NFL Teasers can be Pleasing for Bettors in Week 17

Many online sportsbooks to limit teaser wagers for Week 17 in recent years and again this season’s final week provides for some great teaser betting opportunities . . . if you can find them.

In what has become another “holiday tradition” many offshore sportsbooks have become quite stingy and limited allowing customers to play NFL teasers in the last week of the season. And I can’t say I blame them if I were calling the shots from mission control.

Top online sportsbooks like WagerWeb and Diamond Sports have mined previous research over the years following customer trends where there are very favorable opportunities to play certain teams in must-win playoff situations. Adding on the 6 to 7 bonus teaser points can be similar to receiving a potential post-Christmas gift. Or conversely, betting against teams that have been eliminated and are using the last week of the season to audition new players for the following year. This causes many online sportsbooks to limit teaser wagers for Week 17 in recent years and the final week of this year’s season is no exception.

Toss in head coaches that have packed their bags weeks ago (see Rex Ryan-NY Jets) and leaders that are evaluating their next destinations (Jim Harbaugh-SF 49ers) and there can be some very tempting teaser betting choices to ponder. But before you feel over confident circling “sure things”, I’d keep some issues in perspective.

All teams play to win and all personnel are expected to give 100%. In our ultra-tech world, every frame of game film is critically judged and any player suspected of “dogging it” will not be forgotten by the coaching staff. That is, if they’re still around to grade players.

Second great example: Does anyone remember the last game Super Bowl winner Jon Gruden coached in the NFL? I memorably do.

With his Tampa Bay Bucs simply needing a win to qualify for the playoffs against the lowly 3-12 Oakland Raiders about four seasons ago, tons of Bucs money rolled in, making them a strong -9 favorite at home. The loose Raiders beat them by a touchdown, taking all pointspread, money line and teaser money on the Bucs along. Gruden was fired the next week, paving the way for his ultra-successful Monday Night Football broadcasting career.

That being said, here are some very strong, advantageous and potentially favorable TEASER wagering suggestions to pursue. But don’t be surprised if you’re limited betting compared to weeks 1 through 16. Reversing roles as a bookmaker you might likely feel the same way.

NFL Week 17 Teaser Wagering Suggestions

The following point spreads are based on current lines at popular offshore sportsbooks including 5Dimes, Bookmaker and BetOnline.

Buffalo + at New England
With the #1 seed in the playoffs and first round bye locked up there is absolutely nothing to gain for the New England Patriots. Obviously, much more to lose including all their key stars including QB Tom Brady, WR Rob Gronkowski, etc. But getting head coach Bill Belichick to confirm or deny his intentions is harder than learning CIA secrets. Therefore, we can only assume this game will be played with the strategy of a pre-season game as the Buffalo Bills can gain go full-tilt on the field gaining momentum on a very positive season and finish 9-7 for next year.

The line at -4 and shrinking is every indication of that as if anything was on the line for the Pats this game would likely be at least -9 or higher. Receiving 10 points or more in a teaser is a gift for a game no one would be surprised if the Bills could win outright.

Baltimore vs. Cleveland
In an opposite situation, the Baltimore Ravens can earn a potential playoff spot with help from other teams. More so, they need to redeem themselves off an uncharacteristic lackluster effort in Houston last week, laying an egg against the Texans and losing 25-13 in a must-win game. Strangely, the Ravens were physically whipped and QB Joe Flacco was poor in a type game where he usually comes up big under pressure.

The Cleveland Browns are a mess and seemingly are going in the wrong direction after a very promising first half of the season. The awful distraction with Johnny “football” Manziel divided the team and hurt QB Bryan Moyer’s confidence, when he led them to some nice victories. Now he is out with a shoulder injury and the Browns will turn to QB Connor Shaw, with virtually no NFL experience. A latest update has Cleveland suspending their great WR Josh Gordon on previous drug issues that could carryover into next season. Pile on one of their best defensive starters, cornerback Joe Haden is unlikely to play with an injury and this could get really ugly fast.

Keep in mind the Ravens must win this game and will be very angry after last week’s terrible showing. If you can lay less than a touchdown in this game on the Ravens, a team that always plays well at home against a dysfunctional Browns team playing a trivia QB, you now have two very promising Teaser wagers to build a ticket upon.

Glenn Green

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