Last week fans and bettors alike were treated to some great Thanksgiving football. As the clock struck 0:00 in the final game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts, I couldn't help but turn my attention immediately to Sunday and wish for games just as enthralling as what I spent my entire Thursday watching. Despite the fact that only three underdogs won straight up (Tampa Bay over Seattle, Kansas City over Denver and Green Bay over Philadelphia) Sunday delivered and I was left satisfied.
I spent the majority of Sunday flipping between the Jacksonville/Buffalo game and the Tennessee/Chicago game. While they may not be the best teams, they were certainly games that I was captivated the most by. Both games had teams fighting for their playoff lives and who were unable to put away their opponents until the very last seconds of their respective games. As for last week's BST selections, it was another perfect 2-0 week, with the New York Giants covering their adjusted spread of -1.5 over the Cleveland Browns and the New England Patriots squeaking out a five-point win and a cover of their adjusted 2-point spread versus the New York Jets. You can see the results for yourself here.Week 5,Week 6,Week 7,Week 8,Week 9,Week 11, and Week 12
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Week 13 of the NFL features some intriguing games with a lot of playoff implications. The AFC showdown between the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins could go along way in determining not only the AFC North but the final wild-card spot as well. The Ravens currently sit atop the AFC North thanks to their 21-14 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on November 6. As for Miami, they currently hold the last wild-card spot (barely) over the Denver Broncos and a handful of other teams who are just one or two games back. Nobody would have predicted that both these teams would be above .500 and playing meaningful games to start December. The "best" game of the week should take place in Pittsburgh where the aforementioned Steelers host the streaking New York Giants. This game pits two of the best receivers in the game against each other as Odell Beckham Jr. and Antonio Brown will be looking to exploit two middling defenses.
In this article, I will be giving you teams that I think will be the most attractive when teasing the spread either up or down six points. This is called the "Basic Strategy Teaser". A basic strategy teaser is a two-team, six-point teaser that uses the power of NFL key numbers, which are the most common margins of victory, to move certain spreads around the three- and seven-point mark.
Week 13 in the NFL has only three games that qualify for the BST, but I will be very shocked if the two plays I'm about to give you do not hit.
All lines are courtesy of Mybookie.ag
Philadelphia Eagles @ Cincinnati Bengals
Spread: Eagles + 1.5
Six Point Teaser: Eagles +7.5
I think the wrong team is favored in this game. Despite last Monday's loss to the Packers, the Eagles seem to be in better shape than the Cincinnati Bengals. I don't mean that in the sense of wins and losses, but more so in the fact that one team has clearly given up while the other is still battling and trying to find a way into the wild-card picture.
The Eagles are banged up at the running back position, but with Doug Pederson calling the shots it almost doesn't matter. He deploys a running back by committee style of offense and focuses more on getting the ball downfield and letting his rookie quarterback learn on the spot. Ryan Mathews is listed as doubtful again this week, which leaves Wendell Smallwood and Darren Sproles to patrol the backfield. Good thing for them is that the Bengals run defense is a bust. They rank 28th in the league and give up a shade over 120 yards per game. I see no reason why Sproles and Smallwood can't exploit the weakness and have a big day rushing the football.
On the flip side of things, the Bengals are in full out downward spiral. They own a 3-7-1 record and have not won a game since beating Cleveland on Oct. 23. They have had a tie and three losses since that game. They are still without their leading receiver in A.J. Green, and I truly believe Andy Dalton is mentally checked out. Dalton has thrown for 3,043 yards and 12 touchdowns this season, but he has also thrown six interceptions. There is always a mistake to be made from Dalton, and it usually comes at a critical juncture in the game.
Because of that, I am taking the team that has more to play for than just pride and siding with the Eagles to keep the game close and possibly win outright.
Washington Redskins @ Arizona Cardinals
Spread: Redskins +2
Six-Point Teaser: Redskins +8
Again, can someone tell me how the Cardinals are favored over a Redskins team that has won two of their last three games against quality opponents and can put up points in bunches?
Sometimes as bettors we want to be that person who finds the "breakout" game or bounce-back spot or slump-busting matchup that helps a team get back into the win column. Because of that, we fail to trust what our eyes see. and the Arizona Cardinals are the best example of that this year.
After last year's 13-3 regular season and a trip to the NFC title game, we thought it would be easy for the Cardinals to replicate that success this year. They essentially have the same team and core guys on the roster, but their season has been anything but successful. As quickly as Carson Palmer's career was "rejuvenated" in Arizona, it has come crashing back down to earth. Palmer has thrown for only 2,931 yards with 15 touchdowns to 11 interceptions. He, like Dalton, loves to make a mistake that crucial spots in the game and because of that can no longer be trusted. The Cardinals might have the best player in the game on their squad, which is running back David Johnson, but he can only do so much. While his production alone can propel fantasy teams to victories, you simply cannot rely on one guy to win you a professional football game.
Washington has the better receiving corps, and because of that Kirk Cousins should be able to move the ball down field chunk by chunk and make Palmer play from behind, which bodes well for nobody associated with the Cardinals' franchise.
Indianapolis Colts @ New York Jets
Spread: Jets +1.5
Six Point Teaser: Jets +7.5
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