This week’s teaser legs involve a couple of teams coming off solid wins — the New England Patriots and the Minnesota Vikings. The Patriots crushed the Atlanta Falcons 25-0 while the Vikings upset the Green Bay Packers 34-31.
The Patriots enter Week 12 as nearly touchdown favorites over the Tennessee Titans while the Vikings are almost field-goal underdogs against the San Francisco Niners.
In this space, we look at maximizing the value of both these teams with a six-point move for NFL picks against the spread.
Two-Team, Six-Point Teaser
New England Patriots -6½ teased down to -½ (vs Tennessee Titans) ”
Rookie quarterback Mac Jones and the Patriots delivered a clinic Thursday as they steamrolled the Atlanta Falcons 25-0 at the Mercedes Superdome. The Patriots had closed as touchdown favorites on the road across online sports betting markets and came through with relative ease on the hefty point spread.
The upshot of last week’s win can’t be overstated as the Patriots usurped the Buffalo Bills at the top of the AFC East standings — a move helped along by the Bills imploding spectacularly against the Colts.
The Titans, in the meanwhile, fell to the Houston Texans 22-13 on Sunday, an upset that sent seismic shockwaves through NFL betting markets that tipped the Richter Scale. It was a stunning and unexpected defeat given Houston’s struggles.
The upshot of Tennessee’s setback has caused market sentiment to turn against the Titans, calling into question their status as the current AFC leaders. It’s also had a conspicuous impact on this game.
Lookahead NFL lines tipped New England as field-goal favorites last week, but at the close of Sunday’s round of the NFL, the Patriots re-opened as the 5½ point home chalk. And New England’s renaissance prompted an immediate reaction amongst bettors, causing the line to swell to 6½ as the public bet up the Patriots. If this trend continues, the line is likely to go as high as -7 in the coming days.
A lot about this point spread doesn’t sit well, including the fact that it feels like an overreaction to Week 11. The Titans had a bad day in the office against a division rival, but is that reason to dismiss them out of hand in this game? The Patriots had a stellar outing in Atlanta, clinching a fifth straight win, but the Titans reckon to be their biggest test yet.
Perhaps, the Patriots will win this game, but to hang nearly a touchdown on the Titans is easier said than done. No team rallies like the Titans do in the face of adversity, and while they might be dealing with a slew of injuries, they’re adept at figuring things out from week to week.
The Titans will be up for this game and eager to atone for Week 11. Expect coach Mike Vrabel to throw the kitchen sink at his old mentor Bill Belichick and they engage in a slugfest. All in all, this should be a close game. And that’s why teasing down this line to Patriots -½ makes sense, especially if you fancy the hosts to win. Although, to be fair, it wouldn’t be a total shocker if the Titans pulled off the upset here too.
Pick: New England Patriots -½
Minnesota Vikings +3 teased up to +9 (at San Francisco 49ers)
It shouldn’t require any cajoling or convincing to tease up the Vikings to +9 for their upcoming matchup against the Niners. Not only does it provide extra wiggle room for Minnesota’s backers, but it also feels like a bet that is unlikely to lose — more so than the current line that is delicately nestled on a field goal on the NFL odds board. The Niners are enjoying good momentum and their confidence seems to be swelling in proportion.
— 49ers on NBCS (@NBCS49ers) November 16, 2021
Granted, many NFL bettors are of the opinion that the Vikings could pull off the outright upset in San Francisco — according to betting online consensus reports, the Vikings at +3 are taking more than 70% of the early action.
However, the field-goal line feels too low. At the same time, the betting comes across like an obvious overreaction to Minnesota’s 34-31 win over Green Bay — slightly contentious though it was. Let’s face it, the victory was too narrow to be somehow defining and the Vikings did benefit from several calls that went their way.
The Niners have as much vested in this game as the Vikings do. Both teams are jockeying for positioning in the playoff frame. In winning, the Vikings improved to 5-5 and moved into sixth-place in the NFC standings. Similarly, the Niners improved to 5-5 on the season with a 30-10 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday and moved to eighth place in the NFC standings.
The Niners will be keen to keep the momentum going, and it seems like they’ve found an avenue for success through the run game. The Niners gutted the Rams defense on the way to a 31-10 win in Week 10. They did the same to the Jaguars to similar effect.
This might be a good time to mention that the Vikings’ run defense isn’t anything to write home about. That should give Minnesota fans pause because if the Niners get going for a third straight week, this game could be more lopsided than the markets would have it.
Pick: Minnesota Vikings +9