Does it bother anyone else when the talking heads on major networks start rambling on about ‘How likely or unlikely a team is to make the playoffs based on their 2-0 or 0-2 start?’
Boy I tell ya, it really grinds my gears because the only thing that matters for a team in Week 3 is if they are going to win, cover, go over or stay under. That’s all. Is it a teaser play or is it a flat bet?
<Sigh>… end rant.
We hit our teaser of the week last Sunday and will look to make it two in a row with this week’s top play. Our focus is on a dog, a fave and one divisional total and hey, maybe if we win this week our odds of making the ‘teaser playoffs’ will increase to 76%. Better call CBS or Fox and find out.
3-TEAM, 10-POINT TEASER OF THE WEEK
Baltimore Ravens +4.5
Titans at Jaguars Under 49.5
Los Angeles Chargers +17
1. RAVENS +4.5
Baltimore is a classic ‘Protect the home front’ kind of team and they got absolutely ripped in front of a national TV audience last week in Cinci. Time to step up. The Ravens defense is not what it used to be but it will be considered a major upset if Baltimore can’t find a way to win this game straight up.
Ravens LB CJ Mosley (knee) is likely going to miss this game so that will open up room for the Broncos run game but look for the Ravens to answer back with Alex Collins. We like the Ravens to grind out a close one here. Note that Baltimore has back-to-back divisional games on-deck and they are 9-3-1 ATS in this role (12-1 in a teaser).
2. TITANS at JAGS UNDER 49.5
Tennessee earned Mike Vrabel his first win last week, beating the Texans at home without Marcus Mariota. The Titans were also missing two starters on their O-Line but they took an early 14-0 lead and the D held Houston to 17 points all day. The Titans were out-yarded 437-283 and Blaine Gabbert finished with just 117 yards passing, but he’s inline for another go if Mariota (elbow) can’t start.
Jacksonville earned playoff redemption against the Pats and it will be interesting to see how they respond in this big divisional tilt. Generally speaking, home teams off a home playoff revenge win are a good bet to win straight up and an even better bet to stay under the total. The concern with the Jags is that they’ve spent all week sitting around town, listening to local fans and media talk about how good they are.
RB Leonard Fournette (hamstring) is on pace to return but this Titans D leads the NFL in red zone stop rate (93.3%), ahead of Minnesota and even these Jags. That is impressive. Maybe these two will get into a shootout later in the season when they are at full capacity. Right now, we are seeing more of slugfest.
3.THE BATTLE OF LA
Phillip Rivers and the Chargers were 4-12 O/U last season and when they stayed home on the West coast, they scored an average of 25.6 points per game. This year in two games against the Chiefs and Bills, the Bolts have struck for 28 and 31 points, and while I don’t doubt for a second that the sledding will be tougher here against the Rams, this line isn’t showing enough respect to the Chargers’ offense.
In this day and age of offensive football, teams that hold an opponent to three points or less like the Rams did to Arizona are consistently overvalued the following week. Give me a team like the Chargers here that’s capable of putting up big numbers and I’ll happily take the TD line plus an additional 10.
Hey for what it’s worth, Arizona, Oakland and the New York Giants are three 0-2 teams that are getting points this week as they creep into the desperation zone. Although the Giants won’t admit it, none of these teams have anything to lose at this point. If you’re looking to hookup another teaser, consider any of these games “Over” in what is an 80% Week 3 teaser angle.