Many of you aren’t content to just bet the team side in Sunday’s Super Bowl matching the Patriots and Rams. You’re thinking about the Over/Under. You’ve read several stories about unique and entertaining prop bets. Maybe you had some fun betting six-point teasers during the regular season, and you want to try that with the side and total Sunday.

Yesterday’s discussion about the “key” number of three provides important context for making smart teaser decisions, and avoiding nonsensical ones.

You know about the three. How do other digits on the number-line stack up? In order, the most important single-digit margins of victory in football are: 3 (by a mile), 7 (well clear of the rest), 4, 6, 1, 2, 8, 5, 9, and 0 (zero is impossible in a playoff game because somebody has to win).

  •  If you’re seeing a line of Rams +2¹/₂ for the game, that means you could use them in a teaser at +8 ¹/₂. This six-point move would give you the most important key number (3), as well as the second (7), third, (4) and fourth (6) most important numbers.
  • From the other direction, moving a line of Patriots -2.5 to +3.5 isn’t nearly as valuable. Sure, you get a three. But, the ones and twos are relatively useless (you get those twice!), and the zero doesn’t even count in a playoff game. Sportsbooks make you take a dead number if you tease that direction.

Mathematically horrible!

Sure, it doesn’t matter if the Patriots win anyway. And, you’ll feel like a genius if the Patriots lose by three. But, spending $20 for a gallon of milk isn’t justified just because the milk tastes good. If you think the Patriots are the side, there are better ways to play them than in teasers.

We should also mention if you accept that the Patriots are the true slight favorite straight up, then “Patriots by 3” is more likely than “Rams by 3.” Using a six-point move on the Rams up to +8.5 gains you the more likely trey. The three you’re getting by teasing the Patriots is the less likely version of the key number.

Wait, there’s more!

As we mentioned yesterday, many sharps and oddsmakers think the “right” line is closer to pick ’em or Patriots -1. If that’s true, teasing the Rams to +8¹/₂ is like buying seven to 8¹/₂ points for the price of six. With the Patriots, you’re only moving a virtual pick ’em to +3.5.

If you’re looking to bet the Patriots, avoid teasers and focus on team, total, or team-and-player props. If you like the Rams at +2¹/₂ anyway, then pairing them at +8¹/₂ with a teased Over/Under may be offering more value than you had realized. The trick is getting the total right too, then hoping your team side plays to its potential. They’re not called “teasers” because they’re easy.

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