Stuckey’s Week 5 NFL Teaser Betting Guide: Ranking the Best Options for Sunday
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Leonard Fournette.
- Week 5 of the NFL season doesn't have a ton of ideal teaser options for bettors.
- Stuckey reviews his teaser rules of thumbs and shares the only sides he'd even consider.
- He also shares his Week 5 survivor pick and favorite live target of the afternoon.
It’s time for our weekly NFL teaser talk. (I will also finish up with my survivor pick and favorite live target in the late afternoon slate today.)
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?
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 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 5.
My Week 5 Top Teaser Options
This is actually a horrible teaser week. There are zero sides you can tease through 3 and 7.
If you can’t cross both 3 and 7, the next best possible tease pieces are sides that are actually sitting on 3 or 7. We do have a number of sides sitting at 3, so those are certainly at least worth a look.
Here’s my top-five teaser options for this week based on currently available lines:
- Packers +3/3.5
- Jaguars +3
- Bills +3
- Steelers +3
- Bucs +3
I personally don’t like the Bills or Jaguars today, but both are decent teaser options in two games with very low totals. The Panthers are dealing with a plethora of key injuries, which ultimately kept me away from betting Carolina.
I also think the Packers-Cowboys game will be low scoring, and you have a quarterback in Aaron Rodgers who can get you in the backdoor if needed late.
The Steelers and Ravens always seem to play tight games (16 of the past 32 regular-season meetings have been decided by three points or less!), so getting the Steelers at +9 at home against a reeling Ravens defense isn’t the worst you could do.
I also love Tampa today, so I obviously don’t hate the idea of teasing the Bucs up to 9 if you really want to bet a teaser.
You may notice I didn’t include the Cardinals, who are currently +3. That’s for good reason. Good luck figuring out what’s going to happen in that game between two winless teams.
I’ve seen some tease the Bears down to -0.5. You are crossing three key numbers if you do, but Chicago’s unfamiliarity with London and its late week travel across the pond could play a role. I’m personally avoiding that game like the plague.
If you listened to our podcast early in the week, I gave out Falcons +10.5/Packers +9.5 as my favorite teaser for this week. However, since the Falcons are now down to 4, I wouldn’t recommend teasing them up to 10, crossing two key numbers in 6 and 7.
At current lines, I’d pass on NFL teasers today. There’s no reason to force.
Week 5 Survivor Pick
Kansas City Chiefs
Well, we finally had some upsets last week, so survivor pools out there finally had some attrition.
I luckily survived going with the safe pick in the Chargers.
For this week, the two obvious choices are the Eagles and Patriots. I’ve already used the Eagles and want to save the Patriots, so I’m rolling with the Chiefs at home on Sunday night.
I just can’t see this Colts defense without both safeties and Darius Leonard having any chance of slowing down Patrick Mahomes. Indy should be able to have some success on the ground, but a banged-up receiving corps makes its offense way too one-dimensional.
I originally planned on saving the Chiefs for Week 13 (assuming I make it that far), but after further review, the Panthers at home against the Redskins should work perfectly fine that week.
Week 5 Live Target
I waited all week for a desperate Denver team to get to +7, which never happened. Therefore, I will wait to see if I can grab the Broncos at +7 or better at some point during the game.
The Broncos just aren’t as bad as everyone thinks. They’ve lost two games in the final seconds and were pretty unfortunate against the Packers, who had only two more total yards than Denver.