I’ve been saying forever that two-team NFL teasers might be the best value on the board at any sports book just because of how solid the numbers are.
Between all the sports, there are none that have spreads posted that are as sound as the NFL, so when getting to add 6 or 7 points to each game at reduced odds, there’s a huge edge for the player.
On Sunday, it was a teaser-pleaser day as almost any combination of the side was a winner between the 12 games, culminating with the Cowboys’ come-from-behind 3-point victory at the Meadowlands against the New York Giants.
The betting public loves to play the favorites and if playing straight bets or parlays, the chalk went 5-7 against the spread. But for those who played teasers, those same favorites went 11-1. In eight of the 11, teams played so close to their rating that both sides of the teaser covered when getting the additional points.
Bottom line: In 8 out of 12 games the books lost both sides of a game.
us in, they got us with the teaser on them both.”
Books have wrestled with themselves concerning what the proper price on a two-team teaser should be. In at least one instance, we’ve seen them eliminated from the wagering menu altogether. After Sunday’s games, the books will bookmark Week 12 and review at the end of the season to see if any changes need to be made on the pay chart.
The fortunate part for the books, like Kornegay said, was that Green Bay (-7.5) and Denver (-7) failed to cover the spread. If just adding those two teams as covers with all the other big favorites that covered like Indianapolis (-13.5), Philadelphia (-11) and Seattle (-7.5), we’d be talking about a Black Sunday.
The Seahawks’ 19-3 home win over the first-place Cardinals was one of the more popular wagers of the day with the majority siding with Seattle.
“Seattle was our biggest decision of the day,” said Kornegay. “This was the only game that we had the sharps and public plays united and they both got there.”
And there was the Patriots who drilled the Lions, 34-9, to cover for the sixth time during their seven game win streak.
“Our worst game was the Patriots,” said William Hill’s top bookmaker Nick Bogdanovich. “They just keep pounding the Patriots every week and keep getting there easy. Arizona was right up there too as a team we needed.”
Some books lost a little and others broke about even, but all can be thankful for Minnesota and Miami playing two elite teams – the Packers and Broncos – tough.
“The Vikings, without a doubt was our best decision of the day even though we had a lot of straight bet money (sharps) to the Vikings,” said Bogdanovich. “If the Packers cover, it changes the entire complexion of our day.”
The funny thing about both those games that saved the books is that both took the books and bettors on a wild ride with the spread – an emotional roller coaster ride where both sides had counted themselves as losers, winners, and then losers again.
In Minnesota, Eddie Lacy’s TD with 8:34 remaining in the game put the Packers up 21-13, a score the books or sharp money didn’t want to see, but the majority of bettors in the sports book did as it gave the Packers a win or a push. However, with 3:23 remaining, Minnesota scored a touchdown and got the two-point conversion to make it 24-21.
In Denver, after three quarters, it looked like the Broncos were done – no chance of winning or covering – as Miami had a 28-17 lead. Many bettors had ripped up their tickets and tossed them aside.
Then Denver went on a 22-0 run to start the fourth quarter culminated with a Wes Welker touchdown with 3:13 left in the game. The bettors that had mangled their tickets were asking for scotch tape to do repairs, and just as they began counting their winnings in their mind, the Dolphins went back door for a score.
Final score: Denver 39-36.
Denver didn‘t cover the 7, but they did cover on the teaser, as did the Dolphins, Vikings, Packers and nearly every other team on the day.
Part of what makes the Las Vegas experience so fun on an NFL Sunday is watching all the bettors’ emotions on display throughout the day. It’s the greatest collection of bad beat stories and they’re all under one roof at any sports book on the Strip.
Even after going through the roller coaster ride with Denver on their comeback, there still was a glimmer of hope that something big could happen late after Miami’s back door score to make Denver still cover.
While trying to run the clock out, Denver’s C.J. Anderson broke loose for a 26-yard run and looked like he had a clear path to the end zone, but instead chose to fall down at Miami’s 16-yard line – a team-first attitude. Two Peyton Manning kneels later, the game was finally over.
At a Buffalo Wild Wings in Columbus, OH, it’s just the end of the game with only a whisper of groans from those that had action. In Las Vegas, there was an instantaneous collective roar from hundreds in the same boat at the moment Anderson broke free that suddenly shifted into groans when he fell to the ground.
“What? Awe, come on, man? Booo!”
And then the losing bettor has discussions with everyone around him showing him their losing four-game parlay ticket with the Broncos and tells the story of what happened to anyone who will listen, and then another bettor says to him, “Bad beat man, you should have played the teaser.”
Micah Roberts is a former Las Vegas race and sports book director, one of The Linemakers on SportingNews.com , and longtime motorsports columnist and sports analyst at GamingToday. Follow Micah on Twitter @MicahRoberts7 Contact Micah at [email protected].