Earlier this week, I published a comprehensive article on teaser betting strategy which explains what teasers are, who has the best odds, how to analyze teaser bets on an advanced level, blind teaser bets that are likely profitable, industry secrets and more. If you haven’t read that article, I strongly suggest doing so before continuing.
Now, moving forward, a topic I didn’t discuss in any detail was special teasers. These are the ones referred to at sports betting sites as “sweetheart teasers” and “monster teasers”. The name is not a standard, but the concept is the same. If you’re not familiar with these, a common example is a 10 point three team NFL teaser, generally offered at -110 to -130 pricing.
To give a further example, there are 3 teams you’re interested in betting this week: Jets +1.5, Ravens -11.5, and Patriots -2.5. Rather than betting these straight at -110 or -105, or putting them in a standard parlay, or standard teaser, you can put them in what many sites call a special, monster, or sweetheart teaser. If you do so, you’ll have a single bet of: Jets +11, Ravens -1.5, Patriots +7.5; each spread has been moved 10 points. Once again, you’ll need to risk between $11 and $13 per $10 you want to win, depending if the betting site offers these at -110, -120, -130.
This is only one example of a sweetheart teaser. Some sites also offer four team 13 point teasers, while 5dimes.eu offers teaser betting for 2-15 teams on every half point between 5.5 and 17, as well as a 20 point teaser option. While teaser options vary site to site, the 3 team ten point option is offered by many local bookies and most online betting sites. For that reason, I’ll use that as my example of how to calculate the value of sweetheart teasers.
Ties Often Lose
The first thing you need to know about sweetheart teasers is that, generally, ties lose. This is not the case at all sites, but it is at many of them, so pay close attention to the rules.
Best Sites for 10 Point Teasers
Here are the odds and rules for 10 point sweetheart teasers at four of our recommended betting sites:
www.Bovada.lv – 10 point three team teasers at -110 (Ties Lose)
Sportsbook – 10 point three team teasers at -120 (Ties Lose)
5Dimes.eu – 10 point three team teasers at -110 (Ties Lose)
Bookmaker.eu – 10 point three team teasers at -120 (Ties Reduce)
Sportsbook obviously offers poor odds for this wager type. These guys are good in other areas, but for this type of teaser we’ll leave them out. Bookmaker also offers worse odds, but has its advantages. At Bookmaker these teasers can be bet for as much as $20,000 per bet, while most other sites have $500 max limits. Also Bookmaker has ties reduce, meaning if one or more legs push while all others win, the bet is refunded. However, at -120 this is not enough to make it worth it, so for most, www.Bovada.lv and 5Dimes.eu are the best sites for monster teasers.
Are Sweetheart Teasers Sucker Bets
For years I heard Sweetheart teasers are sucker bets, but to be honest I hadn’t looked at them in any great detail until writing this article. So with that, let’s go ahead and take a look together:
Now we already know, or at least should know, considering it’s the most common price charged in sports betting, that at -110 you’ll need to win 52.38% of your bets to break even over the long run. When there are three bets which are part of that -110 wager, what we need to do is convert 52.38% into a decimal of .5238 and then find which number times itself three times equals .5238, or in math terms: what is the cube root of .5238. Using a cube root calculator, I quickly determined that .8061 x .8061 x .8061 = .5238. Therefore, for a leg in a three team teaser at -110 to have neutral expected value, it must win 80.61% of the time.
After doing this math, I’m already discouraged. It seems rare that I’m going to pick up an extra 30.61% in win probability by adding 10 points, especially when pushes count as losses. I decided, however, to make an educated guess of which subsets of point spreads have the most value in a 10 point teaser. Now, what I know is that in the NFL the most common margin of victories in order are: 3, 7, 10, 6, 14, 4, 1, 17, 13 and 2. So I want to come up with subsets that cross as many of these key numbers as possible. The six that I decided were most likely to have value, if any subset has value at all, are-10.5 to -12.5 favorites, -1.5 to -2.5 favorites, -4.5 to -6.5 favorites, +4.5 to +5.5 underdogs, +7.5 to +9.5 underdogs and +11.5 to +12.5 underdogs.
My next step was looking at tons of historical data to determine how often teams push at each number crossed in a ten point teaser, and then add them together to get a rough idea if teasing that subset with ten points might have value. After doing, this I eliminated the -1.5 to -2.5 and the +7.5 to +9.5 subsets; teasing those ten points only increased their win rates by around 17%. The other four subsets were close enough to warrant a more detailed analysis.
As a professional gambler I’ve been compiling NFL statistics for years into databases I can use for analysis when needed. While this might sounds complex, for calculating teasers, push probabilities, etc., it is really not all that difficult. While I can’t confirm their accuracy, I’ve heard many recommend atsdatabase.com and sportsdatabase.com for NFL data. Heading to my database, I was able to find the following historical results for 10 point teasers:
-10.5 to -12.5 teased 10 points
Since 2006: 53-15 (77.94%)
Since 2001: 97-30 (76.37%)
-4.5 to -6.5 teased 10 points: (32.7% at -6.5) to (31.6% at -4.5)
Since 2006: 210-61 (77.49%)
Since 2001: 391-108 (78.36%)
+4.5 to +5.5 teased 10 points:
Since 2006: 96-24 (80.00%)
Since 2001: 213-58 (78.60%)
+11.5 to +12.5 teased 10 points:
Since 2006: 24-8 (75%)
Since 2001: 41-11 (78.85)
I’ve now dug into these enough to determine with 98 percent certainty, there is no value to be had in standard three team ten point teasers.
Hopefully, this is not too discouraging. A thinking sports bettor, one who often makes the most profit, is someone who has lots of ideas, curiosities, theories and hunches. Rather than betting these and seeing if they win, they get out a blank sheet of paper, a few spread sheets, etc. and run tests. Bookies are smart, so more times than not we’re going to be disappointed in finding out that our brilliant idea was not +EV.
The good news is that as we practice our skills and as our knowledge grows, in time we can spot +EV bets much quicker. As far as teasers go, outside the box +EV teasers exist on a weekly basis.
5Dimes.eu has 560 different types of teasers available. They offer 2-15 team teasers on every half point between 5 and 17, and also 20 point teasers, with two different formats regarding ties for each. While initially doing the work takes some time, and it might be a “tough way to make an easy living”, becoming an expert at football teasers and then managing your bankroll will make you easy money over time.
Now, if you’re a recreational bettor just looking for blind bets, stick to the strategies we mention in our teaser strategy guide. In that same article, those of you aspiring to or currently betting professionally can find further advanced strategies.
Remember teaser betting often wins in streaks; don’t get over confident or carried away with your bankroll. Bet responsibly, and we wish you the best of luck!