- Aaron Schatz
Upset Watch appears every Thursday for ESPN Insider, as Football Outsiders uses a proprietary formula to forecast the expected point spread of each game based on current DVOA ratings (explained here) and, early in the season, our DVOA projections. Each week we highlight the most likely upset on a game with a line over three points, plus an additional game where a significant underdog has a strong chance to cover.
This week feels like a breather in the world of NFL lines, a small gap before we get to the insanity that will be Jacksonville at Denver (predicted line: a record 28 points). Most games have a line between two and five points, and based on FO stats, the most likely upsets of the week are:
• Baltimore (+3) at Miami
• Buffalo (+4.5) at Cleveland
• Houston (+6.5) at San Francisco
• Indianapolis (+3) vs. Seattle
Our Upset Watch pick actually brings us back to the problem of Jacksonville, which through four weeks is the worst team ever tracked by Football Outsiders (going back to 1989). With only four games played, it's hard enough to figure out how much team performance has been shaped by the quality of their opponents. It's even harder when one of those opponents was so bad that every offense is putting up video game numbers against them, week after week.
Football Outsiders examines the most likely upset pick for Week 5.