The Ins and Outs of NFL Pleasers
by Nicholas Tolomeo - 10/01/2008
Have you ever scanned online sportsbooks looking at the lines for the upcoming NFL weekend and though a particular line was way far off? You probably said something like "Wow that is too easy" or "They'll cover that by 10." Well a pleaser lets you put your money where your mouth is. Besides looking like a typo of a teaser, a pleaser has other things in common with a teaser. They are most popular when done with six points and two teams. Unlike the teaser though, the pleaser makes things harder on the bettor.
If you see a line you really think has the capability of being blown out it would be smart to please it. In a pleaser a bettor gives six points rather than gets six points like a teaser. If you like the Steelers at -6 and the Raiders at +10 your pleaser bet would be the Steelers -12 and the Raiders +4. That may seem like a lot, losing a touchdown on each game but sportsbooks sweeten the pot to entice bettors. A six-point, two-team pleaser pays 6-to-1. The payout increases exponentially as teams are added. Three teams take the payout to 14-to-1 while four teams bring it to 35-to-1.
With the way the NFL season has gone early on, pleasers have had value through the first four weeks of the season. Teams have been easily covering point spreads and totals, for the most part, this season. The team that has covered the spread has done so by more than six points 66 percent (33-17-2) of the time so far this season. Out of the 60 totals this season, 62 percent (36-22-2) of the time, the number has been decided by over six points.
Just like teasers, pleasers can become smarter plays depending on the line. Bettors tend to avoid the pleaser if it pushes a total into the fifties as shootouts are not as common as they are in collegiate football. But so far this year after 60 games, a third of them have reached at least 50 points. When pleasing an under in a game with a low total be careful to avoid dropping a total under 30. Out of the 60 games this season only eight times have the teams failed to reach a combined 30 points. If a bettor would have pleased down the 19 totals this year of 37.5 or under, only four times would the bet have hit.
In terms of betting the side it's smart to avoid losing the "key numbers" in the NFL. When it comes to football betting the most important of the key numbers are 10, 7,6,4,3 and 1. If the team you are backing is favored by one or two points, it would not be smart to move the line to 7 or 8. You would lose nearly all the key numbers in that scenario. Jumping the zero with pleasers often is a smart decision. If your team is a 3-point underdog, do not hesitate turning them into 3-point favorites as you only lose one key number with the one. Another case when a pleaser will have less of a chance to hurt you is when the numbers start to climb a little higher. A 12-point underdog turned into a 6-point underdog will most likely not become an issue and the same works with six-point favorites becoming 12-point favorites.
As many bettors that have bit their nails and sat on the edge of their seats know, points are extremely valuable in the NFL. But if they are done right, pleasers can multiply winnings without having too much of an effect on the end result.