Seven-point Teaser (-140): New York Giants +10.5 and Pittsburgh Steelers +1.5
We reviewed some basic math related to two-leg teasers last week and discovered that standard -140, two-leg, seven-point teasers require a 58.3% cover rate to breakeven. This, in turn, implies each individual leg needs to cash in 76.4% of the time, on average, to avoid loss.
Our first multi-outcome, enhanced-line wager of the regular season, which we detailed in that prior note, featuring the San Francisco 49ers and the LA Rams, cashed in. Feeling somewhat validated, we scoured the week 2 docket and ultimately identified another equally compelling setup for your consideration.
New York Giants +10.5 @ Washington Football Team
First up, we grade Thursday Night Football action this evening featuring the Giants at the Washington Football Team a PICK, given that Washington's starting QB, Ryan Fitzpatrick, has been disqualified due to injury. As such, we perceive meaningful value with the road team plus better than a field goal. Additionally we note ample historical context that likewise favors the road dogs. Accordingly, we are playing the Giants for the standalone cover.
So, while we do not expect to need the seven-point cushion to secure the cover for the first leg of our teaser, we are indeed comforted by the knowing that, back to the 2007-08 season, teams taking three-and-a-half from their division covered lines teased by seven 80% of the time. This hit rate translates to about a 10% historical return on investment for the hypothetical two-leg, teaser bettor with a 64% collection rate (80% win rate for each leg ^ 2 = 64%).
Worth mentioning, we are only aware of 12 instances over this span where teams took a hair over a field goal from their division on Thursdays. The ATS cover rate for teams in this position is an uninspiring 6-6, however, these squads are 10-2 when we factor in an extra touchdown.
Las Vegas Raiders @ Pittsburgh Steelers +1.5
Separately, after factoring in about a three-point edge for home field, we make the Pittsburgh Steelers 5 to 5.5 points better than the Las Vegas Raiders at Heinz Field this Sunday, essentially inline with the current spread. This fair value spread estimate implies about a 70% probability of the straight up win.
More impressively, supporting the idea of the home win (and cover) in Pittsburgh Sunday, we have found evidence of a momentum effect for better NFL teams.
Backing (ATS) undefeated favorites of three points of more that made prior post-season against teams that missed the last playoffs has delivered a 22% long-term return on investment, with only four years with a cover rate below 50%...
Most germane to our purpose though, teams in this position, like the Steelers, covered seven-point teased lines 81% of the time.