Stuckey’s Week 3 NFL Teaser Betting Guide: Ranking the Best Options on the Board
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly
- Week 3 of the NFL season has a few appetizing teaser options for bettors.
- Stuckey reviews his teaser rules of thumbs and shares his favorite teaser options for Week 3.
- He also shares his Week 3 survivor pick, which is certainly not the Patriots or Cowboys.
It’s time for more NFL teaser talk. Each week, I look at the NFL betting board and identify which teams fit my teaser criteria. From there, I select which ones I like for potential teasers based on matchups and other factors (as explained in this article, teasers have more value in games with lower totals).
As a reminder, I have five rules of thumb to keep in mind before ever betting a teaser in the NFL, which should really be the only sport where you consider teasers as a serious investment.
- Cross At Least Two Key Numbers
- Don’t Ever Cross Zero
- Don’t Tease Totals
- Price Matters
- Know Your Book
Everything I’m saying only applies to two-team teasers, which are all you should focus on if you want to take this seriously.
If you’re a recreational bettor just looking for entertainment value and want to throw in a sweetheart teaser to liven up your Sunday for a few dollars, I’m not here to judge.
Crossing two key numbers is the bare minimum. I personally almost exclusively bet a teaser if both sides cross at least three key numbers (3, 4 and 6 for example). And ideally, I’m crossing both the 3 and 7 to cross four key numbers, which gives me an edge over books in a vacuum.
Revisiting the Math
In order to break even on a 6-point teaser at -110, you need teams that have a greater than 72.4% chance of covering after being teased. If we look back in our Bet Labs database, all NFL regular season spreads since 2003 covered only 69% of the time (5548-2541) if teased six points. Nice, but not nice enough.
The story changes if we filter for all teases that would’ve captured both the 3 and 7.
NFL regular season underdogs between +1.5 and +2.5 covered a 6-point teaser 74% of the time (296-101). And favorites between -7.5 and -8.5 covered at a 76% clip (170-55). That gives us a total of 466-156 or 74.9%, which clears the 72.4% hurdle rate.
But some books have smartened up and are no longer offering six-point NFL teasers at -110. So, if you can only bet a six-point teaser with -120 odds, do you still have an edge teasing through the 3 and 7 on both sides of an NFL teaser?
The answer is yes! (Obviously assuming the past is a fair indicator of future results.)
In order to breakeven on a two-team six-point teaser at -120 odds, you need to clear a hurdle rate of 73.9%. And as I showed above, we’re at 74.9% dating back to 2003.
It’s not the greatest edge but it is even larger if you go back further in time but then you run into potential non-stationarity issues since the game has changed so much over time. And remember you can increase that edge by including other factors I mentioned before.
Regardless, try to find a book with the best possible odds for your six-point teasers and -120 is the maximum you should only ever consider. For example, if you only had the option of betting a two-team teaser at -130 odds, it wouldn’t make sense, as the hurdle rate with those odds is 75.2%.
Now, let’s take a look at the best teaser options for Week 3.
My Week 3 Top Teaser Options
This week doesn’t feature as many ideal teaser options as last but there are still four sides that can be teased through the 3 and 7 on Sunday. Here’s how I’d rank this week’s top 5 teaser options that cross at least three key numbers:
- Packers -1.5
- Vikings -2.5
- Panthers +8.5
- Falcons +7.5
- Saints +10.5
Joe Flacco on the road in Lambeau behind a shoddy offensive line against a now legit Packers defense? Maybe Denver keeps this close but I can’t see Aaron Rodgers & Co. not pulling this out.
The same can be said for the Vikings. Minnesota’s offensive line is dreadful but the Raiders generate as little pressure as anybody in the league. They also don’t have anybody in the secondary who can stick with Adam Thielen or Stefon Diggs.
After the announcement that Cam Newton would be out for Carolina, the Cardinals-Panthers line moved 5 points. While it didn’t cross any key numbers, I still think that’s an overreaction, especially considering Cam Newton was arguably the worst quarterback (excluding Mitch Trubisky) in the NFL through the first two weeks. That move also allows us to tease the Panthers through the 3 and 7 to +8.5.
Cam just isn’t right currently and wasn’t even running. Kyle Allen, who does throw a beautiful deep ball, should be able to at least get the ball down the field with more accuracy against a Cardinals squad playing without their top two corners.
It’s also a great situational spot for Carolina. You should get a best-effort game from a team that started out the season with two home losses. The extra preparation time after playing on Thursday night in Week 2 also doesn’t hurt.
The Falcons fit the teaser criteria like a glove, and I love the improvement in the interior of their defensive line, which will help against the Colts’ run-heavy attack. As long as that defense stays healthy, it should look much more like the solid unit we saw in 2017 than the porous one in 2018. Also, Darius Leonard is out for the Colts and that’s a big loss in the middle of their defense.
And lastly, I just think the Saints line is a little high to begin with, so don’t hate the idea of teasing from 4.5 to 10.5. Don’t be fooled by the Seahawks’ 2-0 record; they have flaws. Seattle won its first two games by a combined three points. The first came at home over the Bengals in a game it should’ve lost. And the second came in Pittsburgh after the Steelers lost quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
My Favorite Week 3 Teasers
- Jaguars +7.5/Panthers +8.5
- Packers -1.5/Vikings -2.5
If you missed our Thursday Night Football betting preview, I explained how the Jaguars were the perfect teaser piece. They were playing at home in a game with an extremely low total with a spread that could be teased up through the 3 and 7. It gets no better than that, folks!
If you follow along on the app, you know that I teased them with the Panthers. That tease along with two others made my final NFL tease card for Week 3. If you didn’t get that in, I’d use the Panthers with the Falcons.
Just whatever you do, please don’t tease the Patriots-Jets or Dolphins-Cowboys games!
Bonus: Week 3 Survivor Pick
There’s no way I’m using the Cowboys or Patriots here. If you just want to survive, that’s fine, but I’d rather have both for later in the year if I’m alive. The goal is to win the league, not stay alive six or seven weeks.
Therefore, I’m rolling with the Vikings, who better not repeat that sad performance from almost exactly a year ago at home against the Bills. Good luck!