It’s Thursday, which means we are about to get a thrilling color rush matchup between…the Dolphins and Ravens!  Well, maybe not the most exciting matchup but at least we should see some points on the board right?  Not exactly.  At the time of publication, the total for tonight’s game sits at 37.5 points.  For those not familiar with NFL totals, that’s extremely low.  For comparison the Rams are averaging 30.3 points per game by themselves.

Less than 25% of games in our database close with a total less than 40 points and a majority of those games came ten or more seasons ago.  With passing numbers at an all-time high, we just don’t see these low totals come around as much anymore.  But is there a betting angle for these low totals?  Well the Over has hit 51.6% of the time and the Under has hit 48.4% of the time.  So straight betting isn’t a good option but maybe we can find value with a teaser.

A quick primer for those that don’t know about teasers.  Teasers are a special kind of parlay where you get extra points on each leg but all legs have to win in order to cash your bet.  The common bet for NFL teasers, is a 2-team 6-point parlay.  This means you get six points on each of your teams and if both sides win you get paid, and usually at a -110 payout.

While teasers are common for spreads, they are less so for betting totals.  But let’s take a look at these low totals and see if there’s any value to be had.  First I looked at teasing the Over.  So I’m lowering the total by six points and then seeing if the Over hits.  Bet Labs members can quickly see the results by clicking on the record:

There are multiple options but we’re looking at the 6-point option.  In this case, teasers have gone 591-258 for a 70% win rate.  Hey, that’s pretty good right!? No, not exactly.  Remember that we have to take (at least) two teams on the teaser.  So if you wanted to tease the Dolphins-Ravens Over with the Vikings-Browns Over, both would have to win for your bet to cash.  If both have a 70% chance of winning, then your odds of winning the teaser are just 49% (.7 x .7 =.49).

The break-even point for teasers that payout -110 is 72.4%, so you have to look for higher than that to expect a profit.  So what if we try the other side of the bet?  What if we add another six points to the total and take the under?  In a game expected to be so low scoring, we could see some value there right?  I’m glad you asked.

The teaser record for the Under is even worse in this situation.  In truth, it’s almost never a good idea to tease NFL totals.  The value of crossing through key numbers just isn’t there like it can be for spreads.  Although, I have been proven wrong before.  Think you have a good idea for teasing totals?  Sign up for our Starter membership and you can start researching your own teaser systems and see if you can find something yourself.