Published Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023 | 8:30 a.m.
Updated 1 hour, 56 minutes ago
So long and farewell to the mathematically advantageous teaser bets available to bettors in Las Vegas.
This week marked the end of an era locally, as Caesars/William Hill stopped offering -120 (i.e. risking $120 to win $100) on two-team, six-point teasers. The largest sportsbook operator in Nevada was the final shop with the state with the bargain but has now tacked on an extra five cents at -125.
That erodes most edges in taking teams through the 3 and 7 on point spreads for teasers
The bets can still have a positive expected value if the game totals are low enough, but the opportunities are now far less uniform.
The shift completes a dramatic price increase over the last decade or so, as many sportsbooks offered two-team, six-point teasers at even money in the early 2010s. Now, they’re as high as -140 — a price that would be a stay-away under any circumstance.
It’s sad day for all bettors and certainly for Sunday Sweats, which has maintained a teaser category from the column’s inception. But sports betting requires evolving, so let’s do that by moving forward and still looking for edges to build on a profitable season so far.
Read below to find bets in all seven of Sunday Sweats’ usual categories. Lines are the best currently available at publication time in Las Vegas with the sports book noted. Plays from other betting columns will be linked and tracked here at the bottom of the page. Check back Sunday for an additional prop in the Raiders’ gameday preview that will also be tracked as part of the Sunday Sweats.
Tasty Total (3-3, -$56): Cleveland Browns at Indianapolis Colts over 41.5 (South Point)
$220 to win $200
The rash of low-scoring games and unders that I hinted at in last week’s column and ultimately didn’t follow through betting on in this category — sigh — seems to have dropped totals across the board this week. In some cases, it’s gone too far. This might be one of those instances, as Cleveland’s offense might be getting judged too harshly for a 19-17 win over San Francisco where it was playing with P.J. Walker at quarterback in awful weather conditions. Oh, and by the way, that game goes over the closing 36.5 bar anyway if 49ers kicker Jake Moody just makes one of two failed field goal attempts including a 41-yarder at the end of the game. Cleveland’s offense will be much more competent indoors and with Deshaun Watson back at quarterback. And new Indianapolis coach Shane Steichen has consistently coaxed points out of his offense, and should be able to do so even against what’s been the best defense in the NFL so far.
Two- (Or Three-) Team Teaser (3-3, $30): Atlanta Falcons +8.5 & Chicago Bears +8.5 at -125 (Caesars/William Hill)
$250 to win $200
Expect to see the risk amount lessened in this category going forward with the new pricing, but these two games look like such strong teaser sides that I’m going to push that plan back at least one week. Taking spreads up through the 3 and 7, instead of down through the 3 and 7, is actually slightly more profitable both long-term and this season specifically. Teaser win expectancy is even higher with totals like over/under 37.5, the line in both of these games. There’s simply not a lot of discrepancy between either the Bears and the visiting Raiders or the Falcons and the home-team Buccaneers. And there’s not going to be a lot of points in either game to boot. The teaser pricing change is going to hurt a lot over a larger sample, but certain combinations this week seem positive even while paying the extra five cents.
Moneyline Parlay (1-5, $270): Baltimore Ravens & Kansas City Chiefs at +131 (Circa Sports)
$200 to win $262
Let’s simplify here and go for less of a long shot combination after five straight losses in this category, many of the excruciating variety. That’s the name of the game with moneyline parlays, though, as I’d take a break-even year with them in the column as a success. Both of these favorites look a bit underpriced to me, so I’ll tie them together. Baltimore is suddenly healthier than Detroit, and worthy of being closer to a -180 favorite than the -167 Circa is currently offering. And I’m selling on the Chargers in any way possible. Circa is where it’s easiest to do so, as the -225 price is by far the shortest available in Nevada.
Player Prop (8-4, $786): DeVonta Smith over 53.5 receiving yards at -114 (Boyd Sports)
$228 to win $220
Buy low on the former Heisman Trophy winner, who had a pair of horrendous drops in last week’s loss to the Jets one game after sulking for not getting enough targets. The Eagles are going to need him to keep pace against the Dolphins, and his receiving total has dropped too far. A.J. Brown has been the dominant force in the Philadelphia offense over the last few weeks, but it’s going to even out and Smith won’t be this far behind him forever. Miami is likely to devote more resources to slowing Brown, therefore opening up Smith to show off his big-play ability. It wouldn’t be preposterous to say Smith could go over this number with as few as two receptions, and in the highest totaled game of the week, he should have a bigger workload than that.
