As I went 2-1-1 in last weekend’s chaotic wild card contests, I found myself looking forward to the more predictable divisional round. This week, the favorites are usually truly elite. I emphasize my point with something I just read on a blog somewhere: since the current NFL playoff format came into existence, the divisional round home teams have won their games close to 80% of the time. By later this week, Monday morning quarterbacks across America will know that home teams usually win in the divisional round. It will be repeated multiple times via every sports media outlet in the country. Sadly, many wagering NFL fans will just not know how to use this information properly in order to pad their pockets. Because, just winning the game isn’t enough, we need to cover those lines.
Don’t follow the herd. You are not sheep…you possess craniums filled with the power to reason. Don’t just bet a side. It’s teaser time, baby!
What is a teaser? you might ask. Here is a definition I found on teaserking.com for the most common type of teaser bet, and the one I use often with success, the two game 6 point teaser:
“A Teaser is a type of a football bet. It is designed to add 6 points to the spread of a game.
The 6 points can either be added to the underdog or subtracted from the favorite.
The only caveat is that you have to pick two teams for one bet, and you have to win both picks to win the bet.”
I’ll give you an example of how I used a teaser bet for one of my picks late this season that succeeded. In week 16, both the physical match-ups and the off the field factors pointed to victories for both the Cowboys at the Panthers, and for the Jaguars at home against the Raiders. The ‘Boys and Jags were both double digit favorites. It was scary to bet against Carolina, as double digit home dogs cover close to 60% of the time. Also, the Panthers play clearly improved late in the season with Matt Moore at QB. I decided to tease the two games. Instead of two bets of the Cowboys -10.5 and the Jags -13, I played the two games in a 6 point teaser. I had the Jags at -7 and the ‘Boys at -4.5, and both teams had to cover the reduced lines in order for me to win the bet. It worked out. The cowboys won the game by 7, and the Jaguars smoked the Raiders. If I had simply bet each game individually without the teaser, I would have broken even…covering the double digit Jaguars bet, but losing the double digit Cowboys. Thanks to the 6 point teaser, I won.
In the divisional round, with four elite teams playing the part of the rude host, it is usually pretty easy to find one game where you are sure of who will win…..especially when we consider that the home teams win so often in this round of the playoffs. For me, I am highly confident that the Colts will win their contest with the Chargers. Only a Peyton Manning or Bob Sanders injury can stop this from happening. The Colts are giving 9 points. So tease them with every other playoff team not named the Chargers. Here are my teaser picks:
1) Colts -3 and Cowboys -1.5
2) Colts -3 and Packers -1.5
3) Colts -3 and Patriots -7
4) Colts -3 and Giants +13.5
5) Colts -3 and Seahawks +13.5
6) Colts -3 and Jaguars +19
In the beginning of the NFL season, I wager from a predetermined amount of money that won’t kill me financially if I lose all of it. On each bet, I risk 5% of this gambling kitty. Occasionally, when I strongly lean toward one game, I will risk a 10% stake of the orginal gambling kitty amount on one game. For the mathematically challenged: If I start with 100 apples before the season, I never risk more than 10 apples on any single bet. I usually risk only 5 apples. This weekend I recommend risking a sum total 10% stake on multiple teasers involving the Colts. Divide that 10% amount(or 10 apples) equally into all 6 bets. Don’t use any casino that charges more than 10% juice. So long as the Colts win by more than 3, and at least one of the final scores in the other 3 games falls within the 12 point margin, then you will come out ahead.
For a less numerical approach, and opinions on match-up analysis and X factors for this weekend’s games, listen to my podcast this weekend with site editor Matt Loede.