The NFL Underdog Story: The Return of Saquon

The NFL likes to preach how it’s “the league of parity” and that any season a team can go from the bottom to the top. History has proven to be on the side of the league as we see this time and again on the field, most recently in the form of the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals notably lost in the 2022 Super Bowl to the LA Rams after previously going 4-11-1 in 2021 (albeit, also the year Joe Burrow was injured).

I am here to also prove this point of parity, but not in a way that measures the success of a single team. However, I will be measuring the success of every Moneyline underdog to see if it is possible to turn a profit over the course of an entire NFL season. Since injuries can impact who is ultimately favored for game, I will reserve the right to make the pick of record the day of the game.

Going into Monday Night the ‘dogs are 5-9-1 but after another long field goal miss the final standing is 6-9-1 with a positive return of 2.25 units. Below will highlight the main games that had the greatest impact to the final results.

San Francisco at Chicago: Bears (+245)

Not too much to say about this other than if you are the 49ers you might want to rethink the QB switch to Trey Lance as he was awful. The Bears were somehow worse but still pull it out behind key defensive stops and big plays on offense.

Cincinnati Bengals vs Pittsburgh Steelers (+235)

The “Steel Curtain” was back and likely only for week 1 as they lost all-world defensive end TJ Watt to a torn pectoral late in regulation. Joe Burrow threw 4 interceptions including one returned for a touchdown. The turnovers combined with two late Bengals kicking mishaps in the form of missed extra point and missed field goal opened the door for Chris Boswell winner to cash the ticket at the end of overtime.

New York Giants vs Tennessee Titans (+210)

SAQUON IS BACK! Giants fans and fantasy owners can rejoice, the super talented running back appears to finally be healthy after 2 seasons decimated by injury. Barkley carved up the titans to 194 all purpose yards that included a 68 yard run and bull dozing his way into the endzone for the game winning 2 pt Conversion.

Indianapolis Colts vs Houston Texans (+255)

This one ended in a tie/no bet as new coach Lovie Smith chose to play for a season-long result and took the tie against the divisional rival and heavily favored Colts. The bright-side is, the Texans do not appear to be as outmatched as everyone thinks and could be a profitable team over the course of the season.

Denver Broncos vs Seattle Seahawks (+230)

Monday night featured the return of Russell Wilson to Seattle. The “12th Man” was as loud as ever forcing several false starts and delay of game penalties against the Broncos. The Seattle offense started hot and the defense bent but didn’t break and forced a 63 yard field goal to win the game. In the end, the kick went wide left and thus concluding week 1 and swing profit for the ‘dogs.


*Note this is not a recommendation to play any of these games as actual bets, this is for research and entertainment purpose only.