Many bettors like to avoid teasers because they think that they are just that, a tease to lure you in and ultimately take your cash.
Well, while that may be true a high majority of the time, blindly playing two subsets generally referred to as Basic Strategy Teasers has been profitable for many years – even if played blindly, and if you can mix in some handicapping with these teams, you can increase the already impressive winning percentages even more.
Before we go on, this article will only focus on two-team, six-point football teasers. A teaser is a bet where you get to move the points on a point spread or total to your advantage a certain number of points, in this case six, and all the teams in your teaser must cover the favorably adjusted spreads for you to win.
For example, let us say that you lean toward Atlanta -10 and Denver +4½, but they are only borderline leans at those spreads. One option in this case would be to play a two-team six-point teaser where you move those lines in your favor to get Atlanta -4 and Denver +10½. If both teams cover those seemingly favorable lines, you win the bet.
Now how much do you win? It used to be that most books paid even money (+100) on two-team six pointers, and a vast majority of the time, that short payout is not enough compensation for moving the line six points, which does indeed make those teasers sucker bets in the long run.
However, the very important exceptions are the basic strategy teasers, as these have been blindly profitable for a long time. As more and more bettors have become aware of this, many books have adjusted and reduced the payouts for two-team six-pointers to -110. Now you will see that the teasers we are about to discuss are good enough to beat even the -110 odds, but there are still books who cater to U.S. clients.
Although we will only be discussing two-team teasers, take note the fair price for three-team six pointers is +180 and for four-team six-pointers, it is +300.So what are Basic Strategy Teasers? Well, the two biggest key numbers in the NFL are 3 and 7, and those are the most common winning margins by a very wide margin. Thus, a Basic Strategy Teaser is a teaser that crosses through both the 3 and the 7. Therefore, the two subsets were are referring to with six-pointers are teasing down favorites between -7½ and -8½, and teasing up underdogs between +1½ and +2½.
As you can see, those teasers allow you to get those favorites down to laying less that a field goal and the favorites up to getting more than a touchdown. So are these types of teasers really profitable when others are not?
Before answering this question, consider that at +100, you need to hit a teaser more than 50 percent off the time to make a profit, which means that you need to hit better than 70.7 percent with each individual leg of the teaser (.50½). At a price of -110, you need to win more than 52.3 percent of the teasers to make a profit, meaning you need to hit at 72.4 percent (.523 ½) with each individual leg.
Well, we ran the numbers going all the way back to 1985 and right through yesterday, which was Week 10 of 2011, for the two basic teaser groups, and we even broke those numbers down to home and away, and here are the results of teasing individual games by six points:
All NFL games teased six points – STARTING September 8, 1985
As you can see, no matter which split you look at, the percentage is good enough to turn a profit even at -110 odds! It appears that teasing home teams has been better in both groups, especially if your book pays out at -110, in which case the profit is teasing road teams is smaller.
However, small profit is still profit, so there is no good reason to simply leave the road teams on the table.