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Yesterday we discussed my bad luck. It was great. If you missed out, read Why Teaser Bets Aren’t All Bad. Or perhaps you should read the article because it contains two of the seven factors that you should consider before placing a teaser bet. Yep, that’s why you should read it. Let’s resume…

5. Never tease basketball games

We’ll knock out the one tip that doesn’t deal with our Conference Championship Sunday scenario presented in yesterday’s blog. It’s straightforward. Since most sportsbooks only offer a 4-point teaser on basketball games, there is no value in manipulating the line or total. Small sample size aside, there were five games in the NBA last night, and only one score fell within 4 points of the initial spread (Denver was the favorite at -3.5; they beat Golden State 134-131 in OT). Stay clear of basketball teasers.

4. Don’t tease more than you have to, or just because

Since there’s only two NFL games this weekend, we don’t need to worry about this one. However, it’s essential that you tease games that fit these general guidelines. You’re better off teasing two games that you’re confident in and getting a -143 payout rather than adding two games you’re unsure of to achieve a “plus money” return. You need to win each leg of your 7-point teasers 75.1{e5a2c78333cd2b046c434d71e2429f0c16f5e72c19badef2b307d6f8033092f8} of the time in order to break even; the percentage goes down to 72.3{e5a2c78333cd2b046c434d71e2429f0c16f5e72c19badef2b307d6f8033092f8} for 6-point teasers. Every leg of your ticket is equally important, so don’t throw one extra game on your wager just to improve the payout.

3. Teasing across 0 is a big no-no

If there was a book titled “Football Teasers 101”, this would be in the first chapter. Do not tease a football game across 0, making the favorite a slight underdog. If the 49ers were only a 4-point favorite this weekend, you wouldn’t tease them to a +2 or +3. The reason? Not only do the Niners have a slim chance of covering that +2 or +3 if they lose the game outright, but you’re wasting a number in that teaser: 0. Playoff games don’t end in ties, so you’d be paying a premium for an outcome that isn’t even possible. Yes, ties happen during the regular season. However, there have been a total of eight ties in the last ten years of NFL action.

2. Don’t tease road favorites of more than a TD

Again, we don’t need to take this tip into consideration as the Chiefs and 49ers both sit at 7.5-point favorites. Throughout the season, you will find instances where you can tease a road favorite across key numbers down to a +2.5 or better. On paper, that doesn’t seem bad. The numbers suggest otherwise. 20+ years of data on teasing road favorites shows that you’ll hit, on average, 67{e5a2c78333cd2b046c434d71e2429f0c16f5e72c19badef2b307d6f8033092f8} of these bets (referring to just that leg of the bet, not the overall teaser). That’s more than 5{e5a2c78333cd2b046c434d71e2429f0c16f5e72c19badef2b307d6f8033092f8} below our break-even percentage of 73.7{e5a2c78333cd2b046c434d71e2429f0c16f5e72c19badef2b307d6f8033092f8} (averaging 72.3{e5a2c78333cd2b046c434d71e2429f0c16f5e72c19badef2b307d6f8033092f8} and 75.1{e5a2c78333cd2b046c434d71e2429f0c16f5e72c19badef2b307d6f8033092f8}, the respective break-even percentages for 6- and 7-point teasers).

1. The lower the total, the better the teaser 

(especially teasing home underdogs from +2.5 or below up to a +7.5 or higher)

Think of it this way: the total is the oddsmakers’ rough projection (influenced by public money) on how many points will be scored in a game. A total of 38 suggests a tight contest that will likely come down to the final few possessions, the perfect situation for a teaser if you can cross the key numbers of 3 and 7. Whereas games with projections in the 50s have a higher variance in final scores, games in the low 40s or high to mid-30s often find themselves within a touchdown range. The Kansas City/Tennessee total sits at 53; Green Bay and San Fran’s total is 46.5. This tip isn’t much of a factor in the bet we’re going to make, but it can come in handy when you’re looking for an extra edge.

 

Let’s double down on all of this info by placing a two-team teaser bet on the Chiefs (-7, -7.5 in some places) and 49ers (also -7.5). We’ll play a 6-point teaser, taking the spreads down to -1 for Kansas City and -1.5 for San Francisco. This pays out at -143.