With football season right around the corner, bettors should be looking to take advantage of every possible wager on the board by understanding what to bet, when to bet and how to bet. Most of the time the key to making a profit will be taking a straight spread or moneyline wager. However, expect the upcoming NFL season to provide many instances where a well-timed teaser is the best option on the board. Teasers are a simple, enticing and sometimes dangerous bet. Let's take a closer look.
What is a teaser?
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A teaser is a wager that allows NFL bettors to move a spread in any direction. A bettor could reduce points from a favorite and move a -7.5 line down to a -1.5 line or add points to an underdog and move a +3.5 line up to a +9.5 line. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, there are a few "catches". The first stipulation is that a teaser is a combination wager like a parlay, and a bettor must typically tease two teams at minimum and up to eight teams (or more at certain sites). The other stipulations are that a line can be moved by six, 6.5 or seven points (for a standard teaser; some sites allow up to 20 points) and all legs of the bet must win in order for the teaser to pay out.
Are teasers a good bet?
Teasers can become a dangerous wager for new bettors because the idea of moving a spread in any direction creates the false sense of security with the thought that cushioning a line with extra points is a surefire way to win. The trouble with teasers is that every leg must win in order to get paid out, and a single blowout or one-point victory for the favorite will ruin the entire play. Teasers, in general, are not considered a great play by expert gamblers because they do not payout the correct odds, and the larger teaser you make-more points and more teams-the bigger "sucker bet" it becomes.
How to use a teaser?
Back in the late 1980s and most of the 90s, basic strategy teasers were the surefire way to beat the sportsbooks with teasers. The payouts were larger, and expert NFL bettors would use a system where they would take two-team, six-point teasers called basic strategy teasers in order to gain a mathematical edge on the lines. The strategy took favorites of 7.5, eight and 8.5 points and lowered them by six points or underdogs of 1.5, two or 2.5 points and increased them by six points. The bet was used to take advantage of the most common margin of victory in the NFL or what is usually referred to as key numbers. Nearly 25 perfect of all NFL games end with a final margin of three or seven points, and manipulating two-team teasers around that mark was profitable for many years.
Are basic strategy teasers still used?
The oddsmakers have adjusted the vig and lines since the basic strategy teaser craze. The bet isn't necessarily profitable nowadays, but a basic strategy teaser is still the best and most recommended way to use the wager. In fact, basic strategy teasers have been profitable over the last three seasons (according to the games we tracked), and if a smart bettor were to handicap games well and choose his spots wisely, the wager could be a great way to manipulate certain lines to make money on the NFL season.
The key is to not get caught up with other teasers and stick to two-team, six-point bets that fall within the guidelines of the wager. A 6.5-point spread is already anchored by the power of seven, so throwing it into a teaser would not be worth the risk of having to win two games. Basic strategy teasers can become a big part of your betting arsenal throughout the NFL season as long as you use them correctly.
Read more articles by George Monroy
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