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Two-team teasers offer value in NFL playoffs

Parlays and teasers are the biggest moneymakers for sports books.

But that’s not always the case in the NFL playoffs, especially in the divisional round, when two-team teasers often have proved to be a solid bet.

“The two-team teaser in the NFL playoffs is the best bet in the entire casino,” said Sportsline.com handicapper Micah Roberts, a former Las Vegas sports book director. “Teasers are a danger zone, and every sports book is sweating this week because of that.

“Over my career, I’ve seen this round just being the absolute worst for bookmakers in regards to teasers.”

NFL playoff teasers have been so successful over the years for bettors that multiple Las Vegas books have intermittently stopped offering them and/or increased the juice on them.

In the divisional round of the 2016 playoffs, for instance, 15 of the 16 possible teaser options hit, with three games cashing all-way teasers on each side, over and under.

“You’ve got four options (on each game), and the book can lose all four options,” Roberts said. “There’s been several times over the last few years when all sides hit and the books got crushed.”

Much like a parlay, a teaser is a group of two or more straight bets combined into one wager. But bettors can add or subtract six to seven points from each line or total.

“In the divisional round, you’re dealing with the best eight teams in the NFL. What happens is the oddsmakers are so good at making numbers at this stage that those teams usually play close to their ratings,” Roberts said. “The NFL is the sharpest line of all sports, so when you can take that and add six points to it, there’s a huge edge.

“It makes it beneficial for both sides, whether you like the favorite or the (underdog).”

Underdogs haven’t needed to be teased in a while in the NFL playoffs, as they’re riding a 14-1 ATS streak.

Sharp bettors and the betting public like the Chargers, 4-point underdogs to the Patriots after the line opened at 4½.

“The sharp guys always like the Chargers on the road,” Westgate sports book director John Murray said.

The sharps also are on the Rams (-7) over the Cowboys, and the betting public is all over the Colts (+5½) over the Chiefs and the Eagles (+8) over the Saints. A William Hill bettor placed a $110,000 straight bet on Indianapolis at plus 5½.

“The public is in love with the Colts. I’m really surprised at that one,” Westgate sports book manager Ed Salmons said. “And the public is infatuated with (Eagles quarterback Nick) Foles.”

Roberts also likes the Eagles and over (51½), and recommends plays on the Colts, Chargers and Rams as well in teasers and ATS.

“I like the Eagles and over in a parlay and a teaser. It’s a good combination for a team that’s got momentum going,” said Roberts, who went 2-1-1 ATS last week to run his spread record in the Review-Journal to 54-33-2 this season. “This week, we don’t have the perfect number for a teaser. But you can tease the Saints down below a field goal and the Eagles up to 14. That’s attractive.”

An MGM Resorts bettor placed a $350,000 money-line wager to make $100,000 on the Saints. Another MGM gambler made a $105,000 money-line bet to make $336,000 on the Eagles.

A Westgate bettor placed a $20,000 money-line wager to make $56,000 on the Cowboys.

“There’s a lot of support for all four ’dogs on the money line, and we’ll see a lot of Rams-Saints teasers,” Murray said. “That will be a popular bet all over Nevada this weekend.”

More betting: Follow at reviewjournal.com/betting and @RJ_Sports on Twitter.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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