NFL: Let’s talk about teasers (Week 9)

6-point Teasers

Continuing the great work of u/blackjack_counter

previous week 8 post

previous week 8 Sunday update 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.

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.


Sweetheard 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 not many games that ended up fitting the criteria we’ve been using (Bovada closing lines and the Wong teaser criteria mentioned above). The games that did fit our criteria went 2-0 and would have been a win in a teaser though.

The plays last week were:

Off-the-board spread 6 pt 10 pt
Atlanta +1.5 Win Win
Denver +3 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 24-4 85.7%
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 13-4 76.5%
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 5-0 100.0%

The +1.5 thru +3 underdog teaser seems very high compared to previous years. It will be interesting to see if that rate holds up by the end of the season.


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:

Green Bay -7.5 (Total 48.5 points) (away game)

Buffalo +3

Indianapolis +2.5 (Total 47 points)

NY Giants +2.5 (Total 43.5 points)

New England -7.5 (Total 41 points) (away game)

If you wanted to use Wong’s additional criteria of games with a total of 49 points or less, you would have 4 matching games.


Looking through sportsdatabase, since 2017:

Green Bay as a favorite between -7.5 to -9 points has been 3-1 as a 6pt teaser and a game total < 49 points

Buffalo as an underdog between +1.5 to +3 points has been 7-1 as a 6pt teaser

Indianapolis as an underdog between +1.5 to +3 points has been 2-1 as a 6pt teaser and a game total < 49 points

NY Giants as an underdog between +1.5 to +3 points has been 2-4 as a 6pt teaser and a game total < 49 points

New England as a favorite between -7.5 to -9 points has been 4-2 as a 6pt teaser and a game total < 49 points

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 24-3 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 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 201-58-2 (77.6%)

Since 2017, Underdogs +1.5 to +3 and game total < 49 are 164-45-2 (78.5%)

Since 2017, Favorites -9 to -7.5 are 69-17-4 (80.2%)

Since 2017, Favorites -9 to -7.5 and game total < 49 are 58-15-3(79.5%)

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 53-15-3 (77.9%)

Since 2017, Home Favorites -9 to -7.5 and game total < 49 are 44-14-2 (75.9%)

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

Good Luck this week.

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