Welcome to Upset Watch, where I guide you through the games that have the best chance of an underdog winning outright, or covering the spread.

Last week we hit on arguably the biggest underdog win of the season, in the Texans, and we'll be analyzing the week 12 slate for more big wins.

Each week we pick a number of games (usually between 4 and 8) that have upset written all over them. We also pick the extra games where we can see an underdog covering, but not winning.


Note to all readers

If you're reading this later in the week or early next week, you'll notice a few changes we're making to our article layout, with clearer fonts and a narrower viewing window that is in keeping with your experience pretty much everywhere else on the internet!

Our new layout is easier to read, and will include links to other content we're publishing by our experienced writers such as KC Joyner, Michael Schottey and Ty Schalter.

In addition, we're changing our news page, which will be getting a revamp to categorize our content more effectively and help you read the best articles we're writing every week. Let us know any feedback on the new layout once it's active (ETA: Thursday or Friday!)

We're also going to be upgrading our game previews soon to include all of our writing on each game in one place, and integrating our killer stats into our main tables over the next month. This is a big priority, as we want you to see the best trends, injury news and stats alongside our picks, while you make your own choices.


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Season Record:

Individual picks ($100 on each underdog and underdog cover pick): +$2,225

Double Round Robin Picks ($10 on parlays of 2, covering every combination of underdog picks) +$1,111.53

Treble Round Robin Picks ($10 on parlays of 3, covering every combination of our underdog picks) +$1,702,23

Total of all parlays (doubles and trebles): +$2,813.76

What a week! I mentioned in the intro last week that injuries were becoming a crazy factor in the NFL and it was making it harder to be definitive early on - well those who made their final picks on Sunday were definitely better off than those who made them on Wednesday. This reinforces that you should revisit this page on Sundays or in advance of games.

We nailed the Colts, Texans, Vikings, Washington and the Steelers +5.5 to hit the big profit return again for the first time in 3 weeks. - and we were (mostly) helped by injuries, except for the Bears pick, which thankfully came in last second to exclude it from parlays - even if our single pick tanked.

We bumped the Texans and Vikings up to underdog wins to replace the Saints (Kamara injury) and Cardinals (Murray injury) which yielded an extra 2 winners, both of which I'd argued forcefully in favor of in the analysis itself. Lesson? Maybe it's time to expand the pool of winners, because if I'm arguing that a team can win and a cover is just 'safe' then the chances are I need to commit to it as a potential win!

Someone asked for the parlay tables again, which I have below:

Here's how we far with double parlays (explained below) of $10 for each bet.

Week Picks Wins Bets Return Stake Profit
Week 1 5 4 10 $346.51 $100.00 $246.51
Week 2 7 2 21 $67.37 $210.00 -$142.63
Week 3 6 4 15 $303.40 $150.00 $153.40
Week 4 6 3 15 $169.05 $150.00 $19.05
Week 5 5 2 10 $60.00 $100.00 -$40.00
Week 6 6 3 15 $189.40 $150.00 $39.40
Week 7 6 4 15 $481.41 $150.00 $331.41
Week 8 7 4 21 $466.94 $210.00 $256.94
Week 9 6 2 15 $0.00 $150.00 -$150.00
Week 10 5 2 10 $0.00 $100.00 -$100.00
Week 11 7 4 21 598.25 $210.00 $388.25
Totals 54 28 137 $2,682.33 $1,680.00 $1,002.33

... and here's how we've done with treble parlays where we need at least 3 of our picks to come in for a return.

Week Picks Wins Bets Return Stake Profit
Week 1 5 4 10 $747.30 $100.00 $647.30
Week 2 7 2 35 $0.00 $350.00 -$350.00
Week 3 6 4 20 $475.28 $200.00 $275.28
Week 4 6 3 20 $124.00 $200.00 -$76.00
Week 5 5 2 10 $0.00 $100.00 -$100.00
Week 6 6 3 20 $154.63 $200.00 -$45.37
Week 7 6 4 20 $904.39 $200.00 $704.39
Week 8 7 4 35 $864.38 $350.00 $514.38
Week 9 6 2 20 0 $200.00 -$200.00
Week 10 5 2 10 0 $100.00 -$100.00
Week 11 7 4 35 $782.25 $350.00 $432.25
Totals 66 34 235 $4,052.23 $2,350.00 $1,702.23


As I've stated before, I personally bet using doubles and treble parlays (explained below) because the amount we can win in good weeks far outweighs what we lose in bad ones.

That said, I'm playing with house money now, and it's easy to justify staking $500 on parlays every week because it's all profit - if you're just starting, the above is just a guide, but no matter how you use the column, it's easy to adjust it to what you can afford to stake. For example, if you'd staked $1 on those trebles, you'd have $170 in winnings now!

Overall, trebles this season have return 72.4% on the amount you stake, while doubles have returned 59.7%, and singles 24.18%.


How to bet using Upset Watch

A reader commented last week on the performance of our favorite picks - again, to re-emphasize for newer readers, what we have here is a tried and tested betting system. It isn't about getting 16 right, and there may be some confusion - those picks are there to explain more why those teams do not appear in our underdog column, but to be clear, they are not specifically the reason the column is written.

We know some of them will win, some will lose, but the reason they're down there is because they don't have any statistical basis for an underdog win.

That doesn't mean that big underdogs down there won't win, it means that if they do, as with Washington beating Tampa Bay in week 10, it will be one of those games where it just comes out of nowhere and the pick would not have been based on data available before the game.

Round Robins

Due to the nature of underdog picks, you are unlikely to land a parlay of more than 4 teams winning in any week. We select the underdogs that have the best chance heading into games, and our success record is second to none in the industry.

We recommend Round Robins as a way of maximizing your profits from the picks in this column. You will still win by backing individual selections, but getting your head around Round Robins will change how you bet and win money.

A Round Robin is essentially, a number of smaller parlays within a parlay that mean you don't need all of your picks to win to pay out.

Rather than betting on a big parlay of (for example) 5 underdogs to win with huge moneyline odds, you can hedge your bets by betting on combinations of 2 or more to win. This effectively means that as long as 2 of our selections win, then you'll return something. 3 will mean a small profit, and 4 or more will be the big money.

  • For example, with 5 selections, there are 10 combinations of 3 winners that are possible. Rather than placing these all manually, a Round Robin option from your online sportsbook automatically calculates the combinations for you in the bet slip.

  • If any 3 teams win, you'll win that bet - even if the other 2 picks lost.

  • The smaller the parlays, the smaller the payouts - but the more likely you'll return a profit of some kind.

With underdogs, the moneyline odds are greater for a reason - they're harder to get right! Because we're good at this, your chances of getting 2, 3 or 4 moneyline underdogs correct are vastly improved, as proven by our record. 

For more info on how to bet using Upset Watch, check out this article.


This week's picks

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