Yet another week to get after the sportsbooks with NFL teasers. While some may tire of me talking about key numbers every week, last week provided us a valuable lesson to keep in mind.
As mentioned when surveying the NFL odds for making teaser selections, one should always be aware these numbers: 3, 6, 7 and 10. Passing through these in the right direction can be critical, along with a little deductive reasoning.
Case in point: The Pittsburgh Steelers were -10.5 point favorites at Indianapolis last Sunday, and on the surface for six-point teaser being able to lower Pitt down to -4.5 and pass through a trio of key numbers made sense. The game was on my initial list for this reason, but with Pittsburgh scoring just past 21 points a game and often playing to the level of competition this season, I passed. Lucky for me I did, as the Steelers kicked a game-winning field goal at the buzzer for a 20-17 victory.
Though the sportsbooks did not have a great Week 10 in the NFL, their losses were cut with so many bettors having Pittsburgh on teaser cards. For me, the winning continues with a 4-0 sweep on NFL picks for teasers. That takes me to 17-3 on teasers the past five weeks and 24-8 for the season. Here are my teaser choices for Sunday.
Jacksonville From -8 to -2 at Cleveland
We all know how "turrible" (Charles Barkley reference) Cleveland is, and Jacksonville is having a renaissance. With the Browns 31st in scoring and taking on the Jaguars' top-ranked scoring defense, I do not see many points for Cleveland. While no fan of Blake Bortles, the Brownies are 30th in scoring defense; thus, being able to take the Jags past three keys numbers to -2 holds a great deal of value. Lastly, Jacksonville is 8-0 on teaser line in Cleveland.New Orleans From -8 to -2 vs. Washington
This NFC encounter is very similar to the game we just talked about, in part because of the same number. When digging into the figures, we find New Orleans is winning by 11.5 PPG, and during its seven-game winning streak that number jumps to 18.7 PPG. Washington and Kirk Cousins have the ability to score, which is why taking this teaser down this far helps us across the board. Finally, the past two years when the Saints have played teams with losing records like the Redskins, they have won by 10.2 PPG.New England From -6.5 to -0.5 vs. Oakland
After doing this here for a few years, you probably have noticed I have chosen New England more than any other team. And why not, the Pats are consistent, seldom lose and are 31-2 against a teaser line in road games after three or more consecutive wins against the standard spread. The simple key to this matchup is they just have to win the game in Mexico City, and if they were to lose, it happens, and this would be wrong.L.A. Rams at Minnesota Teaser Total
This is by far the most fascinating game of Week 11. Minnesota is 7-2 in spite of using journeyman quarterback Case Keenum, who has fit perfectly into the Vikings' system, while the Rams' turnaround is as unfathomable as the 1999 Rams, who were also 4-12 the year prior and went on to win a Super Bowl the next season. For teaser, we're focusing on total. Los Angeles North's average score per game is 50.9, and it has tallied 33 or more points six times in nine starts. The Vikings are a more defensive-oriented team, yet in the last four contests have averaged 29.5 PPG. What we want to do here is lower total of 46 to OVER 40, and we have strong backup with these angles. Minnesota is 27-2 OVER the teaser total vs. teams outscoring opponents by 10+ PPG, and the Rams are 37-4 OVER the teaser total after three or more straight wins against the spread.