Three weeks, three winning teasers. After the Rams rallied back to save us and cover the teased +8 line, the Chiefs made easy work of the Ravens to seal our third straight win to open the season. Our next two options (Patriots, Texans) also came through for us as well, so hopefully you cashed a nice winner last week.
Last week, we featured the Monday night matchup in this spot, and we're doing it again because the Packers have to be one of the top two picks. I'm still not fully buying into their awesome start as the defense has seemed pretty uneven over the first three weeks, but it's hard to poke many holes in what they're doing offensively, even when missing their best receiver. But the main reason we're taking them has to do with their opponent, which we'll get to below.
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. Packers -1.5 vs. Falcons
After the Falcons melted down against the Cowboys, I thought it would be tough to come back and have a great performance in Week 3. But after the line got under three with the absence of Julio Jones, I jumped on Atlanta, and it looked like a great pick until Mitchell Trubisky was benched for Nick Foles. With the Falcons left to wonder what happened for two straight weeks, it seems highly unlikely they'll be 100% focused in this game. So let's go with the Packers in prime time and expect Aaron Rodgers and Co. to keep rolling.
We have a few good options to slide in here as the second leg of our Teaser of the Week, but here's why the Bears are the way to go: the Colts really haven't looked all that impressive. Yes, they were able to blow out two of the worst teams in the league at home, but they also went to Jacksonville and lost as huge favorites. On the Chicago side, the Bears should be fired up after coach Matt Nagy finally decided to start the team's best option at quarterback, and Foles should do a competent enough job to keep the Bears in most games when paired with their excellent defense. Speaking of that D, Philip Rivers could be in for a long day in this one.
3. Buccaneers -0.5 vs. Chargers
The Bucs defense is having a fine season despite the loss to the Saints in Week 1, and I think they'll be trouble for a Chargers offense that wants to run the ball, then run some more. The only reason this isn't sitting in my top two is because the Chargers defense can have an elite performance at any time (just look at the close loss to the Chiefs), and if this becomes a low-scoring slugfest, you don't want to watch your ticket crash and burn on one pick-six or a missed kick. So Bucs come in just a shade behind our top two options.
On talent alone, this should probably be No. 1, but I'm treading carefully with Seattle here. They'll play a Dolphins team on extra rest that has scored 59 points over its last two games, one against a very good defense in the Bills. As good as the Seahawks offense has been this season behind MVP front-runner Russell Wilson, the defense has also been consistently lit up. I'm not ruling out a stinker in this longest-road-trip-possible spot.
Like the Dolphins, the Jaguars are playing this game on extra rest but also needing to prove the dud against Miami was a fluke. The Bengals enjoyed their first non-loss of the season, but with it came five quarters of football, stretching the playing time disparity further in this matchup. That tie also means that Joe Burrow has thrown a whopping 105 passes in his last two games. One hundred and five. It's possible his arm falls off this week, and even if it doesn't, the Bengals defense should leave the back door wide open for Gardner Minshew.
6. Raiders +9 vs. Bills
I know they got blown out on the scoreboard last week, but the Raiders are doing more and more to convince me they're for real. Even with key injuries to their pass-catchers, including a limited Darren Waller, the Raiders may have been in this game at the end if not for some bad fumble luck. Even though their point total didn't back it up, they had a season-best 6.7 yards per play against a Bill Belichick defense. Again, considering the injuries, that's pretty good! The Bills barely hung on to beat the Rams for their second straight close win. I don't see them blowing out good teams, and the Raiders might be good.
I'm on the fence about this one. Yes, the 49ers' backups looked really good in a blowout win last week, but it came against the Giants. "The Eagles have been about as bad as the Giants," you might say, but I don't know if I buy that. Yes, Carson Wentz looks like he has regressed, but we know how high his upside is when it finally clicks. I'm more concerned about what Nick Mullens and Co. will do against what I think it a pretty solid defense; if the Eagles can turn this into a defensive battle, that gives them a better chance to break through with a win.
8. Chiefs -1 vs. Patriots
Feels like the Chiefs should be higher here, right? But I worry a little bit about them coming down off possibly locking up the No. 1 seed in Week 3 by steamrolling the Ravens, and you never feel good taking a team on shorter rest than Bill Belichick's squad. You know the Patriots will stick to the run like the Ravens didn't, and that could be an issue for the Chiefs defense. So yes, I would consider the Chiefs a decent enough option to put them on the list, but I'd go with much safer options instead.
Lines to avoid teasing
The Jets feel like a pretty good play here, as you love to be catching a full touchdown against a 2019 UDFA QB starting on the road on two days notice. But can you really feel that confident taking the Jets in any situation? What if Sam Darnold flings the ball backward 50 yards for some reason? What if all 11 defenders try to cover the same receiver and let Brett Rypien play pitch-and-catch for easy TDs? Nothing is off the table here.
Saints (-4) at Lions
The Saints have not been at their best the last couple of weeks, which makes the Lions look like an intriguing play. But they'd be even more intriguing if they weren't coming off a win, which knocked this line down 1.5 points off the lookahead. So it's going to be a pass for teasers, and if you want to fade the Saints, I'd consider just taking the four or even thinking about the moneyline.
Here's another home 'dog that might be appealing in a teaser, but we're again losing 1.5 points off the lookahead after the Cardinals lost and the Panthers won last week. I could see the Panthers hanging around and even winning this game, but I could also see them losing by double digits. So it's a stayaway.
Browns at Cowboys (-4.5)
The Browns have looked very good over the last two weeks, but they've also been able to control the game each time against two bad opponents. What happens if a high-flying Cowboys attack forces Baker Mayfield to win this game with his arm? I could definitely see a scenario where that results in a Cowboys blowout, so I'm not looking to tease the Browns in this one.
Giants at Rams (-13)
Sure feels like the Rams are going to win by more than a touchdown if you're thinking about teasing them, but there's not as much line value going from seven to 13 as there is teasing closer lines down or up. A scenario where the Giants are hanging around late isn't going to help the Rams cover seven as much as in lines you're bringing down under three or four, because they'll be playing to win, not win by more than a TD.
Ravens (-13) at Washington
Our second 13-point line involves a Ravens team that just got embarrassed going on the road (technically, though it's not a long trip) to face a Washington team that looks worse and worse as the season moves on. If you like the Ravens in a teaser to cover seven, I'd say just take them to cover the 13 -- Washington doesn't seem like the type of team that's going to rally back for you in the fourth quarter.
This game is up in the air due to the Titans dealing with several positive COVID-19 tests. Before the line came off the board, the Steelers were short favorites, which means if you're thinking about teasing this game you're only considering Tennessee. But I think the Steelers are the much better team, so I want no business of a Titans teaser.
Vikings at Texans (OFF)
This game is up in the air as well since the Vikings were the team to play the Titans last Sunday. The line was hovering around Texans -3.5 before it came off, so the Vikings would be the side to look. But just like in the matchup above, I don't want any part of them trying to cover a teaser with what I've seen so far. So avoid both these games when it comes to teasers even if they're played.