After a short break, Teaser Tuesday is back and we couldn’t have chosen a better, more wacky, week to skip! As the weeks go on, lines get even more accurate. With only three plays this week, they need to be super sharp so I’ve narrowed it down to the highest percentage plays I could find.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (-6.5) @ ATLANTA FALCONS
This Super Bowl rematch looks a little different. 28-3 seems like ancient history back when Tom Brady was passing to Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola and MVP frontrunner Matt Ryan had Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman, and Austin Hooper. Now, however, the Falcons find themselves in even more of a mismatch. Following an embarrassing defeat to the Dallas Cowboys, they face a Patriots team that made easy work of the Cleveland Browns and rank 6th in DVOA. A run game that looked electric under rookie Rhamondre Stevenson now faces a Falcons defense that ranks 7th in rushing EPA. A challenge no doubt but they make up for that by being 27th against the pass. Mac Jones is shaping up to be ROTY and plays like he’s been in the league for years. A road matchup on Thursday is something to consider, but that’s why we’re moving this line down. The mismatch and context surrounding the game screams a bounce back for Atlanta, so I’d feel much more comfortable taking the Patriots to just secure the win.
Tease Patriots 6 Points to -0.5
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (+1.5) @ PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
I’ve been a big Jalen Hurts fan, even last season when people were suggesting that the Eagles replace him. That’s clearly not going to happen anytime soon, and his connection with rookie WR DeVonta Smith is heating up. The team grabbed a win against the Broncos with a score that looks worse than it was because Teddy Bridgewater didn’t want to make a tackle. Now they play a Saints team that had a chance to beat the Titans with backup QB Trevor Siemian. The Eagles stats are slightly inflated by beating up on some subpar teams but you can’t deny their success as they’re 10th in offensive EPA/Play, and 3rd when you filter out garbage time. I have the Eagles -1.5 as an official pick but I like teasing the Saints line. It’s not a hedge or a middle because you have an extra leg to worry about, but it’s not far off. Alvin Kamara will return to the lineup, a much needed boost but the team is still elite on defense which will always keep them in games. Taking out garbage time, they’re 2nd in EPA against the run (a particular strong suit for the Eagles) and 4th overall on defense. The Eagles are no slouches and the league is taking notice, but there’s little reason to expect a convincing win over a TD by them, if they win at all.
Tease Saints 6 Points to +7.5
DALLAS COWBOYS (+2.5) @ KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
This could be scary. The point total for this game is massive, already at 55.5. The Chiefs roared back into the division lead with a convincing win over the Raiders in their own stadium, and now host the Dallas Cowboys who also come off an impressive victory. The only time the Cowboys lost a game by more than 8 points was their shocking loss to the Broncos two weeks ago, but they obviously have not played a player like Patrick Mahomes yet. This stout team ranks 3rd in DVOA, 4th in defensive EPA/Play, and 6th in offensive EPA/Play. Every game against a middling team will stand out as a mismatch, but the sharps seem to favor Kansas City this time. The Chiefs offense is 2nd in EPA/Play but on the defensive side they rank 29th. Over the past three weeks, though, they’re 10th in that stat. Maybe playing the Giants, Raiders, and the Jordan Love Packers helps but things are really looking up. Many expected a bounceback for this team and it’s happening, but the Cowboys have shown they can pile on the pressure just as well with their plentiful offensive weapons. They’re cementing themselves as a top NFC contender and should keep this within a TD, as they usually do.
Tease Cowboys 6 Points to +8.5