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.
Underdog of the Week:
JAC @ HOU
JAC +385 ML
I like to look back at what happened the same week in previous seasons to help with my picks, but I don't think that will work this week. This year is one of those rare occasions when week 12 does not fall on Thanksgiving week. It's only happened one other time during the past seven years, back in 2008. So what happened then? The biggest underdog of the week, an offensively-challenged Raiders team led by Jamarcus Russell, went on the road and beat up the Denver Broncos, a middling division rival that year. Can something similar happen this year? I say it will!
The stories are very similar. Jacksonville is the biggest underdog this week, an offensively-challenged team visiting a mediocre division rival. Looking just at the stats, Houston is rightfully a double digit favorite. But the Jaguars have played better on the road than at home, having covered the spread in their last two away games. I continue to think it's because of those horrible black home uniforms. Couple that with Houston, who hasn't covered any spread at home this season, and there's a recipe for a big upset. There's a lot of internal strife in Houston right now, and the pressure of playing at home in front of booing fans may be too much to handle.
While Houston has very impressive stats on both sides of the ball (their main failure has been turnovers), they do appear to have one weakness, and that is defending tight ends. Perhaps Marcedes Lewis can regain some of the form from that one random 10TD season he had.
Interesting Stat of the Week: Couldn't find the data, but I'd have to imagine a 2-8 team as a double digit favorite is pretty rare.
ML 4-7 -170