The final few weeks of the NFL season can be tricky for bettors, as some teams have their playoffs fates already locked up while others are still fighting for their postseason lives. However, if bettors can stay patient, the last two weeks of the season could also present gamblers with more than a few great opportunities to wager on. So, let’s take a look at this week’s basic strategy teaser games and see which matchups have the best value.
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Minnesota Vikings at Houston Texans
Original spread: Texans -7.5
Six-point teaser: Texans -1.5
At first glance, you might think that the first-place Houston Texans (12-2) have their playoff situation locked up. They have dominated the AFC standings since Week 1 and have only two losses on the season — but, unfortunately, for the team, they need to keep winning. The Texans still need to finish off the season strong if they want to stay atop the AFC and have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Denver Broncos are 11-3 and the New England Patriots are 10-4, and each still has a chance to overtake Houston in the standings.
The Minnesota Vikings (8-6) are one of the few teams that still have a shot at making the playoffs, and they desperately need to win this game as well. There are currently four teams fighting for the final playoff spot in the NFC, and a loss will all but eliminate the Viking from the postseason. The deciding factor during this game will probably be Minnesota’s poor road record. The Vikings are 2-5 on the road and have lost four of their last five.
The Texans, on the other hand, are tied with the Colts for the best ATS record in the league, and they have a 5-2 ATS home record. Teasing Houston down to a 1.5-point favorite should be more than enough to cover the spread, as the Texans still need at least one more win in order to lock up the top seed in the AFC.
Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs
Original spread: Colts -7.5
Six-point teaser: Colts -1.5
The Indianapolis Colts have had a fantastic year behind rookie quarterback Andrew Luck, and they have been firmly in the playoff picture for the majority of the season — all they have to do now, is win one more game. The Colts (9-5) can lock up their playoff spot this week with a victory over the Kansas City Chiefs (2-12).
Indianapolis is in a precarious situation entering the weekend, as they must beat Kansas City or else their playoff situation will become extremely difficult. The Colts play the Texans next week — who still need to win in order to lock up first place in the AFC — and, if they don’t beat the Chiefs this weekend, they will be in the difficult position of having to face the Texans with their playoff hopes on the line. Luckily for the Colts, they are tied for the best record against the spread in the entire NFL at 9-5, and they also have a 4-1 ATS record as the favorite.
The Colts need a win against the Chiefs, and, barring a complete meltdown, should be able to get it. Teasing the Colts down to a 1.5-point favorite gives them some breathing room just in case they can’t cover the original spread.
San Diego Chargers at New York Jets
Original spread: Chargers +2.5
Six-point teaser: Chargers +8.5
This week’s matchup between the San Diego Chargers (5-9) and New York Jets (6-8) could be the Super Bowl for dysfunctional and underachieving teams. Both have been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, and neither team really has anything to left to play for — except for a few players and coaches who might have their jobs on the line.
The Jets are currently in the middle of very public and contentious quarterback dispute. Greg McElroy has been named the starter, Mark Sanchez has been benched, Tim Tebow has publicly expressed interest in a trade, and Rex Ryan has admitted that he has no idea what is going on. In short, the Jet’s locker room has been a complete media circus. And even though they might beat the Chargers this week, expecting them to do so by more than eight points is a lot to ask for. San Diego has a respectable 4-3 ATS road record, and the Chargers should be able to keep the game close if not win it outright.
Basic Strategy teasers have continued to win a solid 85 percent rate throughout the season, and they have been one of the strongest NFL wagers a bettor could make. There are only two weeks left in the season, so, now might be your chance to jump on the basic strategy teaser bandwagon before the season ends. This week’s three teaser games are all solid wagers to bet on, but if I had to pick the weakest, I would say it’s the Chargers getting 8.5 points versus the Jets. The wager still has excellent value, but it is the Chargers, so sports bettors shouldn’t be shocked if they fail to show up. Remember to bet wisely, and may the spread be with you.
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