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NFL Week 12 teasers: Saving room for a feast of options on the table

Tom Pennington / Getty Images Sport / Getty

If you were hoping to tease touchdown favorites down to -1, this coming week is going to disappoint. If you're like me, you prefer to tease short underdogs up over a touchdown, and this week could be a bonanza. All it's going to take is a little patience.

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 probably 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?

Let's use the meat of Thursday's Thanksgiving sandwich between the Raiders and Cowboys as an example.

DAL -7 -110
DAL -6.5 -138
DAL -6 -145
DAL -5.5 -150
DAL -5 -163
DAL -4.5 -167
DAL -4 -180
DAL -3.5 -185
DAL -3 -230
DAL -2.5 -260
DAL -2 -270
DAL -1.5 -275
DAL -1 -300

The alternative spread gives you the Cowboys -2 at -270. Would you rather that, or the -1 that a teaser leg provides at the same price? What about Cowboys -1 at -270 versus the Cowboys' moneyline of -320?

The answers are obvious, but we'll need some options to pair with DAL -1, which is why we turn to the teaser basket for the best options to capture as many key numbers as possible.

Teaser basket

Let's look at the mathematically optimal plays available for Week 12:

Jaguars +1 +7
Dolphins +1 +7
Jets +2.5 +8.5
Colts +2.5 +8.5
Broncos +2.5 +8.5
Rams +1 +7
Vikings +3 +9
Seahawks +1 +7

Sportsbooks don't love leaving games as a pick'em on the point spread. That's what the moneyline is for, which means they'll often make a game a -1.5 spread in order to give you another market to play into. Also, bettors taking the underdog are more likely to just play the moneyline, which leaves the possibility of a game landing on the favorite winning by one point. That's like when the roulette ball lands on double zero; almost all bets lose.

There are four games here that currently sit just off PK and seem destined for at least +1.5. That makes them mathematically viable, no matter what you think of the teams involved. If any of those games reach that point, they can join a trio of 2.5-point spreads that are dying to be teased up through +7 and +8.

The Jets are never a fun tease, but what about the Texans makes you think they're likely to get blown out? The Colts have a challenge with the Buccaneers' run defense, but getting 8.5 points on Indy at home is appetizing given the Bucs' struggles on the road this season and that they are on a short week. Then there are the Chargers and Broncos, two teams seemingly incapable of separating - and staying separated - from opponents.

Lastly, the Vikings at +3 (-110) is good enough on its own, but even though +9 isn't a key number, getting up over +8 with Minnesota seems unlikely to lose.

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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