Teasers do lots of damage to Vegas sportsbooks

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There was no better example of why the two-team, 6-point NFL teaser is the best wagering option in the entire casino than Week 12 action. Even though popular teams like Dallas, New England and Seattle failed to cover the regular spreads over the holiday weekend, Las Vegas sportsbooks still found themselves with another losing Sunday.

Favorites went only 5-6-1 against the spread on the day (closing spread), which would normally be the perfect mix for the books to do well, but the tidal wave of risk started on Thursday and carried over the weekend with massive teaser risk that cashed Sunday.

“Yeah, it was a losing day because of teasers,” said CG Technology VP of risk management Jason Simbal. “Seattle losing helped stop the bleeding.”

The Buccaneers jumped out to an early 14-0 lead and held on to win 14-5 at home against Seattle, who was favored by 6-points. It was one of two underdogs on the day to win outright.

“Tampa was the life raft on the Titanic,” Station Casinos sportsbook director Jason McCormick said. “We got crushed on teasers, which started on Thursday.”

If you had bet every teaser side on Thursday, you went 5-1 with the only loser being the Colts. While plenty cashed on the day of the game, the Thanksgiving leftovers were steaming hard into Sunday and six of the 12 games had both sides on the teaser cash. It didn’t matter what side you bet on those six games, you cashed. Eight of 15 games overall had both sides win.

That’s why the two-team, 6-point teaser is the best bet in the casino, and after the season we’re probably going to see several books re-evaluate their pay charts.

Laying -120 is definitely too cheap, and apparently so is -130. For the type of value the 6-point, two-team teaser offers, the starting point that brings some edge back to the book on this prop might be -140, or even, dare I say, -150.

We could even see that option taken off the board completely like a few books did a decade ago only to bring them back for competitive purposes. Of course there was public outcry screaming at those books because bettors know it’s the best bet on the board to consistently make money with.

College football? Not a big deal. Pro and college basketball? No edge, and maybe way too big an edge for the house. But pro football, with the sharpest and most consistent spreads offered in any sport, yes, it’s a big deal.

For decades it’s been the most consistent loser for the books. The two-team, 6-point NFL teaser has the lowest hold percentage of any prop in any sport offered, which is exactly the reason bettors should be betting them regularly.

The team that did the most individual damage across town was the Giants (-7) at Cleveland. They were bet heavily with small money on teasers, parlays and straight bets that added up large. Wise guys had bet hundreds of thousands of dollars between all books on the Browns because there was close to 2.5-points of value with winless Cleveland.

Despite all the Browns wise guy action, William Hill’s sportsbooks across Nevada reported to have 89 percent of all the cash bet on the spread still laying points with the Giants.

While the Giants looked sluggish in a soft spot the sharps had anticipated, the Browns did typical Browns stuff with the most comical play being Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul, who is missing a thumb, intercepting a pass and returning it for a 43-yard touchdown. I’ve never seen a player without a thumb catch a pass of any kind. The Giants tacked on one more TD and and won, 27-13.

“Browns continue to kill us. Can’t they be relegated,” McCormick joked in reference to how the Premier League in England operates to keep teams competitive in its top division.

Cleveland only has four games left and however high the number is, the public is going to continue to bet against them. They’ve had up to 30 percent extra added on to their opponents’ spreads each week. Cleveland is currently on an 0-6 ATS streak and overall has failed to cover 10 of 12 games.

Maybe it’s time to go 50 percent? It pains any bookmaker to gift wrap out of whack spreads to the wise guys, but the public is feasting and something more has to be done to negate it.

But McCormick has an optimistic approach about things in the immediate future saying he’s “looking forward to Browns bye next week.” He can at least put the dilemma with all those big Browns questions on the back-burner for now.

After the Week 13 bye, the Browns get a home date with Cincinnati, then go to Buffalo, at home against San Diego and close out in Week 17 at Pittsburgh. That’s a rough run for any team let alone one still looking for their first win of the season.

The best news for the books, besides getting one week off from the Browns, is they get to say good-bye to November, which has been a rough month, well below budgeted expectations.

Keep plugging away bettors, you’re doing very well and should have plenty of cash stashed away for a great Christmas and/or travel. Keep hitting those two-team, 6-point NFL teasers while they’re still cheap, or while they’re still offered, before after-season alterations are made.

Twitter: @MicahRoberts7

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