The 2023 NFL season is here. And so are six-point teasers. Week 1 of a new season is always fun as a spectator but perhaps less so as a bettor because of uncertainty and variance. Changes in personnel or quarterback, or even preseason injuries make the opening week feel all the more risky. Betting a two-team, six-point teaser can provide some cushion.
If you are new to betting NFL teasers or just need a refresher, here are some general guidelines to follow to keep risk in check.
Stick to six-point teasers (you need to win more consistently to offset the higher price of bigger numbers).
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).
Current Week 1 teaser-leg options (BetMGM)
Cleveland Browns +8 vs. Cincinnati Bengals, 47.5
Pittsburgh Steelers +8 vs. San Francisco 49ers, 41.5
Green Bay Packers +7 at Chicago Bears, 42
New York Jets +8.5 vs. Buffalo Bills, 45.5
Teaser legs to avoid
There are a few 3-point spread options that many would want to consider for a teaser leg. However, the traditional Wong teaser strategy utilizes options that cross through the key numbers of three and seven. Getting a spread at +3 or +3.5 is long term more valuable playing as a solo wager instead of tying to a teaser because of the volatility involved with correctly picking two games. Let’s call these unconventional options. For Week 1, these are the "close" games to avoid:
Carolina Panthers +3.5 at Atlanta Falcons, 39.5
Tennessee Titans +3 at New Orleans Saints, 41.5
Miami Dolphins +3 at Los Angeles Chargers, 51
New York Giants +3 vs. Dallas Cowboy, 45.5
Week 1 NFL teaser: Packers +7/Browns +8
With four options to select from, this may be a first for me to say, but pair any two for solid, valuable options this week. You have lower totals, home-divisional underdogs and underdogs with strong defenses. I am going with the Packers because it’s my best bet of the week and pairing it with the Browns despite that leg having the highest total.
Packers: Aaron Rodgers claimed he “owned” the Bears. This week we’ll find out if that's true or if it's actually Green Bay's defense. The Packers' offense may have undergone a makeover, but key parts of the defense return, including the Packers' top two corners, Jaire Alexander and Rasul Douglas. Alexander was top 12 in the league in passes defensed and top five in interceptions. Bears quarterback Justin Fields threw 11 interceptions last season — seven at home. Chicago's offensive line also is suspect once again, with all but one starter dealing with injuries. Last year, Fields was tied for the league lead in sacks taken. When sacked, the Bears were 31st in points per drive.
Browns: I’m backing Myles Garrett, arguably the best edge rusher in the league who tied for the second-most sacks last season. The veteran could have an even better year with the additions of DE Za'Darius Smith, DE Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, DT Dalvin Tomlinson, DT Shelby Harris and DT Maurice Hurst. It could be more difficult for teams to dedicate extra help on Garrett. This is the Browns' pass rush against the Bengals' offensive line. With OT La’el Collins on IR, Jonah Williams fills in for his first regular-season game at RT.
Bengals QB Joe Burrow against Cleveland: 1-4, 18 total sacks, five interceptions (one in each game). And the Browns' front seven could be even better now? All in.