NFL: Let’s talk about teasers (Week 13)

6-point Teasers

Continuing the great work of u/blackjack_counter

previous week 12 post

Our methodology for playing 6-point teasers is similar to Blackjack expert Stanford Wong’s strategy:

  • Tease the underdog when the line is +1½, +2, +2½, or +3

  • Tease the favorite when the line is -7½, -8, -8½, or -9.

It is not recommended to tease game totals

The reasoning behind this methodology is that games are frequently decided by a final margin of 3, 6, or 7. So we play teasers in such a manner that we gain these numbers in the teaser movement.

In the week 1 post, u/blackjack_counter did a mathematical dive into whether we should be playing games at exactly +3, whether home teams are more reliable than road teams, and whether the total of the game matters.


Sweetheart Teasers

10-point teasers are often called “sweetheart” teasers. Over the past three years, underdogs of +1½, +2, +2½ were 69-10 (87.3%). It’s not a very large sample size, but it might be worth keeping an eye on. After looking at a small sample size in 2017-2019, I’ve decided to track 10-point teasers according to the following methodology:

  • For 10-point teasers, tease the underdog when the line is +1½, +2, or +2½;

  • Do not take sweetheart teasers at +3;

  • Do not take sweetheart teasers on favorites.


Previous Results

There were 8 teams that fit our 6pt teaser criteria and they went 7-1.

There were 2 teams that fit our 10pt teaser criteria and they went 4-0.

The plays last week were:

Off-the-board spread 6 pt 10 pt
Detroit +3 Loss
Washington +2.5 Win Win
New England +1.5 Win Win
Cleveland -7.5 Win
Carolina +3 Win
Tennessee +3 Win
Miami -7.5 Win
Green Bay -8 Win

Based on the closing line at Bovada to determine which games qualify as Wong bets. Since u/blackjack_counter used Bovada’s closing lines, I will continue to use it. You can verify these lines at sbrodds.com.

Assuming a -120 payout for 2-team teasers, we must demonstrate better than 73.9% probability on each leg to show we have breakeven-or-better EV. For a -130 payout on 3-team sweethearts, that threshold is 82.7%. Including last week, the results since 2017 are listed below.

Teaser Year Spread Record Win %
6 pt 2017 +1½ thru +3 61-23 72.6%
6 pt 2018 +1½ thru +3 63-19 76.8%
6 pt 2019 +1½ thru +3 52-16 76.5%
6 pt 2020 +1½ thru +3 41-8 83.6%
6 pt 2017 -7½ thru -9 27-10 73.0%
6 pt 2018 -7½ thru -9 16-9 64.0%
6 pt 2019 -7½ thru -9 17-7 70.8%
6 pt 2020 -7½ thru -9 17-4 80.9%
10 pt 2017 +1½ thru +2½ 22-1 95.7%
10 pt 2018 +1½ thru +2½ 24-5 82.8%
10 pt 2019 +1½ thru +2½ 23-4 85.2%
10 pt 2020 +1½ thru +2½ 12-0 100.0%

Both the favorite and underdog teasers that match our criteria seem to have a very high win % compared to previous years. It will be interesting to see if that rate holds up by the end of the season. So far it has been a good year for these teasers.


This Week

For the purposes of tracking the results and staying consistent, I will continue to use Bovada’s closing line.

As of Thursday morning, the unofficial list of Wong teasers this week are:

Detroit +3

Las Vegas -8.5

Atlanta +3

Arizona +3

Green Bay -8.5

Pittsburgh -8.5

If you wanted to use Wong’s additional criteria of games with a total of 49 points or less, all the above games match that criteria.


Looking through sportsdatabase, since 2017:

Detroit as an underdog between +1.5 to +3 points have been 7-3 as a 6pt teaser and total < 49

Raiders as a favorite between -7.5 to -9 points have been 1-0 as a 6pt teaser and total < 49

Atlanta as an underdog between +1.5 to +3 points have been 5-1 as a 6pt teaser and total < 49

Arizona as an underdog between +1.5 to +3 points have been 8-3 as a 6pt teaser and total < 49

Packers as a favorite between -7.5 to -9 points have been 3-1 as a 6pt teaser and total < 49

Pittsburgh as a favorite between -7.5 to -9 points have been 3-0-1 as a 6pt teaser and total < 49

It is unclear on where the final lines on sportsdatabase come from. If you did a similar query for +1.5 to +3 point underdogs 6pt teasers, you would see sportsdatabase have them at 42-7, where Bovada has it at 41-8 for this season. That is a better win rate than Bovada’s final lines. I still think its useful to see historical stats on probably line averages across multiple sportsbooks. You could probably dig deeper for teams coming off wins or losses as well.


Regarding game totals < 49

The games with a total of 49 or less got brought up originally by u/blackjack_counter. In his week 1 post, he put:

Do totals matter? Another word of advice that some Wong bettors give is to only play games with low totals. The idea certainly makes sense: points are harder to come by in a low-scoring game, so the 6-point tease is worth more. But what does the data say about this in the last three years?

Bet Record
Underdogs +1½, +2, +2½, +3 176-58 75.2%
Total 49 or under (dog +1½ thru +3) 142-45 75.9%
Total 42 or under (dog +1½ thru +3) 44-14 75.9%
Bet Record
Favorites -7½, -8, -8½, -9 59-26 69.4%
Total 49 or under (fav -7½ thru -9) 48-19 71.6%
Total 42 or under (fav -7½ thru -9) 16-6 72.7%

I looked up the historical stats using sportsdatabase (which have final lines using an unknown source, u/blackjack_counter stats were from Bovada lines).

Since 2017, Underdogs +1.5 to +3 are 217-62-2 (77.8%)

Since 2017, Underdogs +1.5 to +3 and game total < 49 are 171-48-2 (78.1%)

Since 2017, Favorites -9 to -7.5 are 71-17-4 (80.7%)

Since 2017, Favorites -9 to -7.5 and game total < 49 are 60-15-3(80%)

If you wanted to look at only home favorites (Wong’s original criteria is home favorites):

Since 2017, Home Favorites -9 to -7.5 are 54-15-3 (78.3%)

Since 2017, Home Favorites -9 to -7.5 and game total < 49 are 45-14-2 (76.3%)

The game total doesn’t seem to make a major difference, but Stanford Wong’s original criteria is a game total < 49 points.


Round Robin of all matching games

There has been lots of questions and comments on how to bet these Wong teasers. I think there was some thought that doing a Round Robin of 2 or 3 team teasers of the matching games would be ideal. I am not convinced that makes sense.

For example, there are 6 matching in a certain week and only 1 team lost their tease. If you had done a round robin of 2 team teasers from those 6 matching games, you would have 15 possible teaser bets. In this scenario, if you had 5 out of 6 teams that won their tease, then you would be profitable. If only 4 out of 6 had won their tease, then you would have not broken even.

I think the recommendation is to pick and choose teams that match our criteria (and any other information you use to make an informed bet) and put those into a 2 or 3 team teaser bet.

Good Luck this week.

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