NFL Week 2 Picks: Saints, Steelers Lead Four-Team Teaser Play

There are some tempting teaser numbers on the board this week


September 16

“Thursday Night Football” brought the excitement we were hoping for and kicked off NFL Week 2 just right. Let’s take a look at four different underdogs I like this week that fit well in a six-point teaser.

The idea with a teaser is you want to get through as many key numbers as you can. For example, a team with an original line of +2 is a good spot to tease because you’re getting them at +8, which gets you through key numbers. The main key numbers are three (a field goal) and seven (a touchdown). However, six has been considered a key number the last few seasons since the extra-point rule change. Also, you never want to tease through zero. NFL games rarely end in ties so you’re technically paying for the “0” which is considered a waste. For example, you wouldn’t want to tease a 2-point favorite because you are only moving through one key number (three), versus taking the 2-point dog and getting through multiple key numbers.

If you pair two teams in a teaser at DraftKings Sportsbook, you get a line of -120 (risk $120 to win $100). If you want plus money, you can pair three teams for a payout of +160 (risking $100 wins you $160). Shopping around for the best number is important here — some sportsbooks will offer two-team teasers juiced at -140, while others offer -110 or -120.

New Orleans Saints (+2.5) teased to (+8.5) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I like the Saints to win this game outright, but they’re in a great teaser spot as we go through the key numbers of three and seven to get them up over a touchdown. Not only are they entering Sunday with a 4-0 record against Tom Brady and friends, but the Bucs are also not at full strength. On Thursday, top Tampa Bay receiver Mike Evans was downgraded to a non-participant after being limited Wednesday. Julio Jones didn’t practice Thursday, nor did left tackle Donovan Smith, and Chris Godwin was ruled out Friday. The list doesn’t stop there. Running back Leonard Fournette (hamstring), receiver Russell Gage (hamstring), cornerback Zyon McCollum (hamstring), receiver Breshad Perriman (knee), and right tackle Tristan Wirfs (abdomen) were all limited on Thursday. On top of the injuries, Brady missed practice Wednesday (non-injury related) which doesn’t help. Outside of Alvin Kamara (ribs), the Saints are full strength, and ready to put the pressure back on Brady and his depleted roster. It’s also important to remember Brady faced a mixture of Jameis Winston, Trevor Siemian and Taysom Hill last season at QB, and still couldn’t come close to beating New Orleans. The Saints won each game over the last two seasons by at least one touchdown, at an average of over 16 points per game. Brady is now expected to face a healthy Winston and his wealth of offensive weapons and that stingy Saints defense. The Saints should win this game, but I’ll take the +8.5.

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Minnesota Vikings (+2) teased to (+8) at Philadelphia Eagles
I’m not necessarily surprised the Eagles are favorites here, but I love the value with the Vikings on Monday night. Week 1 was a great showing from Kirk Cousins and the squad against a Green Bay team that seemed to have no answers in a 23-7 Minnesota win. Cousins threw for 277 yards with two touchdowns, while the defense held Aaron Rodgers to 195 passing yards, no touchdowns and one pick.

The Eagles dominated most of their Week 1 matchup but allowed Detroit to come back in the fourth quarter. Philadelphia ended up holding on for a narrow 38-35 win. If they give the Vikings an opportunity like that Monday night, they’re in trouble. I like the Vikings to keep this one close and cover, getting more than a touchdown before kickoff.

Pittsburgh Steelers (+2) teased to (+8) vs. New England Patriots
I am a little surprised bookmakers made the Patriots road favorites after their Week 1 showing. The defense did nothing special and the offense was able to muster just one touchdown against a Dolphins defense that is solid but didn’t present the challenge Pittsburgh will. Even without TJ Watt, Mike Tomlin’s squad will surely disrupt this still-developing New England offense. Pittsburgh gave the Bengals all sorts of trouble, with five takeaways and seven sacks against Joe Burrow last week. We are seeing one of the lowest totals on the board for a reason, with neither offense knowing its identity yet. We saw more of Chase Claypool on the ground than in the air, and tight end Pat Freiermuth led the team in receiving yards, while Najee Harris only picked up 23 rushing yards. However, the offensive weapons are there and I think Week 1 was just a warmup. I love getting over a touchdown with a coach in Tomlin who is 14-4-1 against the spread as a home underdog in his career and likely feels shortchanged for not being favored at home after the impressive Week 1 showing from his team.

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Seattle Seahawks (+10) teased to (+16) at San Francisco 49ers
Geno Smith quieted the doubters in Week 1 against Russell Wilson and the Broncos with a 17-16 win. Smith completed 23 of 28 attempts for 195 yards and two touchdowns. He looked comfortable from the first snap and finished the game with zero interceptions and 14 yards rushing yards on six carries. The offense was not overly impressive, racking up just 253 total yards, but the defense did its part to keep the Broncos from scoring, as well. The Seahawks sacked Wilson twice and got eight quarterback hits while compiling six tackles for loss.

We didn’t get the best Week 1 sample from the 49ers with wet field conditions in Chicago, but San Francisco was anything but impressive in the 19-10 loss. Trey Lance completed less than 50% of his passes with 164 yards, zero touchdowns and an interception. The defense committed six defensive penalties, three of them ending in Bears touchdown drives. San Francisco is supposed to have one of the best defenses in football and I do believe there is potential with Lance under center. However, I just don’t see the Niners having everything click on both sides of the ball and winning by more than two touchdowns here in Week 2 against a team that shocked the football world less than a week ago.

Thumbnail photo via Stephen Lew/USA TODAY Sports Images

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