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NFL/NCAAF: Mike Kern’s Weekend Teasers

Moving the line so the win is the thing

Mike Kern

Mike Kern

Yo, it’s teaser time again. Because you want someone on that wall. So why not a midget who if nothing else has good intentions.

You know how I feel about teasers. I look to move the spread so teams pretty much only have to win the game, instead of worrying about covering the spread. And it can get you into trouble, because there are outright upsets. But last week I gave out a three-team winner, if you can believe that. Call it a Festivus Miracle. Just don’t forget that it almost lost. The Colts nearly didn’t beat the Giants at home, and the Titans almost didn’t beat the Redskins at home. Still, you have to take your victories whenever and however you get them. The bottom line is the only thing that matters.

This week, I don’t think the Eagles are going to lose in Washington. Doesn’t mean they can’t. And I’m not sure they’re going to cover the seven. But Nick Foles is doing his magic, again, and that seems to be enough reason to believe. Of course that might not make the Bears beat the Vikings in Minnesota, but that’s a whole other storyline.

At this point in the journey I’m looking for teams that might not want to still be playing, and teams that want to keep playing more. Try to avoid that dreaded middle ground, where you could make a case either way. I’m not sure Dallas wants to be in New York, with nothing to lose or gain, and the Giants should be able to win in what might be Eli Manning’s last game with the only team he’s played for. So you could pair that way. Or you could take the Rams at home against the 49ers, also giving around a touchdown. Or you could take all three together or in different combinations. If you take a three-teamer you could also look at Houston at home against Jacksonville, laying 10. To get the Texans into a “just win” scenario you’d need to move the spread by nine points. Same thing with the Saints, but they’ll be playing without Drew Brees. So there is that. New England at home against the Jets and Seattle at home versus the Cardinals are also enticing, but they’re both listed at 14 and that might be a little too steep just in case it turns into something even semi-close. The idea is not to lose if your team somehow only wins by three. You want to put them in position where they simply have to win. That being said, simply can be a relative term.

Or else they wouldn’t be called teasers.

There’s also a team I like in the colleges, now that all the crummy bowls are mostly over. I think Ohio State is going to send Urban Meyer out on top against Washington, which is getting six, in the Rose Bowl. It doesn’t always work that way, and this isn’t his best Buckeye team, but he’s won like 99 percent of his games and that’s hard to ignore. Washington has a nice defense, and a good coach, but I don’t think they were all that in a less-than-great Pac-12. Maybe the Eagles and Ohio State is the way to go. Could make a happy start to the New Year.

There’s two other college games that interest me. I’m not sure how excited Georgia, which is playoff worthy, is to be facing Texas in the Sugar Bowl, which is usually a pro-SEC kind of setting. Just saying. Texas ain’t great, but it’s not bad. And it might treat this like something important. Heck you could even tease the Longhorns up to 18. I guess I’m addicted. The other possibility is LSU-Central Florida in the Fiesta. I know, I might be a year too late with UCF. But eight points is eight points. LSU is good, but doesn’t always score a lot. UCF does, even if its schedule wasn’t much. You could always tease the Knights up to 15, in a pairing with Texas. And just root for a pair of relatively tight games, which they could be. Or, of course, not.

On paper, teasers sound almost too easy. They’re not. No bet is, regardless of whatever someone might tell you. But I think the different “strategy” involved is, well, fun. As long as you don’t get too carried away. But I could say that about anything where you’re putting your cash on the line. Hoping that some ref’s flag doesn’t get you, or that enough 20-year-olds are in the right mood that day.

Then again, it’s why we love this kind of stuff. Sometimes the flag gets thrown in your favor. You just never know for sure, even when you think you have it all figured out. May the force be as kind as possible. Because somebody else bet the other side.

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