We had no issues cashing our top teaser play last week, with the Packers rolling against the Vikings and the Broncos keeping their matchup with the Titans close throughout. We're going to fade one of those two teams in our top teaser play for this week, and here's why.
While the Broncos were able to cover on Monday night, they left a lot to be desired, scoring just 14 points at home against a good but not elite Titans team. In fact, they should have lost by a lot more if not for a cavalcade of missed kicks by Stephen Gostkowski. The Steelers looked a little rusty in the first half of their Monday night game but eventually turned on the jets and pulled away in the fourth quarter. Pittsburgh is the far better team of the two, and the teaser line gets them under a FG for us (though you may want to move quickly, as they've already shot up 1.5 points from their initial line on Sunday night).
I've done the legwork of going through all the lines as of Tuesday night and identifying the best teasing opportunities. Below, I've ranked all the sides I think are in play for teasers this week, considering only the standard six-point teasers. You can take the top two options and put them together for my Teaser of the Week, or you can be bold and try and hit a bigger payout.
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Ranking teaser options
1. Steelers -1.5 vs. Broncos
I don't think we got Ben Roethlisberger's best performance on Monday night, but the important thing is that he looked healthy. He should settle into a groove as the season wears on. It'll help that A.J. Bouye seems unlikely to play this week after suffering a shoulder injury, and the Broncos could also be missing a couple key pieces on the offensive side in Courtland Sutton and Phillip Lindsay. While James Conner is in doubt for the Steelers, Benny Snell did quite well enough filling in on Monday to have confidence in him in this matchup.
2. 49ers -1 at Jets
The 49ers had their issues in the loss to the Cardinals, with the offense looking uneven and only converting two of 11 third-down opportunities. But they'll get a much easier matchup here against a Jets team that looks like it might compete for the No. 1 overall pick. The new-look offensive line is still trying to come together, but good luck managing that against one of the most talented front-fours in football. The road trip doesn't matter at all here; the 49ers should have no problem winning and covering this line.
3. Cardinals -0.5 vs. Washington
The Cardinals showed in Week 1 they're a team that should be taken seriously, putting together a fine defensive effort against the reigning NFC champions then finally coming alive offensively late to get the win. Washington also scored an upset win in Week 1, but it seemed largely driven by the Eagles' offensive line issues in the wake of multiple injuries. Arizona isn't known for having the most rock-solid O-line, so maybe Washington can take advantage again, but the far more likely scenario has the Cardinals moving to 2-0.
I wanted to put the Chiefs higher -- I mean come on, this is the Chiefs we're talking about on long rest only needing to win by a field goal to cover. What stopped me is this being a road divisional matchup against a great defense that knows Kansas City well. A close game where both teams score in the mid-20s resulting in this teaser line missing seems slightly more probably than any of the three underdogs above winning outright.
5. Eagles +7.5 vs. Rams
This line has swung 4.5 points off the opener and five points off the lookahead, so there's plenty of value to just play it straight and take the Eagles with the point-and-a-half, or even on the moneyline. But they're also a great teaser option. So why not put them higher? I worry that Lane Johnson and Miles Sanders won't be ready by Sunday, and also that 17 other players get hurt by the final whistle with the way Philadelphia's luck is going. But if news is trending positive on the injury front later in the week and this line hasn't moved, feel free to tease away.
You could certainly make a case to put this one higher in the rankings, but I'm a little hesitant just in case the Raiders aren't terrible. If that's the case, it wouldn't be that shocking for them to pull off the upset here, especially since Drew Brees didn't look at his best in the opener (despite the scoreboard). But teasing the Saints down and only needing them to win seems relatively safe.
7. Packers PK vs. Lions
Another year, another devastating late loss for the Lions. If Kenny Golladay can play this week, they have the chance to give the Packers a game, provided Green Bay's huge performance in Week 1 was more fueled by the issues on the defensive side of the ball for Minnesota. But the Packers certainly should be able to win this one when all is said and done.
We can get double digits with Bill Belichick? Sign me up! The only reason I'm this low on this matchup is the Patriots didn't have to do too much to beat a bad Dolphins defense in Week 1, and the Seahawks finally seem ready to unleash Russell Wilson to the fullest extent of his abilities. But I'd be shocked if this is a blowout on either side.
Like several of the last matchups, this one has plenty of reasons to be ranked higher, but I am just a little hesitant to move it up considering Deshaun Watson can beat anyone on any given day, plus this game is at home for the Texans with extended rest. I like the Ravens to win, but I'd put the odds of the Texans pulling off the upset as higher than missing on the eight results above.
10. Vikings +9 at Colts
This one is right around my cutoff line, and I toyed with the idea of bumping it to the next section. But for all Minnesota's flaws in Week 1, Mike Zimmer is an excellent coach who typically dominates unfamiliar matchups. I could see the Vikings winning or losing by 30 or anything in between and it wouldn't be that surprising.
Lines to avoid teasing
I do like teasing the Giants up to +10.5 as their defense played better than expected and the Bears appear to have serious QB issues despite the late win in Week 1, but the short week for New York and the market telling us Chicago is clearly the superior team is going to stop me from doing it. There are plenty of better options.
Panthers at Buccaneers (-9)
I certainly think the Bucs will win by more than three points, but what if Tom Brady looks so-so again? The Panthers offense looked pretty good in their opener, and though it's going to be a lot tougher to consistently score in this matchup, I'd rather play some other teaser options than bother with this game.
Not a good teaser line either way. I don't think the Falcons are as bad as the box score from Week 1 indicated, as they were burned on all five fourth downs in the game. But if the Cowboys offense is clicking, they can beat anybody by double-digits. So I'd lean teasing the Falcons here, but again, just go with a better option.
Jaguars at Titans (-9)
I wouldn't tease the Titans down here after their uneven performance on Monday night, especially with the Jaguars offense looking better than people expected. And if you think Jaguars +15 has no way of missing, I would argue you'd be better off just betting the +9 straight.
Bills (-5.5) at Dolphins
The Dolphins looked pretty terrible in Week 1, but they've been able to deliver plenty of unexpected wins at home in recent years. And it's not like the Bills offense was firing on all cylinders in Week 1, with Josh Allen getting sloppy with his ball security while running around the field. This is a danger spot either way you tease it.
I wouldn't trust the Browns to win this game by teasing them down, and I'd rather just play the Bengals straight rather than teasing them to 12. So this is a stayaway for me.