My First Teaser Wheel of the Season: NFL Week #10 Picks
Nearly 20 years ago, I invented the teaser wheel.
Posted initially in an article at MadJackSports.com, I explained how teasing one NFL team with a large portion of the remaining board could result in a profitable and action-packed day. For football gamblers who are adverse to risk and want action on multiple games, the teaser wheel is an ideal betting strategy. Most bettors could certainly do a lot worse on their own randomly picking against the spread, or could even be assured of losing money if following the landmark of losers who sign up annually for the Westgate Superbook Contest, a group which collectively can’t even overcome the vig and have produced some weeks as low as 34 percent winners (all picks/all contest entrants).
The teaser wheel requires that we pick one NFL team and make that team the “hub.” The “spokes” on the wheel are most of the remaining teams. We will often have wagers on every NFL game. Sometimes, we will bet both sides of a game, which gives us a 12-point middle. When the final score lands in the middle, we win both sides. This is the sweet spot of the teaser wheel.
I have refined the system over the years. I tend to avoid teams where the line crosses the ZERO. That’s because the added 6 points isn’t nearly as valuable (2/6 points are essentially worthless). Since ties are quite rare in the NFL. So, a game teased 6 points isn’t nearly as beneficial when the line moves from -3 to +3. This is especially true since a line push (the final score lands right on 3) means “no action.”
Another problem with teaser wheels that didn’t used to be a problem is the higher vig. Teasers used to be priced at -110. Now, they are -120 at most places. I have seen some sites with a -110 vig price, but ties lose. This makes them good targets for situations where the game line is a half-point (since there can be no ties). Honestly, betting the teaser wheel indiscriminately across the board and laying -120 is a losing proposition, even if we have confidence in our “hub” team.
Still, teaser wheels can still be profitable. But we must apply them more sporadically, and be careful with the hub team.
A good example of a teaser disaster happened last week with Seattle’s disgraceful performance at home versus Washington. A significant portion of the Redskins starters were on IR. That didn’t matter. The Seahwaks field goal kicker missed three very makeable kicks in the first half. The running game took the afternoon off. And the Seahawks vaulted defense decided that a football game is only 58 minutes long. Seattle, teased from -7 to -1, lost 17-14.
What should have been a solid winning day at 3-1, instead turned into a loser at 2-2 and a net loss of -$270. Still, my record shows 60 percent winners at the midway point of the season and 16.4 percent profit to the good.
On to this week’s games……
2017 NFL REGULAR SEASON RESULTS
STARTING BANKROLL: $10,000.
CURRENT BALANCE: $11,640. (+$1,640)
OVERALL W-L RECORD: 30 wins / 20 loses / 1 push
Week #1 — 3 wins, 4 losses = net -$250
Week #2 — 1 win, 0 losses = net +$350
Week #3 — 7 wins, 2 losses = net +$1,070
Week #4 — 1 win, 1 loss = net -$20
Week #5 — 7 wins, 3 losses = net +$740
Week #6 — 2 wins, 2 losses = net -$40
Week #7 — 3 wins, 4 losses, 1 push = net -$280
Week #8 — 4 wins, 2 losses = net +$360
Week #9 — 2 wins, 2 losses = net -$270
The “bet all the winless teams” angle continues to slide towards losing money. System is now 5-7 for the season after San Francisco shit the bed last week. Onlty two teams this still applies are San Francisco +2.5 and Cleveland +11. I’m stepping off the train and jumping on a plane, instead.
There’s not as much handicapping with the teaser wheel, which will be my primary strategy this week. The key game I’ve identified as the “make it or break it” situation is New England -7.5 playing at Denver. The Patriots will be the hub team for the teaser wheel.
New England at Denver
I normally shy away from road favorites, especially of this size (NWE -7.5). However, this is more of an against DEN play than a confidence wager in NWE. I’ll explain why. DEN may not have cratered yet. The team is looking worse each week. Expectations that DEN would somehow find other ways to win — improve the running game, defense step up, etc. — have faded as Broncos are currently on a 4-game losing streak during which a span they’ve been outscored by an average of 19 points per game. DEN made the switch to Osweiler at QB hoping to desperately shake things up. But that’s hasn’t stopped the hemorrhaging. What’s really remarkable is how DEN defense continues to regress, surrendering an average of 25 PPG. DEN looks like a team that’s given up on the season. Meanwhile, NWE looks to have addressed most of their defensive issues from early in the season. NWE playing much better now, winners of four straight games while allowing average of just 13 PPG in those contests. Add NWE coming off the bye week and rested here, which gives coach Belichick extra prep time. Belichick teams are 12-5 after a bye. NWE swamped DEN in Denver last season by a final score of 16-3, and that was against a much better DEN team that was playing with confidence. Now, DEN coming off a humiliation where they gave up 51 points to Philadelphia last week, and now must face Tom Brady and Co. NWE is on a run of 11 straight road wins. They are 8-2 the last ten contests when a road favorite. This would typically be a good spot to play NWE anyway and lay the big number. But the safer play here appears to be asking the hotter, far superior, better-coached team with a Hall of Fame quarterback against a throwaway bench rider to simply win the game by at least 2 points. I’m picking NWE as the teaser wheel team, and using the Wong logic to pick up all the key numbers in lower scoring games — 7, 6, 4, and 3. NWE is the hub of my first teaser wheel of the season.
