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NFL Football Teasers

NFL Football Betting: The Problem with Teasers

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper,

It is understandable why teasers have so much appeal. The betting man is allowed to move the point spread in his favor by a pre-determined amount of points. It gives the bettor a perceived comfort zone. Not only does he pick a side that he likes, but being able to move the line to his benefit gives him a warm feeling as he sits down to watch the games. This leaves an astute bettor wondering... "Are teasers a sucker bet?"

When betting a teaser, a few things work on your mind. You might also chalk up in your favor the fact that professional handicappers are seemingly almost always pretty close with the spreads. We think of all the times a straight-up bet came down to the last play or when a half-point difference determined the outcome of a bet. It all goes toward making a teaser seem like a safe bet.

You might think the amount of points being afforded you in a teaser will give you enough room to work with in the event that your pick was wrong in a straight-up sense, just against the regular spread. With a teaser, you get that warm and comfy feeling. Sure, you have to hit multiple picks without losing one to win a teaser, but when you bet them, you feel like it’s a reenforced bet. Your castle is protected first by your scary-good handicapping. But throw 6-10 points in your favor--and now you have a moat that circles your betting fortress. If your pick was not that great, the teaser buffer will bail you out. Right?


Well, not always. In fact, more often than not--it will not work. It is true that the cappers who set the lines are ridiculously good at it--the best in the biz. When betting sides or totals throughout your betting life, you will remark to yourself constantly how tough they are, how a spread came down to a point or how a total ended up almost exactly where they said it would.

But don’t forget how sometimes the number isn’t even close. 7-point underdogs win by 21 points all the time in this game. And it’s not such an aberration when it occurs. In fact, take a look at the scores on the next football weekend. While many scores will somewhat be in line with the spreads, there will be many games where the spread turned out to be a non-issue, where they were off by 20-30 points or even more sometimes.

If you are on the right side of a spread that was way off, that’s good. But on a teaser, you are getting only partial credit for it. It can be depressing to pick a team that makes a joke of the point-spread, only to have it teased where you didn’t need the extra points anyway. And of course, if you are on the wrong side of a game where the spread became a laughingstock, then your whole teaser goes down the drain.

If you’re making 2-team teasers, that’s one thing. You can still have your number get blown up, but when teasing 3 or more teams, you’re putting yourself in dangerous territory. The chances are high that one or more of those games will not go anything according to script. We’re talking way beyond any amount of points afforded you on a teaser. The teaser makes you think that you can win even if your pick was a little off in a traditional sense of just betting ATS. The problem is that a lot of times when you’re wrong, you’re not just a little wrong--you’re way off!

That’s how books make money with teasers--by pitting reality against your perception of reality. The book knows that if you are picking a group of games, the chances are pretty good that you will completely miss the boat on at least one of them. If you’re making straight bets, it’s easy to absorb that defeat. And it doesn’t matter if you off by a half-point or if you missed the spread by four touchdowns. A loss is a loss. With teasers, however, all it takes is one of those games to turn your ticket into doo-doo.

Just a few things to think about before making teasers.

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