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We’re finally here after powering through the dog days of summer...Week 1 of the NFL season! There are many ways to attack the NFL betting market, but one of my favorites is the 6-point teaser. It is a great alternative to playing the extremely efficient sides market. When playing teasers, it is a must that you play through key numbers (e.g. bet a favorite down from -7 to -1, bet a dog from +1.5 to +7.5 etc.). Also, the juice on your two-team teaser should not exceed -120.
With that being said, let’s jump into the Week 1 teaser market. I love many of the teaser options for Week 1. I imagine that we'll see many books enact teaser protection on some of these lines come Sunday morning. The Colts, Ravens, Vikings, 49ers and Broncos are all teams I’ve strongly considered in a teaser format.
1st Leg: Indianapolis Colts -1 (@HOU)
Let’s start with the one negative – Frank Reich is 0-4 in Week 1 during his tenure as the Colts HC. On the flip side, this is arguably the best roster he’s had to date. They upgraded the QB position with Matt Ryan, have a premier rushing attack with Jonathan Taylor running behind an elite offensive line, and feature, prime breakout candidate, Michael Pittman Jr. as Ryan’s top weapon in the passing game. On defense they added Stephon Gilmore to the secondary, have their stalwart Shaquille (Darius) Leonard in the middle, and should see improvement when it comes to getting after the QB with the addition of Yannick Ngakoue and former first round pick, Kwity Paye. On top of their roster improvement, I expect this Colts team to be extra motivated to kick off the season against a division foe after squandering their playoff hopes against the Jaguars last year in Week 17.
While the Texans may be slightly better than some expect (heavily dependent on the play of QB Davis Mills), I just can’t see them going blow for blow with the Colts in this spot. The Texans gave up the second most rush yards per game last season, which does not bode well for them against the aforementioned Colts run game that should be able to control the clock. In the two matchups between these teams last season, the Colts outscored the Texans 62-3! On top of that, the Texans made another questionable coaching hire in Lovie Smith, causing me to downgrade them early in the season due to lack of continuity.
Talent, coaching, motivation, and previous results all point me to the Colts in this contest. I feel very comfortable laying -1 via a 6 point teaser as the Colts should roll.
2nd Leg: Baltimore Ravens -1 (@NYJ)
The Ravens are viewed by many as a buy-on team in 2022. I completely agree as they had some of the worst injury luck in 2021 and Lamar Jackson will be playing for a contract extension. All signs point to them reverting back to a run heavy attack to soften defenses, which has led to much success in years past. The Ravens' corners are an elite group when healthy. They feature Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters, who should help limit the effectiveness of a pass heavy attack from their opponents, when they build the early lead that I expect them to do. The Harbaugh led Ravens always emphasize the preseason and I think that helps them early in the season as they’re 4-1 in their last 5, Week 1 games, outscoring their opponents by a whopping 139 points.
A lot of sharp money came in on the Jets hype train in the offseason as we saw their season win total get hit to the over. I just don’t see it. Over the course of training camp, they lost Zach Wilson (which ultimately MAY not be a bad thing) and their top pass blocker in Mekhi Becton. They head into Week 1 with Joe Flacco at QB as his NFL career hangs on by a thread. The Ravens are a TOUGH matchup for a Jets team that gave up the fourth most rush yards per game in 2021. There is just too much uncertainty circling this Jets team for me to consider them against an AFC heavyweight at this point in the season.
Again, we have talent, coaching, motivation, and previous results favoring the Ravens making them a nice bet to win outright here.
Week 1's Teaser of the Week: Indianapolis Colts -1 (@HOU) & Baltimore Ravens -1 (@NYJ)