[Note that I will grade all plays at -110, but ties lose.]
THIS WEEK’S PLAYS: 15 wagers
Teaser: New England -1.5 / Washington +7.5 (Risking $220 to win $200)
WAS put up a surprisingly tough fight last week despite injuries….MIN will not be teased across the 0. Looking for WAS to keep it close.
Teaser: New England -1.5 / Green Bay +11.5 (Risking $220 to win $200)
GB is woeful on offense, but no way CHI should be laying double digits with that rookie QB. CHI will try and run the hell out of the ball and rely on defense, so taking the generous points seems wise.
Teaser: New England -1.5 / Pittsburgh -4 (Risking $220 to win $200)
Teaser: New England -1.5 / Indianapolis +16 (Risking $220 to win $200)
Some concern number could land on a tie on both of these sides, but I’ll target a Steelers win by -5 to -15 for the money on both teams teased.
Teaser: New England -1.5 / San Diego +11.5 (Risking $220 to win $200)
JAX favored by -5.5. Solid defense for sure. But SDI has enough talent to keep this within single digits.
Teaser: New England -1.5 / Tampa Bay +8.5 (Risking $220 to win $200)
NYJ in the rare role of road favorite. TB has looked awful but I’ll take them at home to put up enough fight versus NYJ offense that remains inconsistent. We also get more than a TD with Bucs.
Teaser: New England -1.5 / Buffalo +9 (Risking $220 to win $200)
Looks like the best play of the day for an upset. NOR doesn’t play as well on road and BUF undefeated at home this season. Refuse to tease NOR across the 0, but BUF teased to +9 is a gift.
Teaser: New England -1.5 / Detroit -5 (Risking $220 to win $200)
Teaser: New England -1.5 / Cleveland +17 (Risking $220 to win $200)
This is a “hold your nose” special. CLE off the bye. Let’s hope they show up for a change and keep this around a 10-point loss.
Teaser: New England -1.5 / Houston +17.5 (Risking $220 to win $200)
Teaser: New England -1.5 / LA Rams -5.5 (Risking $220 to win $200)
Rams laying reasonable number teased down to -5.5. Taking HOU with Savage at QB is like lighting a match to money, but I’m counting on Texans to have enough fight to keep it reasonably close. C’mon middle.
Teaser: New England -1.5 / Dallas +9.5 (Risking $220 to win $200)
I hate teasing games with high totals played in domes. Way too volatile. However, DAL is probably the better team with ATL still having major question marks with its inconsistent offensive unit (Falcons not the same with Shannahan’s departure). Even the DAL RB suspension makes me like the Cowboys, since they can plug in another starter and probably get decent yardage on the ground.
Teaser: New England -1.5 / San Francisco +9.5 (Risking $220 to win $200)
My upset special. SFO should get first win here. NYG have won one game this season. Hard to see how they blow out anyone with all the injuries and lack of team chemistry. Give me the extra points with a home team that should be charged up with a new starting QB. Give me the dog with a team coached by someone with job security, versus a coach likely to be fired soon.
Teaser: New England -1.5 / Carolina -3 (Risking $220 to win $200)
Teaser: New England -1.5 / Miami +15 (Risking $220 to win $200)
Don’t like these numbers since one of the teasers lands on 3 (remember — ties lose). MIA also got throttled 40-0 last time they played a night game, so even getting +15 isn’t much comfort. Risky play here, except both that defenses show occasional flashes, so hoping this is an ugly 6-7 point win by the home favorite Panthers.
Note: I purposely skipped the CIN-TEN game. I can’t tease TEN across the ZERO. And CIN is absolute shit, even at +10. They can’t get enough points to make me put my money in them. Total pass on this game.
Good luck to all.
NOTE: Check back for updates and possible added plays.