How beautiful is the Basic Strategy Teaser? Each one of my three selections last week were able to cover the adjusted spread, despite going 0-3 against the Las Vegas line. Green Bay was able to hold off a late rally from Detroit for a 34-27 win as 7.5-point favorites. Tennessee should have had a better fate, but penalties cost them a chance to win the game outright. They failed to cover the +1.5 mark, but getting those six extra points assured that the Titans were a winner. San Diego ultimately fell short in a back-and-forth game against Indianapolis. They would go on to lose the game and fail to cover the +2.5-point spread, but thankfully the six-point teaser had us covered at +8.5.
Week 4 of the NFL season is the start of the bye weeks, with the Packers and undefeated Philadelphia Eagles getting the early rest. The NFL card features one of its annual London, England games, and this year's edition features the Colts taking on the 0-3 Jacksonville Jaguars. Should the Jaguars find another way to lose a football game, head coach Gus Bradley might just be left at Wembley Stadium. The rest of the card is a mixed bag. Only one - Pittsburgh/Kansas City -- features two teams that made the postseason last year. Out of the 14 games on Sunday/Monday, 12 of those games have a spread sitting at -5 or smaller.
However, for the sake of 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.
This week's action has four NFL games that qualify with a mix of favorites and underdogs being teased into a more appealing position. All lines are courtesy of GT Bets.
Indianapolis Colts Vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (At Wembley Stadium - London, England)
Spread: Jaguars +2.5
Six-point teaser: Jaguars +8.5
The Jaguars were this year's "sexy pick" to make some noise in the AFC South and possibly sneak into a playoff spot. What has happened in the first three weeks of the season is the exact opposite of that. The Jags are 0-3 and have had two consecutive brutal losses. They no-showed two weeks ago in San Diego and were beaten at home by kicker Justin Tucker's four field-goals. Should they lose this game to a shaky Colts team, they will be in search of their fourth coach in the last five years. The only positive the Jags have going for them in this game is that they still have all their playmakers on offense and get to go up against a Colts' defense that has allowed 31.7 points per game.
Prognosis: "Been there, done that". That's the Jags mentality when it comes to these London games. This is their fourth trip overseas; it's the Colts first. Not exactly something to hang your hat on, but if the defense continues to leak the way it has the first three weeks of the season then the Jaguars might just find themselves breaking out of their 0-3 slide. Take as many points as you can get in this game.
Cleveland Browns @ Washington Redskins
Spread: Redskins -7.5
Six-point teaser: Redskins -1.5
How can you trust a team like the Cleveland Browns? Just when you think they can finally capitalize on an opponent's mistake and win a football game, they do what the Browns always do and blow the opportunity. The disappointment in this team is at an all-time high, and now they must go on the road to face a Washington team that just saved their season last week. Despite a few key injuries to the defensive unit, the Redskins were able to hold off the Giants playmakers and pick Eli Manning off to end the game. While Kirk Cousins still looks shaky and lacking confidence, the Redskins still have the better roster and should be able to get a win on their home field.
Prognosis: The Browns will do what they have always done, lose games in unbelievable fashion. They blew a 20-0 lead two weeks ago against Baltimore and missed three field goals last week against Miami. While I may not trust Jay Gruden in a must-win game, Washington still has enough talent to get the job done.
Los Angeles Rams @ Arizona Cardinals
Spread: Cardinals -7.5
Six-point teaser: Cardinals -1.5
I feel like we've been here before with the Cardinals. They followed up an embarrassing Week 1 loss to the New England Patriots by dismantling the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home. I expect them to follow up last week's pathetic display against Buffalo by dismantling a Los Angeles team that is playing better than expected. The solution for the Cardinals is simple - they must start games better. They have been outscored 20-0 in the first quarter, which means they are chasing the game early and often. Carson Palmer is no longer a "play-making quarterback". He is a game manager, and getting him into a rhythm stems from the right play calling. The Rams just scored their first offensive touchdowns of the season last week, which means they have more problems than Arizona does.
Prognosis: If the Cardinals are serious about getting to the postseason and making a Super Bowl run, then getting to .500 is imperative here. I'd refrain from laying the big number of -7.5 because the Cardinals offense has yet to show me they can put up numbers like last season, but the roster, one through 53, is the more talented of the two teams.
Seattle Seahawks @ New York Jets
Spread: Jets +2.5
Six-point teaser: Jets +8.5
Both teams come into this game with question marks at the quarterback position. For Seattle, their franchise QB, Russell Wilson, is hobbled and suffering from a sprained left knee he suffered late in last week's game against San Francisco. Fortunately for Seahawks fans, Wilson was a full participant in Thursday's practice and is adamant on keeping his streak of 77-consecutive-games started alive. While he might suit up and play, the major concern is the level of production he can offer the team. On the other hand, the Jets' QB, Ryan Fitzpatrick, is physically okay. It's between the ears where he might have lost it. Fitzpatrick threw for a career-worst six interceptions in last week's loss to the KC Chiefs and might not have one of his security blankets on the field this week in Eric Decker.
Prognosis : While this game may fit the criteria of a BST, this is one game I will be staying far away from. An injured Russell Wilson is probably still better than a healthy Ryan Fitzpatrick, but the Seahawks are generally a poor road team. You should grab as many points as possible and hope Fitzpatrick understands what color jerseys his guys are in.
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