There is one very obvious two team teaser this week. Both teams are road favorites and favored to win their conference. I’m teasing the lines down for these two because they look like obvious outright winners.
New England Patriots -1 (-7) @ Tennessee Titans
The Patriots have won their last 6 games and are 5-1 against the spread in that time. They have been dominant since their slow 1-2 start. Still I feel nervous about them covering the spread. They will probably still cover but I feel more confident teasing the line down. The Titans are coming off a win on Monday night that snapped a 3 game losing streak. They looked really good in prime time but that was against the Cowboys. They have a much tougher test this week with the Patriots coming to town. The Titans also have the disadvantage of playing on a short week (this is another reason the NFL should have more east coast Sunday 4 o clock games). Fans get rowdier for those late afternoon games too, since they have more time to tailgate, which give the teams more of a home field advantage. The Titans will definitely be motivated as their coach, Mike Vrabel and 3 of their key players in Dion Lewis, Logan Ryan and Malcolm Butler were all former Patriots. Their motivation won’t be enough to stop Bill Belichick’s preparation and the Patriots should win this game fairly easily.
New Orleans Saints PK (-6) @ Cincinnati Bengals
AJ Green is not playing this game. What else needs to be said? I am not sure the Bengals have won a game without AJ Green since he was drafted. I just did the research and in the 10 games without AJ Green the Bengals are actually 4-5-1 in the regular season, which is better than I thought they would be. However when I dig into the numbers, the Bengals are 1-4 in these games when facing a team that ended the season with a winning record. Their one win in that category came against their AFC North division rival, Ravens. This week, the Bengals do not have the advantage of playing agains a losing team or a team in their division. This one is going to be a game they lose. The Saints probably cover this spread easily too but they are still a great teaser leg. I could go into how bad the Bengals are defensively and how they will have a hard time stopping the Saints offense. Or how the Bengals offense has faced the 2nd easiest schedule of opposing defenses and only ranks 12th in overall efficiency (15th in passing and 16th in rushing) despite some of the NFLs most talented players in AJ Green and Joe Mixon. Now they will be without Green who is arguably the best receiver in the NFL. Even if you argue that he is not the best, there is nobody that does more for their offense than AJ Green. The attention he draws opens up the running game and helps the other receivers get open. Expect none of that to happen while he misses this game. Saints win easy.