Friday, October 21, 2011

As a rule of thumb it's best to only include teams in teasers that cross the critical numbers and limit them to 2 teams per.  There are always exceptions to the norm, but this method provides the most value. 

Check out the Sportsbook Review Football Teaser Odds Chart to find out what book will offer you the best value.

Green Bay Packers -1.5 & Baltimore Ravens -1.5
For whatever reason both of these games remain within the teaser window.  A lot of books have put them at -9 or above to avoid the teaser action, but they can still be found if you shop around.  How either of these teams are allowed to be dropped below a field goal is beyond me, but this could be the teaser of the year if you can get it.

The Packers have become the New England Patriots of the NFC.  If you want to lay the points and take them straight I wouldn't blame you.  The books continue to inflate their lines and they continue to cover the number.  I have them favored by a full touchdown even after accounting for home field advantage.  MIN have been hit or miss with their competitiveness this season, but when you are taking a timeout after the two-minute warning you know this team is headed in the wrong direction.  This week the Ponder era begins and his reward is the defending Super Bowl champions.

The bad news for Ponder is he begins his NFL career behind a very shoddy O-line and an offense that hasn't been able to do anything consistently this year.  Look for GB's defense to mix things up and confuse the kid enough times to limit the big plays and cause a turnover or two.  GB might even stack 9 in the box and dare Ponder to beat them. Mcnabb was bad, but expecting a big increase in production is hopeful at best.  MIN is bound to get down a score or two at some point and that's when things could get ugly.  Look for MIN to stick to the running game and the underneath routes to move the sticks and pray that their defense comes up with the best effort of the season to keep it close.

All I can say to that plan is good luck!  Rodgers is going to have a huge advantage in the air on Sunday and it's truly a matter of pick your poison.  Last week he got Driver back into the mix for a touchdown proving that Rodgers can slice and dice you any which way he wants.  Finley, Nelson, Jennings, Jones, and Cobb are a formidable group of weapons and MIN's secondary has been brutal without Winfield in the lineup.  GB is going to eat up the clock with long sustained drives and I doubt they'll be stopped once they get to the red zone.  GB are only 2nd to NE in points from long drives with 138!

The other matchup is a bit more interesting, but JAX still play the role of heavy underdog.  Before the season started I like what I saw from JAX.  Despite their record they have improved some areas of their defense even if it isn't represented that way in the rankings.  Keep in mind JAX's offense puts tremendous pressure on this defense due to their inability to sustain drives or take care of the ball.  Time after time this group of defenders gets put in a bad spot just trying to limit the damage.  Without any hope for a successful season, that is bound to wear on guys as the year plays out. 

BAL holds nice advantages on both sides of the ball.  Flacco is unlikely to see as much pressure as he had last week which bodes well for those of us who don't believe in him.  What I do believe in is their running game where Rice gets to run behind the best fullback in all of football.  Rice is also the best safety valve on check-downs in the NFL--and we all know Flacco needs that.  Having said that, this won't be a cake-walk matchup for BAL on offense.  Look for JAX to play with pride on the big stage under the prime time lights and make BAL earn their points. 

The real mismatches take place when JAX's offense takes the field.  Gabbert did show some signs of life last week, but most of that came against a relaxed PIT's defense without the services of guys like Hampton, Harrison, and Polamalu.  They won't have that luxury this week against a healthier and better Ravens defense.  The only hope JAX have is if MJD has the game of his life and carries the offense all the way to the end zone.  With a measily 48 points from long drives this year, that is very unlikely to happen.  Instead, this could turn into a turnover fiesta.  JAX's O-line has not been up to snuff this year and that's not good when you have a green QB at the helm. 

I love this teaser in a big, big way and I full expect this category to get back on track with a convincing week 7 cover.