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NFL betting: We’re backing two lively underdogs in a Week 13 teaser

Take the better defenses in a six-point NFL Week 13 teaser.

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NFL teasers have been running pure as of late. However, this upcoming slate for Week 13 presents a challenge with limited options available. During weeks like this, you can either work with what we’ve got or skip out entirely. A no bet is often just as good.

As a reminder, here are some general guidelines to follow if you are wagering on NFL teasers to keep risk in check.

  • Stick to six-point teasers (you need to win more consistently to offset the higher price).

  • Keep it to a two-team teaser (the more pieces you add, the greater the risk).

  • Target lower-totaled games (the more points expected, the more variance involved).

  • Tease through the key numbers of three and seven (this approach is at the heart of all proven winning strategies).

Teaser legs to avoid

There are a few games this week with either 1-point or 7-point spreads. The urge is to want to tease an underdog to 7 points or tease a favorite down to -1. I say to avoid these options because the probability of a push increases by having two legs. One, check to see if your book counts a push as a loss. Two, avoid buying the half point at (-130) simply because the juice becomes too difficult to beat. These games this week include current lines of:

Steelers -1 at Falcons, 42

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Lions -1 vs. Jaguars, 51

Browns -7 at Texans, 47.5

Seahawks -7 at Rams, 40.5

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Raiders -1 vs. Chargers, 49.5

Current Week 13 teaser-leg options

Giants +8.5 vs. Commanders, 40

Bengals +8.5 vs. Chiefs, 53

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Unconventional Week 13 teaser option

Jets +9 at Vikings, 44.5

Following the traditional Wong teaser uses options that cross through the key numbers of three and seven. Getting a spread at +3 or better is long term more valuable playing as a solo wager instead of tying to a teaser because of the volatility involved with correctly selecting two games for a winner. However, if a 3-point spread is tied to a higher juice (say -115 or -120) and has the potential to drop from a 3-point spread to a 2.5, then the +3 becomes more valuable at +9 rather than +8.5. The Jets right now are +3 at a (-115) price.

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Week 13 NFL teaser to bet: Jets +9 and Bengals +8.5

The Jets have a great defense, allowing 27 yards per drive, third best in the league. Plus, they rank eighth in pressure rate, which could be a terrible matchup for Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. In a similar matchup against Dallas, Cousins was sacked seven times and threw zero touchdowns just two weeks ago.

Offensively, the Jets now have some life after replacing Zach Wilson with Mike White. In a one-game sample size this season, against the Bears, White averaged 11.3 yards per play for three scores. Chicago is a subpar defense, 12th against the pass. The Vikings are dead last in the NFL, allowing a league-high 276 passing yards per game. Minnesota’s defense is exploitable, as shown last week by Mac Jones and the Patriots. Jones had his best showing of the season, 382 passing yards and two touchdowns.

Backing the Bengals in a high-totaled game comes with volatility. However, the Bengals have the second-best scoring defense behind the Broncos, forcing more field goals than touchdowns. This is less about defense and more about Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow being able to keep pace with Patrick Mahomes. Burrow has been without his best receiver in Ja’Marr Chase, who could be back in the lineup this week. With Burrow behind center, the Bengals are 2-0 against the Chiefs, throwing six touchdowns to just one interception. I love Mahomes but Burrow will keep this competitive.

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