You’re giving me a teaser? I’m not going to play no teaser. Teasers are sucker bets!”
That’s exactly what a new client — John from New Jersey — told me last week when I advised him to bet a two-team NFL teaser.
John has been betting sports for “longer than you’ve been alive kid!” and thinks he knows the ins and outs of it better than most. He probably does. But when it comes to modern betting strategies, John’s a dinosaur stuck in the past.
I was going to wait until later in the season to go over the value of an NFL teaser, which we often employ as an important weapon in the Kent Elola Sports ( Kent Elola Sports ) arsenal. But after last week’s results (we were a sizzling 8-3 against the spread in the NFL over the weekend), the timing couldn’t be better to illustrate the power of a well-placed teaser bet.
For those unfamiliar with a teaser bet, it allows you to move the point spread on your selections in your favor, generally either 6, 6.5 or 7 points for a standard two-team teaser, or 10 points for a 3-teamer. Like a parlay bet, however, you need to win all legs of a teaser to cash your ticket. If one loses, the whole thing goes down (with a rare exception which I will explain below).
There are all kinds of theories on how and when to use teasers, but for the sake of time and clarity, I’m just going to let you in on my own personal strategy which has made money consistently for me and my clients over the years.
First off, I do two-team teasers only. The more legs you put on a teaser, the more the house rips you off on the payout percentage. If you like four games on a teaser in a given week, you’d do better to bet the first two, cash out, then roll it all over with the next two teams in another two-team teaser. That payout would be better than betting a four-teamer at a reduced payout price.
Also, I almost never do teasers in college football. The value just isn’t the same. College games have far bigger spreads (and totals) in general, and teasing Alabama from -37 to -31 just doesn’t give you the same value that teasing the Patriots from -8 to -2 does. There are rare exceptions when the numbers and playing styles of the teams make absolute sense to try a teaser in college, but for the most part we limit our teasers to the two-team NFL variety.
One way you know that two-team NFL teasers are wise to look into is the fact that sports books throughout Nevada (and everywhere else) have jacked up the “juice” on a standard 2-team, 6-point NFL teaser from -110 to -115 last year and now to -120. Why are they doing that? Because professional handicappers like myself have been crushing them, taking advantage of the teaser when the situation is right. The juice on a straight bet has remained -110 since football betting began. But the juice on a teaser has gone up TWICE in the last couple of years? That should tell you something.
So when is the right time to use a teaser? I’m glad you asked. They certainly are not for every game on the board. I like to find teasers that cross TWO key numbers (3, 7, 10) instead of just one, to maximize point spread value. I also never “cross zero” in a teaser.
For instance, Philadelphia was a 3.5-point favorite over Tampa Bay last weekend. Teasing the Eagles to +2.5 (or even +3 or +3.5 on 6.5 and 7-point teasers) just doesn’t give you enough value in a game that was expected to be tight in the first place. Crossing 0 and the almost meaningless numbers (0.5, 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5) that go with it is a waste of teaser value. If you like Philly, better to buy the hook down to -3 or play them on the moneyline.
A perfect example of when to play a two-team teaser for maximum line value came with the Prime Time games this past weekend. Dallas was a 3-point favorite over the New York Giants in the Sunday Night game, while the Bears were a 4.5-point favorite over Seattle Monday night.
After crushing it with our winners Sunday morning and afternoon, I was completely honest with my clients (as always) about the night games. “I don’t love either game straight up, but I think both will be competitive. So let’s tease the dogs up.”
We used a 7-point teaser (-140 juice) to maximize the value, getting the Giants from +3 up to +10, while Seattle went from +4.5 to +11.5. Long story short, neither the Giants or Seahawks covered the original point spreads.
In fact, at the end of the game their straight-betting backers had virtually no chance of covering as they were down 17 and 14 points, respectively. But when the Giants tacked on 10 points in the final 2 minutes and Russell Wilson led the Seahawks for a 99-yard “garbage time” drive to cut the Seahawks’ deficit to 7 points with seconds remaining, our teaser was golden and cashed!
We don’t always tease up underdogs, either. There are certain spots on this week’s card where I love teasing some favorites DOWN to get into a “just win baby” situation. Call or text me at 1-510-209-0730 and I’ll give you a FREE WINNER on my favorite teaser this week! Even John in New Jersey was convinced after last weekend.
Now back to that note from above about the rare exception. A little known rule among Nevada sports books (and many others, check yours to be sure) is that when one leg of a 2-team teaser PUSHES, the bet is a full refund no matter what the other leg does (win, lose or push). That’s right, even if one leg LOSES, you will get a refund if the other is a push. That’s because there is no such thing as a 1-team teaser so the book wouldn’t know what to pay out. In a 3 or 4 or 5 leg teaser if one game pushes, the teaser simply resorts to the next level down as far as payouts. But a 2-team teaser can’t be turned into a 1-teamer, so you can actually get a REFUND if you LOSE one leg.
It happened to us in Week 1 this season. We had the Saints -2.5 (down from -9.5) over the Bucs as the first leg of the 2-team teaser. When FitzMagic beat New Orleans outright, we seemed doomed. But the second-leg was Green Bay -1 (down from -8) against the Bears in the Sunday Night game. With Aaron Rodgers injured and the Packers down 20-0 in the second half, it was an “oh well, we lost both ends anyway” situation.
But Rodgers rallied the Pack back and when they won by EXACTLY 1 point in the end, we got a miracle refund thanks to the two-team teaser push rule. I asked my buddy who works at William Hill in Reno about it and he said, “They throw those tickets away all the time after the first team loses. We have guys scouring around the sports book seeing if they find tickets with a push on a two-team teaser, and a lot of times they do!”
So hang onto those two-team teaser tickets, even if your first leg loses as you still might get a lucky refund if the second leg lands on an exact push.
Of course losing is a word rarely used around Kent Elola Sports. We are now 3-for-3 on WINNING College Football Saturdays and are once again crushing it in the NFL, with two winning weeks out of two including the current 8-3 ATS run! This weekend’s slate is my favorite yet, so pick up the phone and call/text me at 510-209-0730 and mention you read this article for a 50% discount on a full week of football winners from King Kent! Good luck and good gamblin’ everybody.
By Kent Elola