NFL Week 8 teasers: Frightful slate provides suspenseful ending
There was a basket of goodies in last week's teaser collection, as our mathematically correct legs went 5-1, and we knew to avoid the loss with the Ravens, as the Bengals were live to win that game. Now we turn our attention to the Halloween slate to see if there are more treats available in the sportsbooks' tricky format: the teaser.
On a two-team six-point teaser priced at -115, each teaser leg has a price of -270. There are places where that -270 price becomes more valuable than just betting a moneyline or an alternative spread on its own. Let's use the upcoming AFC South tilt between the Titans and Colts as an example.
Here, you can take the Colts at +7 -270 on the alternative spread market, or for the same price, you can get IND +7.5 as part of a tease, which allows you to take another game and manipulate that spread in your favor.
Not all teaser legs are created equal. The biggest mistake novice bettors make is teasing through zero - you're wasting valuable price points on a number the game probably won't land on. So how can we maximize the six-point move? How can we get what we're paying for at -270 per leg?
We've seen some scary teaser slates this season, but this one is a true horror show:
Yep, that's the list. Here's why:
The Cardinals are -6, but the moneyline is -260 as of this writing, so you'd be better off just betting that, instead of teasing with them.
The Lions, Steelers, Bears, Jaguars, Washington, and Vikings are all somewhere between +3 and +3.5. If you like any of those teams enough to stay within +9 or +9.5, you might as well just bet them on the point spread at -110 than pay that much more, at the teaser price of -270, given that each team could very well get blown out if you're wrong.
Lastly, the Chargers are -5.5 at home to New England, and Tampa Bay goes to New Orleans as 4.5-point favorites. Since rule No. 1 of teasing is "don't tease through zero," the only side to tease is the underdog up to +11.5 and +10.5.
In the first game, I think there's an unusually large range of options for the final score. The Chargers could blow out the Patriots, and you likely wouldn't be shocked, but would you be at all surprised if the Patriots won outright?
Meanwhile, are you looking to pay -270 that the Bucs won't blow out Jameis Winston and the Saints? Neither am I.
That leaves our lone teaser, but like any good scary movie, there's a twist. While right now you can tease the Colts up to +7.5, I'm not ruling out the possibility of Indianapolis becoming a short favorite by kickoff. If that were the case, I'd happily tease up the Titans to get us the same full touchdown.
Here's how I'll play it - bet CAR +8.5/IND +7.5 now. Wait. If the favorite flips in Indianapolis, I'll pair the Panthers with the Titans. I'm fine with having the focal liability on the Panthers at +8.5 against the Falcons, who will keep any team in the contest late. Should they cover that number, then we can perhaps catch a middle with the Titans and Colts in what should be a competitive game.
Matt Russell is a betting writer for theScore. If there's a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on Twitter @mrussauthentic.