2020 NFL Week 13 Teaser: Combining Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots
Updated: Sep 8, 2021
Seven-point teaser (-140): Minnesota Vikings -3 and New England Patriots +8.5
Our power rankings work makes the Vikings about 10-11 points better than the Jaguars Sunday, after considering that only 250 friends and family will be present for the proceedings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Counter to this indication though, we observe historical context in favor of the Jags cover. We reconcile these disparate signals by including Minnesota in a seven-point teaser. In so doing, we position in for a Vikings win, which fits with the output of our primary handicapping system, while also acknowledging the difficulty of the big favorite covering from this spot, as highlighted by the past.
One support for Jacksonville owes to the historical account of bad teams taking to the road on an ATS cover streak. Teams tend to continue to beat the number from this position:
Travelling teams with cumulative season-to-date SU win rates of 25% or worse have proven strong bets off at least one consecutive ATS win. This system is 12-2 versus the number this season.
While this observation indeed casts a pall on the Vikings' ability to cover the big chalk today, this matchup does appear rather ideally-suited for consideration as a leg of a two-team, seven-point teaser. The juice on such a wager is generally -140, which implies about a 58% win rate is required to breakeven. Thus, each component of a two-team, seven-point teaser would need a probability of 76%, on average (76% x 76% = 58%) to breakeven (and, of course, higher to turn a profit).
Per data from Stathead.com, back to 1995, home teams favored by double-digits, like Minnesota Sunday, won by at least three points more than 82% of the time. Thus, history implies this game exceeds the winning percentage threshold necessary to qualify for teaser consideration.
Separately, our primary framework makes the Patriots about a field goal better than the Chargers in an empty SoFi Stadium this week, suggesting a cover of the listed spread is most likely. Adding a touchdown to New England's current line of +1.5 moves the number to +8.5, north of several important levels: 3, 6 and 7.
In addition to the favorable absolute indication from our power rankings work, the Pats constitute a solid candidate for the second leg of our teaser because underdogs taking less than a field goal from competition in their conference, but outside their division have also exceeded the required win rate (versus the teased line). Such teams managed to hold the differential within eight points 77% of the time, since 2003, according to data from Sports Insights.
Thus, based on history alone, the expected probability of Vikings -3 cashing in, in tandem with the forecasted odds for a Patriots +8.5 cover, implies value on a teaser featuring these two teams, to the tune of about 5%. When we factor in the information likely contained in the picks from our primary framework, our conviction in this bet increases.