QBs were bad (Tim Rattay, Mark Sanchez), slightly above average (Alex Smith, Andy Dalton, Eli Manning), or fantasy studs (Philip Rivers, Drew Brees).
Buffalo is a big home underdog here because they are starting their practice squad QB, Thad Lewis. However, I think it's the Cincinnati QB who's going to have a bad game. Dalton has a history of throwing picks early in the season, having thrown at least one pick in each of his first 8 games last season and in 4 of his first 5 games this season. Add to that Buffalo's league leading 9 interceptions and 3rd ranked 18 sacks, and Dalton could be in for a long day. Also, who knows how often Lewis will even actually have to throw it with Buffalo's 3rd ranked running game?
Interesting Stat of the Week:
Over the past 5 seasons, there were no closing lines between 7.5 and 8.5 inclusive. Of the lines that were 9 or more points, favorites were 5-12 ATS and 12-5 SU.
ML 3-2 +230