NFL Wild Card Weekend teaser: Who to tandem with Tom's Tampa?

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After 18 weeks of teaser talk, you know we're looking for games that allow for a 6-point teaser to capture the key numbers of -3, -6, and -7. In a regular-season week, there might be double-digit options, or there could be just a couple.

As we turn the page to the playoffs and Wild Card Weekend, we have to get a little creative or skillfully time our entry point with just six games on the board.

Not all teaser legs are created equal. The biggest mistake novice bettors make is teasing through zero because they're wasting valuable price points on a number the game won't land on: a tie. So, how can we maximize the six-point move? How can we get what we're paying for at -270 per leg?

By far the best number move available is Sunday's first game between the Eagles and Buccaneers. Let's take a look at the alternative line market to see why:

SPREAD ODDS
-8.5 -110
-8 -125
-7.5 -130
-7 -145
-6.5 -163
-6 -175
-5.5 -190
-5 -200
-4.5 -205
-4 -210
-3.5 -230
-3 -280
-2.5 -320

The alternative spread gives you the Buccaneers under a field goal at -320. Obviously, teasing Tampa down from -8.5 to -2.5 at a price of -270 is a much better option.

If that leg is our core component of a teaser, we need to come up with a second leg, and that's something that will be a little trickier this weekend. Let's look at the other matchups, with all but one falling in the range from a spread perspective.

Teaser basket

GAME SPREAD BEST LEG
LV@CIN CIN -5.5 LV +11.5
NE@BUF BUF -4 NE +10
SF@DAL DAL -3 SF +9
PIT@KC KC -12.5 KC -6.5
ARZ@LAR LAR -4 ARZ +10

Four of the five other options to choose from in the teaser basket are games lined under a touchdown, and since the first rule of the teaser is to not tease through zero, there's only one option from the above slate. What's left is a decision about which game is most likely to be close.

It's been 31 years since the Bengals won a playoff game, and it's difficult to see them snapping that with a blowout. They've also had trouble starting hot at home, especially in the second half of the season. The 5.5-point spread has already moved toward the Raiders from a 6.5 open. That move across a key number means lost value on the Raiders against the spread, but the 6-point tease from +12.5 to +11.5 simply means losing a 12-point Bengals win - a number unlikely to be a factor.

The Saturday night and Monday night games both sit at a spread of four points. By teasing the underdog Patriots and Cardinals, you do cross some key numbers, but if the game lands on a +10, it's a push. Should either the Bills or Rams get bet up to 4.5 points, capturing +10.5 would be great.

The 49ers are currently 3-point underdogs to the Cowboys. I'd rather just take the 3 points with San Francisco at a -110 price point currently, but if the line fell to +2.5, it's a good market indicator the game will be a toss-up, meaning a +8.5 teaser leg is a good idea.

Lastly, the Chiefs are a big favorite, and I loathe to tease a number like that down, even if you can scoop up -7. As much as the Steelers are likely overmatched, this is still the playoffs, and a close win for the Chiefs will be fine by them.

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.

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NFL Wild Card Weekend teaser: Who to tandem with Tom's Tampa?
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