Basic Strategy Teasers started out the season with a slower-than-usual pace, but over the last couple of weeks the bet has turned into a solid proposition for football gamblers. The teaser is a two-team, six-point wager that moves favorites of 7.5 to 8.5 points and underdogs of 1.5 to 2.5 points past the strongest NFL key numbers of three and seven (key numbers are the most common margins of victory NFL games). A basic strategy teaser is still the smartest way to bet on a teaser since sticking to the fewest games and fewest points is always more likely to hit than a seven-point, eight-team bet.
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For Week 9 of the NFL season there are three basic strategy teasers on the board, with a couple of other games that could move into range later in the week. Let's take a closer look at this week's matchups and figure out which have the most value to bet.
St. Louis Rams at Minnesota Vikings
Six-point teaser: Rams +8.5
Minnesota may be the surprise team of the 2015 season. The Vikings are sitting on a 5-2 SU record, and they have an even better 6-1 ATS mark, with four of those covers coming as a favorite. The key to the team's winning ways has been on the defensive end, where it is ranked second in points allowed, and seventh and eighth in total yards and passing yards allowed, respectively. Minnesota's light schedule as helped as well (all the team's wins have come against sub-.500 squads).
St. Louis, on the other hand, is not only an above-.500 group, the team also owns wins against Seattle, Arizona, lost a close game to Pittsburgh and hung close with Green Bay for most of that matchup. The Rams are currently 2-1 as an underdog, they have one of the best rushing games in the NFL behind the legs of spectacular rookie Todd Gurley, and they play lights-out defense (they are ranked in the Top 10 in four major categories). Prognosis: expect a low-scoring matchup between two excellent defensive squads. The 8.5 points should be more than enough for St. Louis to cover.
Carolina Panthers vs Green Bay Packers
Spread: Panthers +2.5
Six-point teaser: Panthers +8.5
Cam Newton and the Panthers have won 11 straight regular-season games, and for all the team's faults-they do not have many weapons on the offensive end-now may be the time to stop doubting Carolina. Newton is leading a still-undefeated group with a 5-2 ATS mark and the No. 1 rushing offense in the entire NFL. Surprisingly, Carolina is ranked 29 in total passing yards, but the team still manages to score points with an average of 27 per game and a No. 4 ranking.
Green Bay may have been exposed during its Sunday Night Football matchup against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. The Packers do not crack the Top 9 in any major offensive categories, and those first six wins may have been a smoke-and-mirrors situation being produced by Aaron Rodger's solid play and smart coaching from Mike McCarthy. Prognosis: Most people might expect Green Bay to come roaring back after a loss, but Carolina seems to be "for real". Take the home team plus the points.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs New York Giants
Spread: Buccaneers +2.5
Six-point teaser: Buccaneers +8.5
Tamp Bay is coming off a huge upset over the now 6-2 Atlanta Falcons. The three-point overtime win may have been the upset of the week, and the cover pushed Tampa Bay's ATS record to a solid 4-3 mark through the first seven games of the season. Rookie Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers' offense are a middle-of-the-pack team, and they are not as hopeless as most people think they are. Tampa Bay has excelled at running the ball with an average of 131 yards per game. Running back Doug Martin has turned into a solid option for the team with 612 rushing yards.
New York has been a team of extremes through the first part of the season. One week Eli Manning is leading a fourth-quarter comeback and the next week New York is getting blown out. What the Giants can do on a semi-consistent basis, however, is score the football. Last week the team got caught up in a 101-point shootout with the New Orleans Saints that featured very little defense and high-octane offense. Prognosis: If the Giants come into this game ready to score, Tampa Bay will be hard pressed to keep this within single digits. This isn't a great teaser.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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