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Two teams to consider for your NFL Week 1 teaser card

The Action Network’s Michael Arinze shares his best bets for his Week 1 NFL teaser card

Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens throws against the Kansas City Chiefs at M&T Bank Stadium on September 28, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens throws against the Kansas City Chiefs at M&T Bank Stadium on September 28, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)Read moreRob Carr / Getty Images

The NFL season kicks off Thursday with a primetime game featuring the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams hosting the Buffalo Bills. But Sunday is when the real fun begins, with wall-to-wall action beginning at 1 p.m. EST and ending with another primetime game at 8:20 p.m. EST.

With so many games, it can be overwhelming for bettors. One strategy I enjoy deploying is identifying two games I like most early in the week and stringing them together as part of a two-team, six-point Wong teaser.

Over the years, our Action Network team produced some insightful material on Wong teasers. The basic premise involves adjusting a point spread up or down six points by crossing two key numbers—three and seven.

Using the above graph, it’s clear that if you can cover three and seven points in either direction, you’ll win a higher percentage of your wagers since games are more likely to fall within those margins.

With that said, I’ll now identify the two teams that fit our requirements for a Wong teaser.

Baltimore Ravens (-7) at New York Jets

Although Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (59.3 PFF grade) is pushing to play in Week 1, one has to wonder how prepared he’ll be after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to repair a meniscus tear he picked up in the Jets’ first preseason game.

Whether it’s Wilson or Jets backup Joe Flacco (62.1 PFF grade), I think New York faces an uphill task against a Baltimore team seeking redemption for how its season unraveled last year.

Even before their season started, the Ravens were decimated by injuries as cornerback Marcus Peters (64.4 PFF grade) and running back Gus Edwards (85.8 PFF grade) suffered ACL injuries on successive plays during the same practice session. Peters and Edwards joined Baltimore’s other running back, J.K. Dobbins (71.5 PFF grade), and linebacker L.J. Fort (69.4 PFF grade) on injured reserve with season-ending ACL injuries.

The Ravens also began the season without receivers Rashod Bateman (groin) and Miles Boykin (hamstring). Yet, somehow, Baltimore still managed to win five of its first six games and eight of its first 11.

But when quarterback Lamar Jackson suffered a bone bruise toward the latter part of the season, the Ravens lost their final six games to finish with an 8-9 record.

Barring injuries, I felt the Ravens were a playoff team last year, and that sentiment holds for this season as well.

Look for the Ravens to start fast this season, and according to our Action Labs database, they’re on a 5-1 run against the spread (ATS) in Week 1. Conversely, the Jets are 1-5 ATS during that span.

The favorite is also on a 4-0 ATS run in this series. Thus, the Baltimore Ravens are an attractive team to add to any teaser ticket on Sunday.

» READ MORE: Eagles now betting favorites to win NFC East

Pick

Ravens teased down six points from -7 to -1

San Francisco 49ers (-7) at Chicago Bears

This game is a rematch of Week 8 last year when the 49ers defeated the Bears, 33-22, at Soldier Field.

I’ve been impressed with Bears quarterback Justin Fields (64.2 PFF grade), but the roster around him leaves a lot to be desired. According to Pro Football Focus, Chicago ranked near the bottom in offseason grades with a C. The Bears will be without key defensive players like linebacker Khalil Mack (73.0 PFF grade), defensive linemen Akiem Hicks (72.3 PFF grade) and Bilal Nichols (61.3 PFF grade), and safety Tashaun Gipson Sr. (73.0 PFF grade).

Offensively, Fields won’t have wide receiver Allen Robinson II (66.9 PFF grade), who signed a three-year deal with the Rams. Robinson posted back-to-back 1,000 receiving yard seasons but started only 11 games last season due to a lingering hamstring injury.

My biggest concern for the Bears will be their offensive line, as they’ll have to overcome the loss of guard James Daniels (71.0 PFF grade) and tackle Jason Peters (77.5 PFF grade).

According to Sharp Football Analysis, the Bears have the worst offensive line heading into the season. Conversely, Sharp rankings have the 49ers tied with the Rams for the best defensive front seven in football.

This is a brutal spot for a Bears team on an 0-6 ATS run as home underdogs against a Niners team that has covered their past four games on the road.

Pick

49ers teased down six points from -7 to -1

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