Basic Strategy Teasers: Best Week 1 NFL Betting Options
With one game of the NFL schedule already complete, its time for bettors to hunker down and get to work in order to maximize their profits this season. The opening game between Atlanta and Philadelphia was a dud of sorts, coming to life finally in the final quarter. And while the standard point-spread was teetering back and forth, the teaser option never wavered.
Watch this video on how to bet NFL teasers.
For starters, the most common and popular way of betting the NFL is via the point spread. Most bettors find much more joy in betting on a team to cover the spread instead of winning or losing the game outright. The next option the public loves are the parlay bets. They know the odds of winning are already slashed 10-fold for every game they add, but they continuously bet parlay after parlay in hopes of taking home a nice chunk of change on a $20 bet. Let me be the first one to tell you, parlays are for suckers and they are one of the main reasons why Las Vegas, and sportsbooks in particular, flourish.
What is a Basic Strategy Teaser?
For the sake of this weekly piece, I will be focusing in on the "teaser". A teaser bet is similar to a parlay bet in which it is a bet the requires winning two or more games in order to get a payoff. However, the difference between the two is the actual point spread. A straight parlay bet allows you to play only the point spread offered, while a teaser bet allows you to adjust that number for whichever team you favor. There are different types of teasers available, but the most common one is a six-point teaser. For example, if a game has the point spread set at -10 with the total at 51 for the game, your six-point teaser would allow you to tease that spread and get the favorite at -4 or the underdog at +16. This method is also applied to the total as well. Should you like the underdog and the "under", you can add six points to the total, and now you have a readjusted total of 57 with an underdog of +16.
Why Basic Strategy Teasers Work
Despite how easy a teaser bet may seem, they are an extremely tricky bet for those who don't know how to properly play them and who don't understand the value of key numbers in the NFL . Think about the scoring for a second. The most common margin of victory in the NFL is three points. Since 2002, games ending with a three-point margin occurred 15.67 percent of the time. The next most common number is seven. A seven-point margin of victory occurs 9.67 percent of the time.
With those key numbers in mind, I can now explain basic strategy teasers and why they work. Simply put, you must find two favorites where the point-spread is between -7 and -8.5 and tease them down using the six-point teaser to make their adjusted spread between -1 and -2.5. This likens your chances of winning as you have moved the spread under the two most common margins of victory for NFL football. On the contrary, if you like the underdog, make sure to find spreads that hover around the +1.5 - +2.5 range, which would give you an adjusted spread of +7.5 and +8.5, which also moves the spread through those two key numbers. This is the only teaser we recommend at Doc's Sports because we feel the numbers and percentages are finally in our favor. For example, if a line is reasonably accurate then you can assume about a 50 percent chance of either team covering. If the odds are -110, then you would need to win about 52.4 percent of your bets to break even. To win 52.4 percent of your teasers you need to be able to win the individual game approximately 72.5 percent of the time. Because games end up being decided by three and seven more than 22 percent of the time, teasing through these two numbers increases the chances of covering a spread from about 50 percent to 72 percent or more.
It's important to understand two key things about this type of bet. The first is that you need two teams in order to build out a six-point teaser card. The second is that it is vital you shop around in order to get the best possible line. For example, some books could have Pittsburgh -9 over Cleveland, while some have them at 8.5. This matters since a three-point Steeler win could be a win instead of a push.
Over the next several months, I will be offering you a "Best Bet" six-point teaser as well as any alternative options to consider playing.
Best Six-Point Teaser for Week 1. Lines courtesy of Bovada
Baltimore -1.5 & Green Bay -1.5 (-120)
Risk: $100 to win $83.33
Since it's Week 1, let me take a second to explain these spreads. Both Baltimore and Green Bay are currently laying 7.5 points at home to Buffalo and Chicago, respectively. By combing these two teams and utilizing a six-point teaser, the end result would be a ticket that looks like the above.
But enough about logistics, let's get down to the football business.
As of writing this, the Ravens and Packers are two of the biggest favorites on the boards. Both teams, more so the Packers, will be heavily used in survivor pools , and I can't fault anyone for going with one or the other.
From a betting perspective, the Ravens are in a spot where they should absolutely thrash the Bills. Every report I've seen out of the Ravens camp is that Joe Flacco looks solid and the addition of Lamar Jackson has really lit a fire under his ass. They have weapons to work with on offense, but it is their defense that should really flourish in this one. The Bills offense is anemic at best. They are starting Nathan Peterman at quarterback, have a 30-year-old, LeSean McCoy, in the backfield, they lost three of their starting linemen from last year, and their receiving corps is the shell of Kelvin Benjamin and a bunch of mid-level players. Against a Baltimore defense that ranked 12th last year in total defense, and one that figures to be much improved this year, we don't see how the Bills will be able to win this game. Which is why the six-point teaser is perfect for this situation. Despite the mismatch, Baltimore is going to have to prove to me that they are capable of covering big spreads before I put my money on them in that situation. Getting the outright win in this game against the Bills is highly likely, and we expect them to at least win by two points.
In the second-game of this two-team, six-point teaser, I can't see the Packers losing on Sunday Night Football in their home opener. Look, I understand the hype the Bears are getting because of the Khalil Mack signing and because of the new OC and what is supposed to be a good offense this year, but I don't see how they go into Lambeau and come out with a victory. They may keep it close - which is why I'm hesitant to lay the almost eight points. However, at the end of the day, the Packers just have too much talent, including that guy, umm… Aaron Rodgers? Heard of him? Rodgers will do enough to get the Packers off on a winning note. They have a fully healthy receiving corps and a healthy tight-end in Jimmy Graham, who I believe is going to have a monster year, and a running back in Jamaal Williams who will be eager to show what he can do and keep the starting job long term. It's a much better idea to throw the Packers in the six-point teaser than take them on the money line at -320.
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