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This week we review a pair of underdogs that are primed to upset their opponents so let’s break these games down, check out what the oddsmakers are dealing, and keep cashing those tickets.
Chiefs at Steelers (-4.5), Sunday, 1 PM ET
This isn’t the most contrarian pick on the board, and we might even go so far as to say it’s almost a square play even though we are backing an underdog. Even recreational sports bettors know the public has very short memories, and in the case of NFL bettors we’d give that time span longer than a goldfish but no more than a week. Thus, if a team looks great on the previous Sunday then that’s who the public believes they are the following Sunday, and the reverse is true as well. It goes like this from week to week which is why the average guy loses year after year because he just can’t shake that formula from his head.
Well, we’re here to tell you that Joe Q. Six-Pack is not always wrong and at times those impressions can be consistently accurate if a team goes on a roll and continues to cover the number over and over and over again. We are not looking for several weeks of sublime supremacy from the Chiefs or mediocre football from the Steelers, we just want a little of both from each just for this week.
The Chiefs took care of business last week when their 2017 first-round pick, Patrick Mahomes, struck for four passing touchdowns and defeated the Chargers 38-28 in Los Angeles. Mahomes looked right at home in a retooled Andy Reid offense that keeps the kid slingin’ and using all the weapons at his disposal. Tyreek Hill was on the receiving end of two TD passes and torched the Bolts’ secondary for 169 yards plus a punt-return TD.
Now I ask you, how is this offense going to be kept in check by a Pittsburgh defense that allowed a pedestrian, albeit better than last season Cleveland offense to rally from the depths to draw the Steelers into a 21-21 tie? If we click on over to Sportsbook Review, a one-stop shop that provides lines from all the best online sportsbooks in the industry, it tells us that as of this writing the Chiefs are getting 4.5 points and if you decide to walk on the wild side many of the major shops are giving back almost double your money if you eschew the points and bet KC to win outright. Maybe taking a little bite from both could do the trick as we watch the Chiefs scalp the Steelers.
Giants at Cowboys (-3), Sunday, 8:30 PM ET
The Giants lost 20-15 to the Jags last week, while the Cowboys dropped a 16-8 contest against the Panthers. Not much offense generated from either team, but the Giants are underdogs this week based solely on the venue. Had the game been held at MetLife Stadium, the Giants would be favored by the same so why do we believe that Big Blue will do that voodoo they do and turn all those Cowboys fans blue?
For starters, the triumvirate of Eli Manning, OBJ, and Saquon Barkley is more potent than Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and well, nobody. Sure, Manning isn’t what he once was but he’s still viable as a starter in this league and we’re not sure that the Dallas offensive line is nearly as good as everyone believes it to be which is a good thing for the Giants’ defense.
Sportsbook Review shows that a consensus of the best online sportsbooks has the Giants as a solid 3-point underdog and a money line that will reward you with about a +135 comeback if they are to defeat their Dallas rivals outright. We can envision Barkley gashing that Cowboys defensive front and causing the clock to tick and tick and tick which is pretty much what you want when betting an underdog. Keep the opposing offense off the field and keep their defense on it as time winds down. Barkley’s bag of tricks will ultimately lead to springing Odell Beckham Jr. into the daylight where Manning better be able to get him the ball. Too much Giants’ offense to ignore in this one so go take a bite of the Big Apple.