We have another Thursday night NFL game between legitimate playoff contenders, but hopefully, this one ends up being more competitive than the Colts-Titans game last week.
Of course, Bet Smart readers were thrilled with the result as the Colts won 34-17 to come through on our recommendation of teasing Indianapolis and Under 55, as well as kicking off our recommended teaser portfolio for the weekend with the Colts combined with any combination of the Steelers teased down to -1.5 versus the Bengals, the Texans teased up to +9 at the Browns, the Bills teased up to +7.5 at the Cardinals, the Seahawks teased up to +7.5 at the Rams, the Chargers teased up to +8.5 at the Dolphins and the Bears +8.5 versus the Vikings. The only “NFL advantage teaser” (in which you move the line 6 points in your favor and capture the key numbers of 3 and 7) to lose was the Ravens -1.
We have a similar setup this Thursday with the Cardinals visiting the Seahawks with both 6-3 and tied with the Rams atop the NFC West. This is a key game in that race, as well as for eventual playoff seeding. These teams just met on Oct. 25, just over 3 ¹/₂ weeks ago, in a wild coin-flip battle that ended with the Cardinals winning 37-34 in overtime as 3.5-point home underdogs.
Now, the Seahawks are 3-point home favorites. Normally, if a team is -3.5 on the road against a division opponent, you would expect the line to be more than a touchdown the next time they meet, but this lower line shows how much oddsmakers have downgraded the Seahawks, who have lost their past two games to the Bills and Rams. Previous MVP favorite Russell Wilson has come back to earth as he hasn’t been as sharp as he was earlier in the season (no TDs and two INTs in the loss to the Rams). And the Cardinals are more of a public team after their “Hail Murray” win over the Bills.
We liked the Cardinals better when this line was +3.5, but they still look like the right side at +3 if this game plays out anything like that first meeting. But the safer play is moving the Cardinals up to +9 with a 6-point teaser (still acceptable to tease up to +8.5 if the point spread happens to dip to +2.5 by game time) and starting teasers into Sunday games with Lions, Texans, Packers or Bengals teased up or the Vikings or Chargers teased down.
If you don’t have the patience and want to contain your action to Thursday night (like the Colts and Under last week), the play would be to combine the Cardinals teased up to +9 with the Over teased down to 51.5. Even with Wilson’s subpar performances the past two weeks, he should bounce back at home and we don’t see how these teams don’t continue with their penchant to get into high-scoring shootouts (that 23-16 loss by the Seahawks to the Rams being the lone recent exception).
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