In the opening first full week of NFL preseason games, I'm going to skip sides and totals and instead focus on teasers. More specifically, I'll focus on two-team 6-point teasers.
I made 93 wagers.
Here's the explanation.
NFL preseason games begin this week, with every team playing either its first or second game sometime between this Thursday and Sunday.
However, many football bettors avoid preseason action. They mistakenly believe and even falsely claim that these "meaningless" games are way too unpredictable. This implies games played during the regular season are somehow more predictable--which is a ridiculous fallacy, of course. Beating the NFL is always a tough proposition, no matter which games you bet on.
While taking a wait-and-see approach can be often justified when it comes to betting on many sporting events, totally disregarding preseason NFL games based on such widespread ignorance is a missed opportunity. Frankly, anyone who claims that preseason games can't be handicapped and profits can't be made in the preseason simply doesn't know what they're talking about. I'd be very wary of listening to anyone with such a foolish perspective on sportsbetting.
Evidence: All one must do to understand how these games might even be more exploitable is to note that virtually all sportsbooks place strict limits on preseason games. If they were such unpredictable crapshoots as many believe, why would the betting limits be reduced? The explanation is -- sportsbooks know they are more vulnerable during the preseason. So, they protect themselves by limiting the betting action.
That said, I'm going to skip sides and totals and instead focus on teasers. More specifically, I'll focus on two-team 6-point teasers.
Why Teasers are Extra Powerful in NFL Preseason
Consider the additional weight of playing teasers during the preseason, particularly in the first week of games for most teams (we'll disregard the Hall of Fame game, which was played last week). Typically, adding 6-points to a pointspread in a two-team NFL teaser is an iffy proposition during the regular season, especially when the vig is -120 (and sometimes higher). Since the average NFL game has 46 points scored (according to 2021 regular season data), an additional 6 points added to the pointspread isn't as significant. Generally, the higher the total (O/U), the less likely adding 6 points will be to affect the final outcome. In other words, we want to bet teasers in (what are expected to be) lower-scoring games.
The beauty of the first full week of NFL preseason games is that totals are as low as you will ever see in any football game. As evidence, look at this week's 16 games. O/Us range from 30 (the lowest total) to 37 (the highest total). The average total on this week's slate of games is only 34 points, which is 12 points lower than the NFL scoring average last season (46 points). Hence, teasers should carry added value in these games. Oh, and they very quickly diminish in preseason Weeks 2--forward. So this coming weekend is unique.
Last year in preseason Week 1, 16 games were played. The highest scoring game hit 40 points. The average total points scored was just 29. Obviously, that resulted in a monster week for teaser bettors, who cleaned up at the betting windows. Teasing every single team on the board (+6 points) would have produced pointspread covers in 24 of the 32 situations. So, even with -120 vig factored into each wager, a one-unit bet on every team in a teaser netted a whopping +14.8 units. That's a staggering return on investment on NFL wagering. While I don't expect to hit that figure again in 2022, teasers should still produce positive results. That's because apparently, no one has caught onto this (until now).
Which Teams Do We Tease?
As to which teams should be teased, this is a more difficult question. A very aggressive bettor could tease every game and aim for a 12-point middle. Years ago, I invented something I branded the "teaser wheel." This became a popular novelty bet for many action-oriented sports bettors. The problem with betting the teaser wheel in the preseason is, that it's difficult to select the one key "spoke" team for the wheel (although the Baltimore Ravens are tempting, having won a record 23-straight pre-season games--their last loss was back in 2015).
As for which games to bet on and what teams to tease, I recommend trying to build teasers around the basic strategy concept (a.k.a. Wong Teasers). I will avoid crossing the 0 on any point adjustments, and instead try to gain the key numbers in NFL wagering -- which are 3, 4, 6, and 7.
See the odds on all preseason games at Spreads.ca -- CLICK HERE.
For the most part, these teams and wagers allow me to do that:
Note that the pointspread on every teased team is either a pick 'em or an underdog and therefore is getting +6 points or greater. I'm counting on low-scoring games to produce close results, hopefully staying within the margins of a touchdown. That means the teasers win. Note that one game (NY Jets vs. Philadelphia) is pick 'em, and I'm aiming for the 12-point middle. All other teams are underdogs of +1.5 or greater.
How to Configure Teasers
The final leg of the preseason teaser strategy is more controversial, and I admit you are better suited to determine your own threshold of risk and how many games you want to invest in.
As mentioned previously, a very aggressive bettor may want to target 12-point middles in every game. Other bettors might prefer taking one team -- let's make it the Baltimore Ravens -- and wheel that preseason powerhouse team with every other team on the board. Obviously, that could be catastrophic if the Ravens somehow lose and fail to cover +2.5).
My preference is to "round robin" every bet listed above. So, I'm taking each teased team and making one wager with every other possibility. In all, if we round robin every teased team (above) with every other possibility, this comes out to 93 bets for NFL Preseason -- Week 1.
Yes, I made 93 bets this week.
If that sounds like a lot of wagers, yes -- it is. So then, bet $2 or $5 or $10 on each teaser, or whatever you are comfortable with. An investment doesn't have to be tied to any minimum, so long as it's within the limits of the sportsbook.
If 93 wagers are too many, then scale it down to something more comfortable. The principle is the same and applies to every low-totaled preseason game. If my theory is valid and my strategy is successful, any game on the teaser is as good as any other.
That's my treatise on betting NFL Preseason Week 1 6-point, two-team teasers.
Note: I'll be here each week through the Super Bowl with NFL predictions as I've done for the past 20 seasons.