This week's basic strategy teaser games are a little tricky. We have an undefeated Carolina team, which might be due for a loss sometime soon, playing a matchup they could easily overlook heading into last seven games of the season. We also have a Peyton Manning-less Denver Broncos team heading into Chicago to play a suddenly-impressive Bears squad that has won two straight games. Predicting these matchups might be tougher than it seems.
Basic strategy teasers are six-point, two-team bets that move lines past the NFL key numbers of three and seven, which are the most common margin of victories in professional football. The key to the bet is to find favorites between 7.5 to 8.5 points and underdogs between 1.5 and 2.5 points and move those lines by six. For Week 11 there are three basic strategy teaser games, so let's take a closer look at each one and figure out the best way to wager on the matchups.
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Carolina Panthers at Washington Redskins
Spread: Panthers -7.5
Six-point teaser: Panthers -1.5
After 10 weeks of NFL action we can't continue to deny and overlook the stunning Carolina Panthers. The team is on a massive winning streak that extends into last season. But most importantly, Carolina covers spreads. The undefeated squad has a 7-2 ATS record, a 4-0 ATS mark on the road, and a 5-2 ATS mark as a favorite. The only concern for the Panthers heading into this week's matchup against Washington is the fact that they haven't covered a spread as a five-point-or-more favorite at all this season and are currently 0-2 in those situations.
Washington, on the other hand has been a serviceable team through 10 weeks, and even though the group is not setting the NFL world on fire, many experts expected only a three- or four-win season. Washington ranks in the 17 to 19 range in most offensive categories, and quarterback Kirk Cousins has played better than most people expected. Prognosis: In a vacuum this feels like a great teaser. But, isn't Carolina due for a letdown and subpar game soon? I like this teaser, but wouldn't go crazy on it.
St. Louis Rams at Baltimore Ravens
Spread: Rams +2
Six-point teaser: Rams +8
St. Louis is 4-5 SU, coming off consecutive losses, and now must go on the road for two straight weeks to face Baltimore and Cincinnati. And to make matters worse, Coach Jeff Fisher will be giving starting quarterback Nick Foles "some time off" and instead start Case Keenum. The only bright spot for St. Louis this week is that it will be facing the 2-7 Ravens, who are even worse against the spread with a 1-7-mark.
The Rams have struggled over the last few weeks, but they still have outstanding rookie running back Todd Gurley carrying the ball, which should take some pressure of Keenum behind center. All signs points to a St, Louis win, even though this isn't the strongest of teasers. Prognosis: expect a low-scoring game where St. Louis uses clock management to slow down the tempo. This is a decent teaser that is worth a small bet.
Denver Broncos at Chicago Bear
Spread: Broncos +1.5
Six-point teaser: Broncos +7.5
Manning is done for the week and could be gone for the entire season (if not the rest of his career). No one is really sure how good Brock Osweiler can be, so bettors shouldn't expect too much from the fourth-year quarterback. What bettors can rely on, however, is an elite Denver defense that is ranked first in fewest total and passing yards allowed, third in fewest points and seventh in fewest rushing yards allowed.
Chicago has looked impressive over the last two weeks with road wins over San Diego and St. Louis, but let's not jump the gun just yet. Yes, Manning will not play in the game, but this is the Chicago Bears we are talking about. Can we really expected them to outscore a game-changing Broncos defense just because they had two good weeks? The Bears fail the most when people start placing expectations on them, and this week most of the football world is expecting a win. Prognosis: Do not get caught up in the media hype on this one. The Bears are still the Bears, and Denver has a defense to back things up.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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