Back in Week 5 of the NFL season we looked at dead numbers in football betting odds and saw that there are certain spreads that get hit more often, namely 3, 4, 6, 7, 10 and 14 account for half of all game scores.
There are two useful applications of this: first, we saw that small line moves close to a key number is worth a lot more (and often worth paying extra juice for). And second, if you’re a fan of teasers, you want to move your teaser through as many of these numbers as possible, with three and seven being most important.
Looking at what spreads have historically been the best to tease off of, we see just that. The two best numbers to move from have been -8 and +2 - both of which move the line through 3, 4, 6 and 7.
Using a little math, we can figure out how often each part of a teaser needs to cover for our teaser to be profitable. This is just a starting point since you may like some part of your bet more, but still useful to keep in mind. For a three-team, 6-point teaser that pays out +160, you need to win the teaser 38.5 percent of the time to break even. Each individual piece of the teaser then needs to cover about 72.7 percent of the time, which is shown on the graph in green. Note that it pays to shop around as many sites only give +150 for the same teaser.
What about teasing totals?
First, we’ll break apart Over/Unders into categories and see if there are any clear trends. Since 2012, about a third of games have been set sub-43, a third 47-plus with the remaining third falling in the middle.
In that same time period, by far the best teaser plays have been to bring the low totals down six points and the middle totals up six, completing ignoring the highest third. These have both paid off over 71 percent per pick vesus 64-68 percent for all other groups. Breaking it down further paints the following picture.
Pretty much the same result but with a sweet spot just under 40 where bringing it down has been particularly effective.