Usually, as the season goes on, betting becomes easier as the lines become more clear in turn. However, this year has proven to be one of the odder ones in recent memory. With upsets like the Buccaneers over the Rams two weeks ago and the seemingly dead Broncos over the Chargers last weekend, the traditionally “safe” bets are riskier now than any other time during the season. But isn’t that why we bet on sports? It keeps you invested in games you otherwise wouldn’t care about and has you cheering for an underdog that you normally hate. So this season has been a tough one to call but it’s still fun to keep going and hope for the best so without further ado, let’s take a look at the best bets from Week 6.
While parlays are always the riskiest bets you can place compared to spreads, we’ll break down the safest parlay you can place, another will make you some money but carries some risk, and the riskiest but most fruitful one you can place. For this article, we will take a look at 3-team parlays based on each team’s money line with each one based on its level of risk.
3-team parlay: Seattle Seahawks (-135) vs. CLE, Los Angeles Chargers (-290) vs. PIT, Dallas Cowboys (-340) vs. NYJ
The last time the Cleveland Browns had a disappointing showing during a prime time game, they followed it up by blowing out the Baltimore Ravens. However, I just don’t see lightning striking twice for Cleveland. Seattle proved they can still compete against top NFL talent after beating the Rams in a tight game on a short week to prepare. Meanwhile, the Browns’ offensive line is clearly the team’s biggest weakness along with their run defense. Russell Wilson is pushing hard to make a bid for the MVP award this year, Chris Carson looks like he’s finally fixed his fumbling issues with Rashaad Penny looking one of the best backup running backs in the league, and, by the way, Seattle is 6-2 in their last eight road games spanning the last two seasons.
The Chargers are coming off a shocking upset at home against the Denver Broncos but in the NFL, that’s going to happen once or twice to any team except for apparently the Patriots. With Mason Rudolph officially being ruled out for the primetime game, Delvin Hodges is slated to be the Steelers quarterback. It’s hard to imagine the Chargers get upset here.
Finally, there are the Dallas Cowboys. While this isn’t the sexiest pick and will drag down some of the earnings you will make on this parlay, with four teams on a bye week, it’s smart to close out the safest parlays with a sure thing that will still make you a fair amount and the Cowboys are exactly that.
3-team parlay: Atlanta Falcons (-135) vs. ARI, Washington Redskins (-185) vs. MIA, Tennessee Titans (+105) vs. DEN
The Atlanta Falcons have been a frustrating team for their fan base, sports gamblers, and speaking as a guy with Calvin Ridley on my team, fantasy football fans. While coming off an absolute blowout against the Texans doesn’t necessarily inspire hope with Atlanta, I still think they have a solid shot at pulling off the win on the road. David Johnson’s status is still up in the air for Sunday but even if he does play, it is hard to imagine the Cardinals lean on him. While Kyler Murray has looked impressive in his rookie year, it’s hard to imagine he can outright win the game if he’s forced to pass it. The Falcons are the riskiest team here but I think they’ll pull out a tight win.
Now I can already hear the laughing from the readers seeing that I put the Redskins or Miami Dolphins anywhere near a bet. However, this game is going to be one of the worst of the season so why not make it interesting for you at least a little bit? In all seriousness though, with Jay Gruden gone and Case Keenum back as the starting quarterback, at least for now, there’s enough to believe in Washington this week against a team that is still in full tank mode. Keenum kept the Redskins tight in the first two weeks of the season against the Cowboys and Eagles and really struggled against the Bears who are boasting on the league’s most talented defenses right now. Take Washington to win “The Tank Bowl”.
Last week, I said you should place money on the Jaguars to win against the Panthers, which as a Colts fan, physically hurt me. Despite the Jaguars letting me down, I’m saying stick with the AFC South. The Broncos are coming off their first impressive win of the season against the Chargers but their defense is still ranked 22nd in the league against the run and with Derrick Henry on track to post career highs in rushing yards and touchdowns, it’s a match made in heaven for Tennessee. This game will be tight but if you want to get an underdog into this parlay, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better one than the Titans.
3-team parlay: New Orleans Saints (Pick ‘Em) vs. JAX, San Francisco 49ers (+140) vs. LAR, Minnesota Vikings (-155) vs. PHI
I put off on writing this section as long as I possibly could for two reasons. First, I was expecting the Saints line to move one way or the other but as of 48 hours before kickoff, MyBookie.ag still has it as a toss-up between them and the Jaguars. It’s understandable with Gardner Minshew keeping the Jaguars competitive even despite losing last week and playing at home for the first time in two weeks. However, Teddy Bridgewater has proven a more than suitable replacement for Drew Brees pulling off three straight wins. While all of those wins were by one score, it proves the Saints are more than just their quarterback. The Jaguars, on the other hand, have seen their fair share of defensive struggles this season allowing three of their last five opponents to score 24 or more points. Even if Alvin Kamara doesn’t play, which is up in the air right now, it’s still well worth the risk to take advantage of this pick ‘em.
The second reason I waited was the 49ers line. With Friday’s injury news listing Todd Gurley as doubtful and Aqib Talib officially ruled out on the defensive side for the Los Angeles Rams, the 49ers have a suddenly much more realistic shot at pulling off this upset. L.A. did sweep the 49ers last year but that was largely thanks to their dominant ground game in both of those games. While Jimmy Garoppolo has been inconsistent this year, if this does turn into a shootout, Talib’s absence will make that possible at least.
To hedge this riskier bet, let’s take the Vikings as the safest part of this parlay. While the Philadelphia Eagles have at times looked like their old selves who won the Super Bowl two years ago, there has been plenty to worry bettors. Since their new stadium has opened, the Vikings are 20-7 at home and while the Eagles have boasted the top defense in the NFL, key injuries could hurt their chances of keeping that success up. Not to mention injuries on offense with DeSean Jackson, Darren Sproles, and Corey Clement all likely out for the game as well. This is a virtual toss-up in my mind but if you’re willing to risk it then the Vikings are the team you should go for.