Should You Tease NFL Totals?

Teasers are popular bets when it comes to football, with most people concentrating on teasing sides instead of totals, which begs the question - is it ever worthwhile to tease totals? The fact that the sportsbooks allow you tease totals is probably a good indication of what the answer will be. If teasing totals put the sportsbooks at a disadvantage, they wouldn't allow them since sportsbooks aren't in the habit of giving away money.

When you're betting 6-point teasers at the traditional 11-to-10 odds, you have to win roughly 72.5% of your individual teased games to reach the break-even point. Next, let's take a look at what would have happened had you teased totals in either direction going back to the beginning of the 2010 season and see if there are certain numbers, or better yet, clusters of numbers that shows a profit regardless if you tease the totals up or if you tease them down.

Teased Totals Summary


36.0 Over=4-2 66.7% Under=3-3 50%
36.5 Over=6-2 75.5% Under=4-4 50%
37.0 Over=12-4-1 75.0% Under 10-4-3 71.4%
37.5 Over=13-10 56.5% Under=18-5 78.3%
38.0 Over=15-6 71.4% Under 12-9 57.1%
38.5 Over=14-7 66.7% Under=15-6 71.4%
39.0 Over=11-5-1 68.8% Under=13-3-1 81.2%
39.5 Over=19-10 65.5% Under=20-9 69.0%


40.0 Over=23-8 74.2% Under=22-9 71.0%
40.5 Over=28-12 70.0% Under=32-8 80%
41.0 Over=37-10-1 78.7% Under=25-22-1 53.2%
41.5 Over=36-19 62% Under=35-15 70%
42.0 Over=23-12-3 65.7% Under=28-10 73.7%
42.5 Over=37-11 77.1% Under=31-17 64.6%
43.0 Over=36-17-1 67.9% Under=37-17 68.5%
43.5 Over=43-14 75.4% Under=37-20 64.9%
44.0 Over=53-22-3 70.7% Under= 53-25 67.9%
44.5 Over=31-14 68.9% Under=28-17 62.2%


45.0 Over=34-18-2 65.4% Under=34-16-4 68.0%
45.5 Over=31-16 66.0% Under=34-13 72.3%
46.0 Over=24-13-1 64.9% Under=31-6-1 83.8%
46.5 Over=31-11 73.8% Under=24-18 57.1%
47.0 Over=30-22 57.7% Under=38-12-2 76.0%
47.5 Over=30-9 76.9% Under=23-16 59.0%
48.0 Over=31-7 81.6% Under=23-15 60.5%
48.5 Over=21-5 80.8% Under=16-10 61.5%
49.0 Over=15-7 68.2% Under=14-7-1 66.7%
49.5 Over=14-4 77.8% Under=10-8 55.6%


50.0 Over=17-6-1 73.9% Under=18-6 75%
50.5 Over=10-6 62.5% Under=11-5 68.8%
51.0 Over=10-6-1 62.5% Under=11-6 64.7%
51.5 Over=4-2 66.7% Under=5-1 83.3%
52.0 Over=5-1 83.3% Under=2-3-1 40%
52.5 Over=11-3 78.6% Under=9-5 64.3%
53.0 Over=5-2 71.4% Under=5-2 71.4%
53.5 Over=8-3 72.7% Under=8-3 72.7%
54.0 Over=7-5 58.3% Under=8-4 66.7%
54.5 Over=4-1 80.0% Under=2-3 40%


55.0 Over=3-2 60% Under=5-0 100%
55.5 Over=2-2 50% Under=3-1 75%
56.0 Over=1-0 100% Under=0-0 0%
56.5 Over=1-3 25% Under=3-1 75%

There were three other games not listed with totals between 57.5 and 59.5 and all three went over the total. Naturally, when teased all three went over and all three would have been loses had you teased them down.

The profitable numbers for moving totals in either direction are bolded, so you can see which of the totals teased show a profit regardless of the game selected. Interestingly, totals of 47.5 and higher do show a slight positive situation when teased downwards, as these games have a combined record of 201-75-2, which translates to 72.7%. The margin isn't great, but it is a good starting point for those who like teasers.

The primary reason that these numbers show a flat-bet positive situation when teased is that they show a flat-bet profit when bet straight, as these games are 149-123-6, which is 54.8%. The break-even point on flat bets is just 52.38%.

Many of the wins came in the first three years (2010-2012) as since the start of the 2013 season, teasing these games would have shown a 77-34-1 record, which is 69.4% and a negative situation, although much better than the 64% winning ratio of taking the games under the total. In terms of flat bets, totals of 47.5 are 58-50-4 (53.7%) since the beginning of the 2013 season.

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