Stuckey’s Week 4 NFL Teaser Betting Guide: Ranking the Best Options for Sunday
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs
- Week 4 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 4.
- He also shares his Week 4 survivor pick and thoughts.
It’s time for our weekly 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 you consider teasers as serious investments.
- Cross At Least Two Key Numbers
- Don’t Ever Cross Zero
- Don’t Tease Totals
- Price Matters
- Know Your Book
Everything I’m saying applies only to two-team teasers. 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.
Odds as of Sunday morning and via PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
Revisiting the Math
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 only 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 and favorites between -7.5 and -8.5 have covered 74.9% of the time, which clears the aforementioned 72.4% hurdle rate.
But some books have smartened up and are no longer offering six-point NFL teasers at -110 (they used to be offered at even money). 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 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 74.9% 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 game has changed so much. 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; -120 is the maximum you should 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 4.
My Week 4 Top Teaser Options
Here’s how I’d rank this week’s teaser options.
- Vikings +1.5
- Ravens -7
- Jaguars +2.5
- Redskins +3
- Saints +2.5
There are three +2.5 Sunday sides this week — ideal for teasers, as you can cross 3 and 7 in addition to 8, which is becoming more important given the new extra-point rule and with more coaches going for two at times they didn’t used to in the past.
The Vikings and Jaguars are even more appealing since points should come at a premium in both games. Each of those affairs has an over/under below 40. Plus, you’re fading two of the worst quarterbacks in the league in Mitch Trubisky and Joe Flacco.
You can also cross the 3 and 7 by teasing the Saints, who are also at home, but that will likely feature more points than Bears-Vikings and Jaguars-Broncos. Also, that Dallas team is the real deal.
If you can’t cross 3 and 7, the next best possible tease pieces are sides that are actually 3 or 7. And that’s what we have with the Ravens and Redskins, who each made the cut for my top-five teaser options this week.
My Favorite Week 4 Teasers
- Ravens -0.5/Vikings +8 (full unit)
- Jaguars +8.5/Redskins +9 (half unit)
If you listened to our podcast earlier this week, you know I loved the Vikings/Ravens tease right off the bat.
I think Minny’s defensive pressure will be the difference in a game that should be ugly, while Baltimore has the offensive tackles to neutralize Cleveland’s biggest defensive strength.
The Vikings line has been dropping, so make sure you tease at a book where they are +1.5 or higher if possible. Or wait it out until they get there. If not, I wouldn’t bother teasing them from 1 to 7 (or PK to 6) and would use a different combination of the others in my top-five. You could also tease the Patriots and Chiefs down from 7 to 1; those aren’t terrible options.
I’m also not ready to buy the Daniel Jones hype just yet, and the Giants still have one of the worst defenses in the NFL, especially on the back end. In regards to the Jags, I can’t pass up teasing them over a touchdown in a game that might end 13-10. Jacksonville can also bring a ton of pressure on the immobile Joe Flacco, who will be a sitting duck in front of a horrid offensive line.
And I just don’t love the Saints, so I didn’t include them in any tease. Ultimately, I have to also like a side: I don’t just blindly tease every 2.5-point dog up (and 7.5-point favorite down).
Just whatever you do, please don’t tease the Dolphins-Chargers game!
Bonus: Week 4 Survivor Pick
I’m still alive — like almost everyone in the world who entered a survivor contest this season.
I haven’t gone with any of the biggest favorites so far this season, which has allowed me to keep a few of the elite teams in my back pocket for later in the season (if I stay alive!).
But I’m switching it up this week and actually rolling with the Chargers. I see a lot of vulnerable favorites between 7-10 points, so I’m rolling with the seemingly safe Dolphins fade.