How to Wager on Different Sports Bets — Buying Points and Teasers
Buying points on different sports is an NFL and NBA betting strategy. Most bettors do not buy points because of the added cost and indifference to this wagering type of bet. Bettors can gain a significant edge when buying points at the right time.
- Should You Buy Points Off an NFL Spread
When you see a spread close to a field-goal or touchdown, bettors can buy points if they expect a close game. Most bookmakers allow bettors to buy a ½ point to 2 points off of the point spread in the NFL at 10 cents for every half point. If you want to buy a –6 point favorite down to –5.5, it costs –120 money odds up from the standard -110.
The only numbers in the NFL that have been profitable to buy is 3 and 7. Buying a ½ point on a –3 point or –3.5 point favorite has been historically effective as an NFL profitable trend. Buying a ½ point on a +2.5 point or +3 point underdog is also profitable. However, you need to get the right price and matchups to find the expected value.
A few other numbers may be close to positive expected value in the NFL, but not worth spending time on. If you have a good database with closing lines and results you can determine when buying points is profitable. By finding how often a favorite or underdog covers the spread within a 2 point difference, you will calculate if buying points is worthwhile. Specific data pockets can be an analytical tool for handicapping point spreads.
- Will Buying Points Really Affect Your Bottom Line
Most NFL betting percentages show dogs and favorites covering 50% each over 16 games. Half way through the 2017 season (8 games) the dogs at cashing in at a 55% rate. If you are a dog bettor, buying points is not necessary when the dog is covering at a profitable rate. Buying points is a selective process on certain dogs where your expected value is relevant. Buying one half point for an added dime can be beneficial.
- Should I Buy Points Off an NBA Spread
A lot of bettors assume that buying points in the NBA is negative value. A point in the NBA happens quickly and is not valuable. When a point spread is small each point becomes more valuable but risky.
Buying multiple points off of the spread is expensive. In the NBA it typically costs $.10 for every ½ point you want to buy.
The nature of scoring in the NBA is far different than the NFL. Thinking a half point, 2 or 3 points will give you an edge is wishful thinking. The NBA has many variables that cause point swings on each side. Hot and cold shooting streaks, 3-point scoring, free throw misses, foul troubles, lazy defense and bench scoring are some difficult patterns to handicap.
- How to Assign a Value on How Much NBA Points are Worth
How to determine if you should buy points and place a value on how much certain points are worth is a percentage play. You need to hit 52.4% of your bets to break even at –110 odds. If you buy a full point and knock the spread down, the cost is .20 which lowers the spread but costs –130. At –130 odds you have to win 56.52% to break-even. You need to win 4.12% more often than –110 to break even.
Buying ½ points or more in the NBA is rarely effective. Most bookmakers allow you to purchase multiple points off of the spread for the extra juice. In the NBA the most common winning margins are 7 to 10 points between competitive teams. The NBA has a wide gap in team talent and stronger teams prevail.
Betting sides or totals in the NBA is a roller coaster ride when scoring varies widely from each quarter. No bet is safe until the fourth quarter and buying points is not much of an edge.
- How to Wager on Teaser Bets
A teaser bet has become a popular bet among many sports bettors. Getting points from the book looks profitable but the house has a decided edge. Most sportsbooks decided to eliminate the 6 point teaser and offer a minimum of 61/2 points for –120. Their 2016 NFL season data showed the bigger action on the 6 point teaser was less profitable for the house.
This applies to a 2 game teaser or totals. If you are not getting at least +175 on a 3 game teaser, then pass or eliminate one team and drop back to a 2 game teaser. Value is the unseen variable in each bet that counts over a longer betting period.
If you bet the road dogs and home favorites, your win rate would be profitable. This does have some variation issues and the exact statistics will show some win ratios to fit the matchups. The trend in the NFL for this so called “sucker bet” is a significant wager for public bettors. Teams play harder on the road than they do at home. Home teams want to use and manage the clock but on the road they want the extra possession. This helps when deciding which teams to put in a teaser.
Teaser betting often wins in streaks. When teams playing at home as a 5 to 7 point favorite win the game at a 80% rate for some weeks in a row, the teaser is usually covering.
When buying down the good teams at home, upsets do happen and your teaser loses. An expected win at home can turn into a bad loss. An upset is part of the game and causes many losing teasers. If you tease an early game with a late game, then winning the first leg of your teaser help you to minimize risk by using a hedge bet for the second leg of your teaser.
Usually this involves betting the opposite of your second leg teaser getting points straight up and hope your second team wins your teaser but does not cover. You win your teaser and win your dog bet with the points. A very good scenario for bettors winning both ways.
One more observation about how sportsbooks shade a line up 1/2 point and give you a better money vig. If the teaser favorite goes from 8.5 points to 9 you now have to lay 3 points (9 minus 6) instead of 2.5 points. Do not lay that extra 1/2 to save a few bucks on the juice. You want to tease a team without laying the 3 to 5 points.
Always look at the option of adding some inflated points to the dog in a teaser. To tease or not to tease that is the question. But which way do you tease — the favorite or the dog. Both teams can cover inside the 6 point swing and cause losses for the books.
Before we get into basic teaser strategy you should calculate your break even point. The first thing to figure out is the implied probability of a teaser winning. The implied probability of a 2-teamer (6-pt) teaser at –110 is 52.38% while a 3-teamer (6-pt) at +180 is 35.71%.
The odds are slightly better for a 3-teamer. Using the implied probability of hitting a 3-teamer teaser (35.71% – 0.3571), you have to win each leg of your teaser at a 70.95% rate, which is better than a 2-teamer (72.5%). One of the most popular teaser strategies is called the “Wong Teaser”, which has become popular in today’s market.
A Wong teaser is a 6-point teaser, but you only bet on favorites of –7.5 points to –8.5 points or on underdogs of +1.5 points to +2.5 points. From 1994-2012, Wong teaser sides won at a 73.23% rate, which is higher than the break even rate on a 2 or 3 team teaser.
The percentage climbs higher if you tease underdogs that qualify and not favorites. Realistically, you could end up coming out ahead long term by betting on Wong teasers, but there are going to be years when you lose money by blind betting them. A lot of bookmakers have started shaving their NFL lines in recent years to prevent bettors that middle gap and win both ways.
The reason why Wong teasers have proven to be profitable long term is because most NFL games are won by 3-7 points. When you bet a Wong teaser you are moving the spread through both of the key numbers in the football (3 & 7). Did you know that roughly 25% of all NFL games end with a winning margin of 3 points or 7 points?
One problem with Wong teasers is that there are not many legs to bet each week, as bookies do not want to set themselves up with too much teaser action. Rather than set a spread at –8 points they may make the line –9 or –9.5 points to prevent teasers. This means bettors have to be more creative and not limit themselves just to Wong teasers. You should try to keep a database that tracks closing point spreads and final scores although the information is also available online.
In season 2013, the Broncos went 10-6 ATS (62.5%) and 13-3 win record (81.25%). If you had bet them on a 6-point teaser each week, your winning rate was a higher probability. Denver was favored in every regular season game. Cincinnati was another great team to tease during the 2013 season.
The 6 point teaser is being phased out and upgraded one half point to 6.5 by the bookies to offset any edge for the bettor. Will bettors start to adjust and realize the underdog teaser has more value than the favorite.