NFL betting: Backing two ugly underdogs for a Week 2 NFL teaser

After hitting the Week 1 teaser using the Jaguars and Vikings as underdogs, I’m back this week to lay out some NFL Week 2 teaser-leg options. The second week of football is about taming the reactions to what we saw in the first week. Let’s not get too excited about team A’s offense if it was against an expected poor defense. Let’s not undervalue team B if the competition was stiff, making it a poor matchup from the start.

Though difficult to do, it’s important in these early weeks of the football season for both college and NFL to keep emotions in check and feelings on any team neutral. In betting, remain as objective as possible because after all, it is only a tiny sample size of one.

As a reminder, here are some general guidelines to follow if you are wagering on NFL teasers to keep risk in check.

  • Stick to six-point teasers (you need to win more consistently to offset the higher price).

  • Keep it to a two-team teaser (the more pieces you add, the greater the risk).

  • Target lower-totaled games (the more points expected, the more variance involved).

  • Tease through the key numbers of three and seven (this approach is at the heart of all proven winning strategies).

Week 2 teaser-leg options (odds via BetMGM)

Washington Commanders +7.5 at Detroit Lions, 48.5

New Orleans Saints +8.5 vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 44

Carolina Panthers +8 at New York Giants, 43.5

Pittsburgh Steelers +8 vs New England Patriots, 40.5

Cincinnati Bengals -1.5 at Dallas Cowboys, 41.5

Minnesota Vikings +8 at Philadelphia Eagles, 50.5

Week 2 NFL teaser: Commanders +8.5 and Steelers +8

Last week wasn’t a pretty teaser backing some risky underdogs and this week is no different. For the Week 1 teaser options, I looked straight to the lowest game totals. This week, I’m using a mix of both the lowest game total available with Pittsburgh and mixing it with one of the higher totals in Washington.

Why not use the Bengals? That Cincinnati offensive line is still garbage and Dallas LB Micah Parsons is still a threat. I never like backing a favorite on a teaser that “just needs to win” on a spread that has seen some mega line movement because of player injury.

I don’t trust the Panthers against Saquon Barkley knowing very well that the defense is highly susceptible, which is why I was high on the Browns last week. The Vikings are risky because of the high point total, and although the Saints are definitely in play because of Tom Brady’s poor history against this defense, I’m choosing to back both Washington and the Steelers.

Washington Commanders (+7.5) at Detroit Lions

Commanders QB Carson Wentz looked like the typical Wentz we all know, throwing for two interceptions. Other than that, however, he had a pretty good game throwing for 66% completion, four passing touchdowns and over 300 yards. Yes, it was against the Jaguars but the last time the Lions were favored in a game was way back in Week 11 of the 2020 season. Are the Lions improved? Yes. Are the Lions good at covering the spread? Yes. Since the 2021 season, Detroit is 12-6 ATS as an underdog and 2-2 ATS as a favorite since 2020.

The Lions defense gave up 216 rushing yards to the Eagles and 455 total yards of offense. This could be a really great game for Washington RB Antonio Gibson, who only rushed for 58 yards last week but had a couple of carries over the 10-yard mark. Chase Young may be out for the Commanders but Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen can most certainly still disrupt Jared Goff, who was 30th last season in pressured completion percentage.

Pittsburgh Steelers (+8) at home vs. New England Patriots

I don’t believe in QB Mitchell Trubisky but I do believe in Mike Tomlin at home. Pittsburgh is 3-0 ATS as a home underdog since the 2020 season. Even without T.J. Watt, this team can still hold steady as it showed in two games without him last year. The Steelers lost 24-10 in Week 3 against the Bengals. Is Mac Jones Joe Burrow? No. The Steelers then lost to the Chargers 41-37. Again I ask, is Mac Jones Justin Herbert? No. Plus, Jones was on the injury report with a back ailment so that could potentially affect his game play. This is the second-lowest game total on the board this week. I trust Tomlin. I trust Pittsburgh at home. I trust Tomlin and Pittsburgh at home as an underdog.