NFL Teasers Betting: Identify Key Numbers - Prediction Machine

NFL Teasers Betting: Identify Key Numbers

Betting NFL Teasers

Betting NFL Teasers

What Is A Teaser?

A teaser requires bettors to choose a minimum of two teams and then choose how many points they want the teaser to be. In football, the most common teaser is 6-points. The 6.5, 7 and 10 point teasers are also popular. Other teaser options exist (5 and 12 for instance) but are less common.

These points are added to point spreads or totals to manipulate the lines in a way that favors the bettor. For instance if the Chiefs are favored by -10 over the Chargers and the total is set at 53, a bettor can “tease” the point spread so the Chiefs are now -4 or the Chargers are +16. A bettor could make the new total over 47 or under 59. 

Key Numbers

When teasing bets, it’s important to be aware of “key numbers,” which are numbers that final scores most commonly land on. For instance, in football the most important key numbers are 3 and 7 because those are the most common margin of victories with about 25% of games being decided either exactly 3 points or exactly 7 points. There are also total key numbers for totals (40, 41, 43, 44, 47, 51 for instance) and if you want to nerd out on the internet, you can find the exact percentage of time that every total has hit in a particular season.

The reason why key numbers are so important with teasers is that you don’t want to waste your points teasing through outcomes that history tells us are less likely to hit. 

Stanford-Wong Teaser

A book written by a man named John Ferguson under the pseudonym “Stanford Wong” popularized a particular type of NFL teaser bet now known as the “Stanford-Wong teaser.”

Ferguson argued based on hard data that a particular kind of 2-team, 6-point teaser could be profitable if bettors teased through certain key numbers in certain situations. He was right and bettors became so successful that casinos had to change their payout structures.

A teaser is branded a “Stanford-Wong” teaser when there is a low total (under 49) and both teams are home teams (or road underdogs) and teased through both the key numbers of 3 and 7. For instance going from +1.5 to +7.5 or from -8 down to -2.

Using 2023 Week 1 betting lines, Cleveland +8.5 and Jets +7.5 fit this mold.

Teaser Prices Vary Drastically

Partially because of the success of Ferguson’s book, sportsbooks have decreased their payouts over the years. The changes in the betting landscape helped create a wide disparity in what each sportsbook pays on these bets.

The often used phrase “always shop around” is never more true than when betting teasers. Using Las Vegas as a case study, a two-team 6-point teaser pays -120 at Caesars, -125 at Circa, -130 at MGM and -140 at Westgate. A 7-point teaser at Circa and MGM pays the same amount (-150) as a 6.5-point teaser at Westgate.

Keep in mind, that when shopping around for the best teaser price, there’s more to consider than just the payout. It’s crucial to read the house rules to know what happens if a two-team teaser has one leg that’s a push. For instance at Westgate and Caesars, any push on a 2-team card is an automatic refund regardless of how the second leg does. While at Circa, a push-win combo initiates a refund, while a push-loss combo causes the wager to lose. Imagine how many people have thrown away tickets over the years thinking they were losing tickets, when in actuality they were entitled to a refund.

Teaser Rules To Follow

In Black Jack, you’re allowed to hit on 18 and theoretically you can still win doing so even though it’s frowned upon. Just like with Black Jack, there are some general “rules” bettors usually follow to keep themselves out of trouble. 

For instance: 

*Don’t tease through zero. For instance if the 49ers are -2.5 vs. the Steelers, this rule would suggest you don’t “go through zero” and make the 49ers +3.5. Instead, teasing the Steelers up to +8.5 might be recommended.

*Don’t tease games with high totals. High totals means increased scoring volatility, so an underdog who is +14 is more likely to cover in a game with 38 points than in a game with 55 points scored. College football generally has a lot more scoring volatility which is why teasing in the NFL is generally a better idea than college football.

*Don’t tease too many teams together. When you’re building your teasers it can be easy to make assumptions, like “Of course the Ravens are going to win by more than 2.5 points, might as well add them in there too.” Like you may have noticed with building parlays, stuffing seemingly sure things into your bet can often torpedo your wager.