The NFL and NCAA have decided that Thursday nights provide a nice undercard to the weekend slate. The bosses of these leagues sell it to the fans by saying it allows us to see teams and matchups we wouldn’t normally see in our local TV markets. What the NFL and NCAA don’t seem to acknowledge is that the weekly lead ins are mostly one sided affairs and matchups the national market could care less about.
This Thursday, the NFL gives us Tennessee at Pittsburgh. The NCAA sees that matchup and raises Arizona State at Colorado, UTEP at Tulsa, Western Kentucky at Troy, and a ton of shots of hot cheerleaders. Aside from the latter, there isn't much of interest there.
Fortunately, there is gambling. It’s the one thing that can make any sporting event bearable. A way to really have some fun with this is the three team ten point teaser. For those of you unfamiliar, in a three team teaser, you pick 3 lines and get 10 extra points. The bet is 120 for 100, and you must win all three games to win your bet. For the purposes of a crap night of football, I'll play 30 for 25.
These always sound easy and seem like no brainers, but usually end up with a terrible loss on some crap garbage time TD or garbage time interception (that's my disclaimer). My Terrible Tease for this Thursday is:
Steelers +4.5 – The current line is Steelers -5.5. In a teaser you get 10, moving this line to Steelers +4.5. The Steelers haven’t been sharp, but the Titans have been worse. I get Tennessee is at home, but do you think they can steal a win, after a bad loss, and traveling (from Minnesota) on a short week, with an offense and defense that is a total mess? Me neither.
Steelers/Titans Under 52.5 – The current line 42.5. In a teaser it moves to 52.5. The Titans are struggling on offense, they’re struggling on defense, and they have no time to fix any of these things. I see the Steelers going up early and eating clock with Mendenhall and Redman getting a combined 30 plus touches.
Arizona St -12.5 – The current line 22.5. In a teaser it moves to 12.5. Colorado is just terrible. The Sun Devils aren’t known to be road warriors, but it doesn’t matter when you’re playing a team that loses at home to the likes of Sacramento State and Colorado State and takes a 28 point beat down from UCLA that included 3 TD drives of over 80 yards.