NFL Week 3 teasers: Letting the numbers guide the way

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What a wild ride in the land of teasers last week. Four games qualified as having teaser legs, and in three of them, depending on when you reached into the basket to bet them, each side was viable.

When the Raiders and Titans were +5.5, getting them up to +11.5 was the play. The Patriots ran all the way up to -6, making them attractive to tease down to PK. The Broncos never moved off of -6 and covered the spread comfortably while winning outright. Sadly, there were no middles to be had, with no game landing on the favorite by 1-11.

Remember, this is about which clubs you should tease from a mathematically correct standpoint. Each leg of a teaser comes at a price of -270, or the price of teasing a 6-point favorite down to PK. Let's use this week's AFC West battle between the Chargers and Chiefs as an example.

Spread Odds
KC -6.5 -110
KC -6 -125
KC -5.5 -138
KC -5 -145
KC -4.5 -150
KC -4 -163
KC -3.5 -167
KC -3 -200
KC -2.5 -225
KC -2 -240
KC -1.5 -245
KC -1 -260
KC ML -300

If needing the Chiefs to win, would you rather pay -300 on the moneyline or drop the Chiefs down to -0.5 for -270, especially when you can use it to move the line on another game in a beneficial way?

Not all teaser legs are created equal. The biggest mistake novice bettors make is teasing through 0. You're wasting valuable price points on a number the game probably won't land on. So how can we maximize the 6-point move? How can we get what we're paying for at -270 per leg?

Every week in the NFL is unique - the teasable point spreads can vary. Week 3 is inundated with spreads between 7.5 and 9.5. Mathematically, the -7.5s can be legitimately teased down to -1.5 to surpass key numbers of -3, -6, and -7, while anything from +8.5 to +9.5 can use the teaser to capture two touchdowns for the underdog.

Also, a few spreads are lingering around PK, like Buccaneers-Rams and Seahawks-Vikings. Should one team find its way to +1.5, a tease up to +7.5 is an automatic play on either side.

Teaser basket

TEAM Spread Teaser leg
Panthers -7.5 -1.5
Cardinals -7.5 -1.5
Browns -7.5 -1.5
Bengals +4.5 +10.5
Lions +9 +15
Washington Football Team +9 +15
Colts +5 +11
Chiefs -6.5 -0.5
Vikings +1.5 +7.5
Buccaneers +1.5 +7.5

The rest of the games are lined between -3 and -4, so while you could capture the super-key number of +7 with a tease, -270 is too big a price to pay when you're already getting +3/3.5/4 for -110.

These aren't recommendations, but rather a guide to the mathematically sensible options in the "teaser basket" to use if you like a team in its game. Personally, I think the Colts may get blown out should Carson Wentz not be available, so while you're getting a ton of points, I'd still pass. The Chargers are always live to beat the Chiefs, based on how close their games have been the last few years, so be careful there. Fundamentally, take as many legs from the basket as you want that make sense with your handicap of the 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.

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NFL Week 3 teasers: Letting the numbers guide the way
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