A belt, suspenders and luck can be golden
By Rob Miech
The Pittsburgh Steelers plus a Teaser-induced 9 points at home—against anyone—seemed too good to be true. Granted, the foe was New England, which can make any opponent quake. But that 9 points was something I could not pass up.
What unfolded was one of the crazier NFL games, and finishes. Was that touchdown catch that looked like a touchdown catch really a touchdown catch? Of course not, zebras determined. Or the replay officials sitting in New York as it was. Then the fake spike by Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger and his game-ending interception toss, when a field goal would have pushed it into overtime, and no doubt zanier possibilities.
Patriots win, by three points, 27-24. Over total bettors bemoan the bad beat, as a touchdown or field goal would have pushed the total over 53 points.
I took that plus-9 and parlayed it to something else, which also won. So my average betting unit won me an average betting unit. That extra edge on the Steelers compelled me to look at other options on that game, too, and I nabbed the Patriots minus 2½ points—parlayed to another game—as a kind of hedge.
Moreover, at the mom ’n’ pop shop that I patronize—I have no offshore accounts or Silver State apps, even though I live in Vegas; I want none of this to be easy—I wound up swiping New England at an in-game plus 3½ points at an appealing pick-em price, connecting it to a Golden Knights’ NHL game that would also end in triumph.
So that initial Steelers Tease presented other avenues, and as stupidly as that one played out I was just as fortunate to win every wager I had tied to that game.
It was an unusual afternoon, since I rarely dabble in multiple angles focused on a single game. It takes work and follow-through, deliberations, envisioning numbers hitting the big board before they flash up there, to be ready to strike in the slim window when those advantageous figures are posted. When that Patriots-plus-3½ gem hit the big board, diligence and patience won the day.
The Teaser was key to the entire menagerie. A main inspiration was my aversion to sweating. Like most, if I slap a dollar down on Valley City State, I don’t want to drop a single bead of sweat. Not one. From the jump, I want to skate, only having to worry about dinner options.
Teasers also feed the second part of my two-pronged strategy—to cash tickets. I don’t seek parlays that will turn that unit into 3½, 5 or 10. I don’t seek to hit the lottery; I seek to make money, to make sure that betting ticket does not become a somewhat expensive bookmark.
(Being extra careful might be in the genes, since my late father’s investment strategy was belt-and-suspenders; have backup, will travel, carefully. His knack for numbers enabled him to soar in a major corporation. In his later years, he found the spread, why lines moved, to be more intriguing than the games themselves).
Of course, the Teaser can be a recipe for treachery. There are 8-point Mega Teaser parlay cards during the football season that define danger; the two-way middling opportunities are alluring, but the meager payoff—merely doubling your money if you can go four-for-four—is what propels many sharps and pros to define it as a sucker bet.
That same windfall, at even money or close to it, can be had by teasing only two teams at the window. I favor buying six points in football and five in hoops.
Ten-point Super Teasers also ensnare greenhorns, plebes and tourists. San Diego State had been a 7-point favorite over Army last Saturday in that football bowl game in Texas, and squeezing the Aztecs down to a 3-point dog might have seemed enviable …
… until the very last play of the game, the Circus-Circus Lateral Special, in which SDSU quarterback Christian Chapman’s goofball backward fling was returned 29 yards for an easy touchdown by Cadet Elijah Riley to seal Army’s 42-35 victory.
Happy Freakin’ Holidays!
In the NFL, the Teasing tendency is to pare down favorites, especially if and when some key numbers—7, 6, 4 and 3—can be covered. The past two Philadelphia games are fine examples, as its 7½-point favored spread at the Giants would have paid Teaser dividends in a 5-point Philly victory, and a 10-point favored edge against the Raiders would have made coin in a 9-point win by the Eagles. Of course, that was a wrong-side loser until that similar last-play Raiders lateral, fumble return touchdown by the Eagles on the game’s final play to turn a 13-10 win into a 19-10 teaser-covering victory as a 10-point favorite. .
But tread softly. Much evidence foils the Teaser. Consecutive recent Kansas City weekends would have been disastrous, as a 9-point home favorite lost to Buffalo by 6 and a 4-point favorite at the Jets lost by 7. That was actually the end of a four-game Chiefs run in which the Teaser would have provided zero life support, but plenty of lost sweat.
In week 17 this Sunday, Seattle (-9½ at home to the Jets), the Chargers (-7 at home to Oakland), Minnesota (-11½ at home to the Bears), Pittsburgh (-6 at home to the Browns), New England (-14 ½ at home to the Jets), New Orleans (-6 at the Bucs), Detroit (-7 at home to the Packers) and Baltimore (-9½ at home to the Bengals) offer enticing Tease possibilities. Many amateur or recreational bettors will be enticed by these big favorites, but the final week of the regular season needs to be handled with caution. Playoff implications, scoreboard watching and we’ve seen announcements on players being rested. That could be the case in the 2nd half of some games as playoff situations are determined.
Over the past few months, the Teaser has been a vital piece of my repertoire, to make money, pay the bills. I have enough bookmarks. Teasers should not be summarily dismissed as a “tourist special,” because they can provide exceptional value. Never lose sight that a little luck helps, too, and that’s why we always opt to show gratitude.
Grazie, Big Ben.
Rob Miech contributed to this article.
Vegas Sports Zone is home to professional sports analyst FairwayJay. The Vegas Sports Zone team of content creators and analysts provide articles, insight and analysis to engage and inform the avid sports and gaming enthusiast,