NFL Week 5 teasers: Point spreads flipping the script
It was another rough scene in teaser town in Week 4. Some lost in baffling fashion, like the Broncos (+8.5), while some weren't really ever close, like the Buccaneers - who actually ended up closing as favorites!
Some games don't have a teaser-worthy point spread, and there are a lot of them in Week 5 - with almost half of this week's games lined between -3 and -5.5.
For example, the Rams are 4.5-point favorites at home to the Cowboys on Sunday. Teasing Los Angeles would see the spread go through zero, which is wasting valuable price points around the improbable chance of a tie. Teasing Dallas up to +10.5 would be appealing as it would capture the key numbers around a touchdown, but you're already winning on 3- and 4-point margins at a -110 price. Getting +6, +7, or +8 over a long sample size isn't worth the price hike that a teaser leg of -270 requires.
There are a couple of big favorites that we can pull down under a field goal in a valuable way. Let's use this week's game in London between the Giants and Packers (-8) as an example of the value of teasing a favorite down:
You can see how the pricing significantly jumps once you move across the key number of -3, showing the importance of capturing that number in NFL betting. But more importantly, the Packers' alternative spread (-2) is priced at -350, which is obviously a much larger price than getting Packers -2 with a teaser leg at -270.
To get a good deal on the Packers (-2), we must pair them with another team, needing to win both to cash the ticket. Fortunately, we can choose that other leg from our weekly "teaser basket" using what we know about key numbers.
Let's look at the mathematically-optimal plays available for Week 5:
It's the opposite situation from last week when there were a handful of tightly-lined games that could be teased up and just one game lined around a touchdown. We've got six favorites lurking between -6.5 and -8.5 that are primed to be teased down. Basically, any favorite whose moneyline is greater than -270 provides value as a teaser piece. It's up to the bettor to decide which team is impervious to an upset.
As for teams that can be teased up, the lone candidate as of this writing is the Commanders as +2.5 home underdogs against the Titans. So far this season, though, Washington seems capable of anything, including getting blown out at home. It will be interesting to see if the line creeps up to a flat 3-point spread, joining Colts-Broncos, Lions-Patriots, Chargers-Browns, Dolphins-Jets, and Bengals-Ravens as games where if you like the underdog, you're better off long term just taking the three points at -110 or better.
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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