Stuckey’s Week 9 NFL Teaser Betting Guide: Ranking the Best Options for Sunday
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Philip Rivers
- Week 9 of the NFL season offers a few different viable teaser betting options on Sunday.
- Stuckey reviews his teaser rules of thumbs and shares his five favorite teaser options as well as the teaser he bet this week.
It’s time to talk teasers.
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 three)
- 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 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 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. (Believe it or not, they used to actually 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 6.
My Week 9 Top Teaser Options
Here are my top-six teaser options for this week based on currently available lines:
- Jaguars +1.5 to +7.5
- Chargers +3.5 to +9.5
- Lions +2.5 to +8.5
- Titans +3.5 to +9.5
- Broncos +3.5 to +9.5
- Ravens +3 to +9
Teaser Options YTD: 26-10 (72.2%)
The Lions are simply on this list because they classify as a true “Wong teaser” — meaning you can cross both the 3 and 7 by teasing Detroit up. However, I actually like the Raiders in this matchup. Additionally, the game is projected to be high scoring, which does detract some of the teaser value. I touted this Lions defense early in the year but they’re extremely thin in the secondary and dealing with a number of lingering injuries up front.
I also included the Titans in my top six. While you aren’t crossing 3 and 7, you do cross three key numbers (4, 6, 7) to take Tennessee up to 9.5. What’s even more appetizing is points should be at a premium. The over/under currently sits at 42.5 and I fancy the under.
Keep your eye out on Titan rookie defensive linemen Jeffery Simmons, who recently got his first NFL action after coming back from an injury sustained in camp. The Mississippi State product is going to be a special player for years to come.
There is plenty of uncertainty with Brandon Allen getting the nod under center for Denver. That said, I can’t imagine the drop-off from Joe Flacco is as large as the market is implying. I also think the Broncos will go with a very heavy rush attack and simple passes for Allen in his first start against a vulnerable Cleveland run defense and linebacker corps.
There’s also just more value in teasing a team from +3.5 to +9.5 in a game with an Over/Under of 39.
Teasing the Broncos will be even more appealing if the line moves up to +4.5, enabling you to also tease through 10 to +10.5. Make sure you keep your eye out on the line if you’re looking to include Denver, as it looks as if it’s on the rise.
Lastly, I had to include the Ravens, as teasing a team up from 3 (or down from 7) is the next best thing you can do teaser-wise if you can’t fully cross both 3 and 7. Baltimore is also my favorite side of the weekend, which makes bringing Baltimore up to over a touchdown looks appealing.
The only other potential side that I could imagine teasing would be the Dolphins from +3 to +9. However, I decided to leave them off since I really want no part of that horrific game.
My Favorite Week 6 Teaser
Jaguars +7.5/Chargers +9.5
The Jaguars are a true “Wong teaser” piece as you can cross both the 3 and 7. Plus, Jacksonville has really had Deshaun Watson’s number throughout his career.
The Jaguars also have the experience advantage of playing in London more than any team in the NFL (six times);. Meanwhile, this will mark Houston’s first trip across the pond. Knowing how to prepare the week before this unique situation could give the Jaguars a leg up.
Also, the Houston secondary is just a mess right now and the Texans now won’t have the luxury of JJ Watt causing havoc in opposing backfields. His injury is a massive loss for that defense.
Jacksonville certainly has problems but I think it can at least keep this critical AFC South showdown within a touchdown.
In regards to the Chargers, their offense has struggled but getting left tackle Russell Okung back will do wonders. Also, Melvin Gordon finally has four games under his belt, so you should start to see more production out of the Wisconsin product as he’s now essentially done with a preseason workload. And there are major holes in the Packer run defense, which is allowing 4.8 yards per carry (28th in NFL).
Plus, the Chargers hired a new offensive coordinator this week, which I think can work in their favor by bringing an element of surprise with some new play-calling tendencies and wrinkles that the Packers will have no tape on.
Despite their 3-5 record, the Chargers have been in every game. Throwing out a blowout win over winless Miami, all seven of their other games have been decided by one possession.
Rivers has also been profitable as an underdog throughout his career at 42-31-4 ATS (57.5%) for an excellent 12.8% ROI. And if you teased the Chargers six points in those games, he would’ve covered the tease 82% of the time. That easily clears the breakeven threshold.
Like most Chargers games, I expect this to come down to the final possession.