Week 10 Best Bets - Teasers
November 8, 2018
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When I was writing the intro to last week's piece, I would have never guessed that I could essentially copy and paste the same intro a week later. But here we are, fresh off another teaser loss by a “measly half-point” as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the ones who victimized me this time around.
Tampa's 14-point defeat wasn't enough to cover the +13.5 points I had teased them up to, as yet another example as to why it's the numbers and not the teams that are more important when playing teasers. Teasing teams through those key numbers of 3/7/10/14 are of the utmost importance overall, and while I was able to go through +7, +10, and even +13 with the Bucs last week, it still wasn't good enough.
Hopefully this streak of losing teasers by a half-point ends at two, although, when you look out at the NFL betting board this week you can already see plenty of potential for it to happen again with a handful of spreads sitting in the -5 to -6.5 range currently. But being the glutton for punishment that I am, I'm back at it again this week as I try to get back in the winner's circle with these teased lines on a couple of home underdogs from the AFC North.
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Week 10: Two-team, 7-point Teaser Best Bet
Cleveland (+13) – Cincinnati (+12.5)
The Atlanta Falcons were the half of last week's teaser that I did get right as they went into Washington and dismantled the Redskins from start to finish, but I'm not so confident they can have a repeat performance this week. The Falcons are in Cleveland to take on a Browns team that's trying to get back on track after some coaching changes a week ago, as Cleveland has once again become one of the teams that everyone loves to fade.
The initial spread for this game opened up with Atlanta as a -4 favorite, but as the Falcons have won three in a row and appear to be making a strong playoff push right now, that positive support combined with the negative sentiments bettors tend to have with Cleveland has pushed the number all the way to -6 currently. A move like that makes it rather tempting to come back in on Cleveland, but in my eyes, the safer route to go is teasing the Browns up now as they try to end this four-game losing streak they are currently on.
This is the first time all year that Atlanta has played on the road in consecutive games, and as a dome team, outdoors on the road in November hasn't exactly been a friend to the Falcons organization. Atlanta was 1-2 ATS on the road at outdoor venues from November on a year ago, and all three games were decided by a FG. Throw in their two road playoff games @ LA and @ Philly and you'll see that only their win against the Rams (26-13) was decided by more than five points, but that's still right on this week's teased number, and it's not like outdoors in L.A really has a “chilling” effect on opponents.
Cleveland looked to be poised through the first half of the year to take those positive steps forward their fan base has been waiting years to see, but back-to-back losses by 15+ points has squashed much of that momentum. However, those two defeats came against the likes of Pittsburgh and Kansas City, no slouches offensively in their own right, and while Atlanta's offense is of a similar caliber, the Falcons defense is arguably the worst of the bunch.
Cleveland QB Baker Mayfield has now had a full week of practice (along with one game) under his belt with new Browns OC Freddie Kitchens and we should see much more of a comfort level there this week. With Atlanta's defense ranking T30th in yards per play allowed (6.3), Mayfield and that Cleveland attack should find plenty of success again this week – they scored 21 on KC's 6.2 yards per play allowed defense last week – and then it becomes a matter of how tight the defense can hold things here. And as I said earlier, taking the +6 on the outright line is tempting, but given it's still the Browns, I have much more confidence in them keeping this game within 10 points at worst.
On to the Bengals now, who are the benefactors of quite the scheduling spot overall. Cincinnati is coming off their bye week as having an extra week to prepare never hurts, but with New Orleans (another dome team) out on the road in November off their huge win over the Rams, it's hard not to expect a bit of a letdown from the Saints this week.
Yet, just like we've seen with the Falcons spread, the Saints opening number of -4.5 has been bumped up all week to it's current range and could end up even higher by the time Sunday rolls around. A national audience saw New Orleans knock off the league's last remaining unbeaten team a week ago so there will be plenty of support on that basis alone, and it's probably inflated this line a bit too much already.
Outside of potentially being without WR A.J Green, this situtational spot couldn't really set up any better for Cincinnati, and with two suspect defense squaring off, this should easily be a one-possession game either way. The Bengals are on a 4-1 ATS run overall against a winning team, and with a 9-2 ATS run at home going against a winning road team, taking them on the spread is a possibility.
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