Basic strategy teaser spreads have been difficult to find over the last few weeks, as many of the games do not qualify under the strict criteria of finding 1.5-point to 2.5-point underdogs and 7.5-point to 8.5-point favorites. But lucky for sports bettors, the games that do qualify have been winning at an extraordinary rate. Last week the only three basic strategy teaser games on the schedule went 3-0, and overall have gone 40-7 on the season.
This week there are again only three basic strategy teaser games to bet, so let’s take a minute and figure out which ones have the best value.
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--Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints
Original spread: Saints +2.5 (WagerWeb)
Six-point teaser: Saints +8.5
The Atlanta Falcons have been on quite a run over the first half of the season. However, unless they are a historically great team, they are due for a loss sometime soon. Four of Atlanta’s last five games have been decided by seven points or less. And while a win is a win no matter what it looks like, the Falcons have not been blowing teams out. Atlanta has also gone 1-5 against the Saints over the last three seasons — that stat might not seem to matter because of the erratic season New Orleans is having. However, the game is being played at the Superdome, so expect the Saints to be close to their best.
New Orleans made more than a few mistakes during their “Monday Night Football” matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles, but they looked fantastic at times on both offense and defense. The Saints will probably continue to struggle throughout the season, but they have figured out how to survive without head coach Sean Payton and should have a much better second half of the season. Betting the Saints at +2.5 points is a comfortable position to have, so getting them at +8.5 points leaves a lot of room for New Orleans to lose the game and still cover the spread.
--Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings
Original spread: Vikings +2 (WagerWeb)
Six-point teaser: Vikings +8
The Minnesota Vikings have struggled a bit after their unexpected 4-1 start, and they have lost three of their last four games. The Vikings may very well be exhausted, as they are one of the few teams that still have not had a bye week. What Minnesota does have going for them is a 4-1 home record and the fact that they are still in the thick of the NFC wild-card race, so a win would give them a two-game lead over the Lions and, at minimum, keep them tied for the final playoff spot.
Detroit is also still in the wild-card race and desperately needs a win to stay in contention. The Lions have won three of the last four games and played well offensively over that stretch. This is a game set up for Detroit to win, but asking them to cover eight points is probably too much for a team that is 4-4 against the spread and 2-3 as an ATS favorite. Minnesota could very well lose this game, but they will be motivated to enter their bye week with win against a division rival and, at minimum, should keep this a close game. Getting the Vikings plus eight points is a solid wager.
--Oakland Raiders @ Baltimore Ravens
Original spread: Ravens -8 (WagerWeb)
Six-point teaser: Ravens -2
The Baltimore Ravens have sort of been written off after their embarrassing Week 7 loss to the Houston Texas. Injuries and a sluggish offense have taken some of the hype off the Ravens, but they are still a 6-2 team with a one-game lead in the AFC North division race. Baltimore is still motivated and fully invested in the season, and I believe that they can still be a force in the AFC.
Eight points is a large spread to cover, especially with so many questions surrounding the Ravens’ offense and defense. Therefore betting them straight up might not be the best idea. The Oakland Raiders have not been playing great as of late either, but they have done well against the spread as an underdog and are 3-1 ATS on the season when receiving points. Unfortunately, this is the teaser that I am most concerned about. Baltimore has won three games by two points or less this season, and while teasing them down to a two-point favorite is a solid position, and will probably win, I would not be surprised to see Baltimore win an extremely close game against the Raiders.
Basic strategy teasers are running hot but are due for a let down, as they cannot continue to cover at such a high rate. This week’s games are solid wagers to have and are definitely positive expected value plays, but I would not be surprise to see either the Vikings or Ravens not cover the new spreads. Remember, anything can happen in the NFL, so bet wisely and may the spread be with you.
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