Stuckey’s Week 15 NFL Teaser Betting Guide: Plenty of Viable Options on Sunday
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers
- Week 15 features sharp lines overall, but plenty that fit Stuckey's ideal teaser criteria.
- Stuckey reviews his teaser betting rules and shares his Week 15 teaser rankings, including his two favorite plays.
It’s time to talk teasers for Week 15, which looks like a solid teaser board on the surface.
Each week, I sit down and look at the NFL betting board to identify which teams fit my teaser criteria. From there, I select which ones I like for potential teasers based on matchups and other factors (for example, as explained in this article, teasers have more value in games with lower totals).
As a reminder, I have five rules of thumb to note before ever betting an NFL teaser, which should really be the only sport you consider teasers as serious investments.
- Cross At Least Two Key Numbers (preferably more)
- Don’t Ever Cross Zero
- Don’t Tease Totals
- Price Matters
- Know Your Book
Everything I’m saying applies to only two-team teasers. If you’re a recreational bettor just looking for entertainment value and want to throw in a sweetheart teaser for a few pesos to liven up your Sunday, go right ahead. I’m not here to judge.
Crossing two key numbers is the bare minimum, but far from ideal. If I can tease through both the 3 and 7 to cross four key numbers, that gives me an edge over books in a vacuum.
Let’s quickly review some teaser math before I share my favorite teaser options (and two teasers I bet) for this week, in addition to the reasons why.
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NFL Teaser Tips and Strategy
In order to break even on a six-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 just under 69% of the time 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 have covered a six-point teaser 75.4% of the time (313-102). And an almost identical percentage (75.3%) holds true for favorites between -7.5 and -8.5 (174-57). That brings the total six-point teaser record of both subsets to 487-159 or 75.4% over almost 650 games. That clearly clears the aforementioned 72.4% breakeven rate.
Now, some books have recently smartened up and no longer offer six-point NFL teasers at -110. (Believe it or not, you used to be able to get them at some books at even money). So, if you can bet a six-point teaser with only -120 odds, do you still have an edge teasing through 3 and 7 on both sides of an NFL teaser?
Assuming the past is a fair indicator of future results, the answer is yes.
In order to break even 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 75.4% dating back to 2003.
It’s not the greatest edge, but it is even larger if you go back further in time — although then you run into potential non-stationary issues since the NFL product has changed so much over the past two decades.
Also, don’t forget that you can increase that edge by including other factors that I mentioned before.
Regardless, try to find a book with the best possible odds for your six-point teasers, but don’t even consider anything higher than -120 odds. If you only had the option of betting a two-team teaser at -130 odds, the hurdle rate then jumps to 75.2%.
Now, let’s take a look at the best teaser options for Week 15.
NFL Week 15 Best Teaser Picks
As I mentioned above, week 15 has a number of viable two-team, six-point teaser options. I think there are five reasonable teaser pieces which I have ranked below based on my personal preferences and currently available lines:
- Bills +2 to +8
- Raiders -6.5 to -0.5
- Chargers +2.5 to +8.5
- Texans +3 to +9
- Cardinals +2.5 to +8.5
Teaser Options YTD: 34-13 (72.3%)
The Bills are probably the most obvious teaser piece on the board.
Buffalo is a 2-point underdog with a total as low as 36 in some places. In a game where points may come at a premium, teasing a short dog through 3 and 7 becomes even more valuable. I will gladly take the better team catching over a touchdown in this spot.
The Raiders aren’t a true “Wong” teaser piece at less than a touchdown, but I wouldn’t be shocked if they got to at least seven at some point. Yes, this is Oakland’s last home game in play but that narrative doesn’t do much for me.
More importantly, running back Josh Jacobs should return this week for a Raiders offense that desperately needs his presence. He should have a big day against a reeling Jaguars rush defense.
Plus, this Jacksonville team looks like it has checked out for the season. The Jags have lost five straight by an average margin of 23.4 points — and none by fewer than 17. The effort just hasn’t been there on a consistent basis.
It’s hard to envision much changing with this lifeless Jags team heading across country for a non-divisional matchup between two non-playoff teams. (Yes, the Raiders are mathematically still alive for the postseason but I have the probability at less than 1%.)
I also love the Chargers as a teaser piece this week. Philip Rivers as an underdog is always intriguing. He owns a career mark of 42-30-4 ATS (58.3%) and seemingly always has the ball with a shot to win late.
However, Rivers is even more profitable as an underdog when teased six points. The former NC State product has covered the six-point teases as an underdog 83% of the time (63-13), which clears the 72.4% hurdle rate with ease.
I think the Chargers remain a little undervalued in the market as a result of their record. They’ve suffered a few close losses but also dealt with an abundance of key injuries.
Now, they’re as healthy as they’ve been all season and resemble the roster many expected to compete for an AFC title before the season began. They don’t have much of a home-field advantage, but teasing them from under a field goal to over a touchdown is too good to pass up here.
The Texans also made the final cut as I do show a tad bit of value on them at +3. However, now at a juiced three and with the meteoric rise of Ryan Tannehill, I feel more comfortable teasing them over a touchdown.
As I’ve said plenty of times in the past, if you can’t tease through the 3 and 7, the next best option is to tease down from 7 or up from 3 on the dot. I expect Deshaun Watson to have success through the air against a banged up Tennessee secondary in a game that will go a long way in deciding the winner of the AFC South.
Arizona also fits the ideal criteria as a 2.5-point dog, but it’s a team I’ve wanted no part of all season.
Honorable Mention: After some insane line movement, the Cowboys now sit at +1.5 at some shops. I wouldn’t tease them up from 1, but think they’re definitely a solid teaser option at +1.5. The latter will enable you to get over a touchdown with Dallas.
My Favorite Week 15 Teasers
- Bills +8/Raiders -0.5
- Chargers +8.5/Texans +9
If you listened to our Week 15 betting preview podcast episode from earlier in the week, I gave out Bills-Raiders as my favorite teaser piece of the week. Well, that still holds at currently available numbers.
And for this week, I actually played a second teaser with the Chargers and Texans. Give me Rivers and Watson each catching over a touchdown in games I have their teams showing slight value anyway.