NFL: Let’s talk about teasers (Week 8).

6-point Teasers

Continuing the great work of u/blackjack_counter

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

The plays last week were:

Off-the-board spread 6 pt 10 pt
Houston +3 Loss
San Francisco +3 Win
LA Chargers -7.5 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 22-4 84.6%
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%

This Week

For the purposes of tracking the results and staying consistent, I will continue to use Bovada’s closing line.

At midweek, the unofficial list of Wong teasers this week was:

Atlanta +3

Detroit +1.5

Las Vegas +3

Denver +2

Chicago +3


Looking through sportsdatabase, since 2017:

Atlanta as an underdog between +1.5 to +3 points has been 6-2 as a 6pt teaser

Detroit as an underdog between +1.5 to +3 points has been 9-2 as a 6pt teaser

Las Vegas as an underdog between +1.5 to +3 points has been 8-4 as a 6pt teaser

Denver as an underdog between +1.5 to +3 points has been 6-0 as a 6pt teaser

Chicago as an underdog between +1.5 to +3 points has been 10-0 as a 6pt teaser

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.

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