Wednesday is the perfect day to unleash the dogs. This time every week I write up a few underdogs that I feel have a path to win outright. Underdogs are 28-15 ATS over the last three weeks, with 20 of 25 winning on the moneyline during that span. Short underdogs of 3.5 points or fewer that covered the spread won on the moneyline 34 of 37 times this season. Last week, the Saints were the first team since Week 2 to close as short dogs and cover but fail to win outright.
The odds are still very much in our favor, and it makes sense to play these underdogs on the moneyline. Here are three moneyline wagers that look like winners this weekend. Two of the three are very short dogs, so they could be favorites by Sunday. It's best to punch in these bets today if the line is moving in our direction. A three-team parlay pays out at +872 if you want to wager a small stake for this weekend.
Cincinnati at Las Vegas (-105)
Yes, we are going back to the well with the Silver & Black. I felt the Raiders were underrated before getting eviscerated on national TV by the resurrected Chiefs. So I am either completely wrong or there is even more value after such a letdown performance. When I hear people talk about the Bengals, the conversation always starts and ends with Joe Burrow and their young weapons.
I love what the Bengals are doing this year, but the Raiders are the better offensive team. Both teams are tied for fourth in yards per play, but the Raiders' offense grades out higher in EPA per play, DVOA, and success rate. The teams are ranked closely, but Las Vegas matches Cincy in the area that is the Bengals' biggest strength. Burrow is tied with Sam Darnold for the league lead in interceptions and is now traveling to a noisy dome against a defense that is top five in QB knockdowns per pass attempt. I expect to see a fun, high-scoring game in which Maxx Crosby knocks Burrow off his mark just enough to help the Raiders get the home victory.
New Orleans (-105) at Philadelphia
The Eagles' have looked like a new team since they discovered their new offensive identity with its rushing attack. Now they face a Saints rushing defense that is No. 1 in the NFL in opponent success rate. If the Eagles want to move the ball, coach Nick Sirianni is going to have to cook up a third identity because it's not going to happen on the ground against this defense. Here comes the real test for second-year QB Jalen Hurts. With Marshon Lattimore locked on DeVonta Smith, Hurts will be pressed to produce without a strong rushing game or his No. 1 WR. Lattimore helped hold A.J. Brown to one catch as the Saints came close to upsetting the 8-2 Titans.
Alvin Kamara could be a welcome addition to the Saints' starting lineup. Sean Payton should be able to win the chess match vs. defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon and exploit the Eagles' soft coverage with screens and short passes.
Washington (+155) at Carolina
Cam Newton is reborn in Carolina! Actually, it's still the same Cam Newton that we saw all last season. I will always root for Cam and love seeing him back where he started, but he isn't catching anyone by surprise this week. If anyone knows how to stop Cam Newton, it's the guy who coached him for the majority of his career.
This line is a classic overreaction to Carolina having success in Newton's debut against an Arizona team that was decimated with injuries. This is a team that closed as a 2.5-point underdog to Atlanta just a few weeks ago. Since their magical 3-0 start, the Panthers have only been favorites twice and left their backers with empty pockets by losing outright to both the Eagles and the Giants. Washington is coming off a confidence-building win and should be able to pull one off for their coach in his return to Carolina.