Lookahead Line (1-4, -$685): Carolina Panthers +3 vs. Houston Texans in Week 8 (SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas)
$275 to win $250
Both teams should be healthier coming off a bye week, but Carolina may deserve a bigger boost for a long-overdue strategic change. Offensive coordinator Thomas Brown will take over play-calling duties from coach Frank Reich, who’s conservative, unimaginative style has limited his teams dating back to his final couple years with Indianapolis. People around the league rave about Brown, a former standout University of Georgia running back, and describe him as the best option to get the most out of rookie quarterback Bryce Young. Less than two months ago, by the way, Young was widely considered the sharper NFL prospect over Houston quarterback C.J. Stroud. Some adjustment is needed after the latter played much better than the former over the first six weeks of the NFL season, but this might be too big of a jump. The winless Panthers should begin to show some progress as the season goes on, and this could be the starting point.
Future Finding (1-1, $700): Victor Wembanyama to win NBA Rookie of the Year at +125 (BetMGM)
$400 to win $500
This is one of the rare sports books where the athletic 7-foot-4 phenom isn’t the odds-on favorite to win Rookie of the Year in the upcoming NBA season. That’s a mistake. The sports books that opened the San Antonio Spurs’ top overall pick from June’s NBA Draft as a -250 favorite over the summer were a little aggressive, but the swing to put him available at this high of a price is even worse. He may not be fully seasoned yet but few players in the league are going to affect games as much on a nightly basis — especially defensively — as Wembanyama. The biggest concern with this bet is Wembanyama hitting the 65-game minimum to qualify for the award, but at this high of a price, it’s a risk worth taking. Thanks for humoring me with a pair of NBA futures over the last couple weeks in this category. Next week, I’ll return to the NFL.
Non-football Play (5-1, $750): Denver Nuggets -4.5 vs. Los Angeles Lakers (STN Sports)
$165 to win $150
The Nuggets were -5.5 and -7.5 in their pair of home games against the Lakers in the playoffs five months ago, winning by five and six points, respectively. What merits dropping the spreads below not only those past lines but also their margins of victory? There are some reasonable answers, namely that Denver has bled some of its depth since winning the NBA championship. But so have the Lakers. The betting market has consistently struggled to accurately quantify the Nuggets when Nikola Jokic is a full go, and there’s little doubt the reigning NBA Finals MVP and his teammates will be ready for opening night when the organization is unfurling a championship banner. This isn’t a huge edge, but the Nuggets are the only way to look.
Sunday Sweats year to date: 22-21, $2,035
Weekend betting columns year to date: 120-141-3, $11,134
Weekend betting columns all-time: 598-636-10, $29,643
Previous pending wagers: Texas to win the College Football Playoff at 30-to-1 ($100 to win $3,000); Tanner Mordecai to win the Heisman Trophy at 200-to-1 ($30 to win $6,000); Atlanta Braves at 5-to-1 to win the National League ($300 to win $1,500; Atlanta Braves at 10-to-1 to win the World Series ($300 to win $3,000); Buffalo Bills at 9-to-1 to win Super Bowl 58 ($300 to win $2,700); LSU to win the College Football Playoff at 20-to-1 ($150 to win $3,000); Philadelphia Eagles to win Super Bowl 58 at 9-to-1 ($300 to win $2,700); Nolan Smith to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year at 20-to-1 ($100 to win $2,000); Kansas to win 2024 NCAA Tournament at 14-to-1 ($200 to win $2,800); Buffalo Bills at 10-to-1 to win Super Bowl 58 ($100 to win $1,000); Lamar Jackson to win NFL MVP ($150 to win $2,700); Ohio State to win the College Football Playoff at 8-to-1 ($350 to win $2,800); Carson Beck to win the Heisman Trophy at 30-to-1 ($100 to win $3,000) Las Vegas Aces to win WNBA Championship at -115 ($575 to win $500); William Byron to win NASCAR Cup Series championship at +750 ($300 to win $2,250); Edmonton Oilers to win 2024 Stanley Cup Final at 12-to-1 ($250 to win $3,000); Mississippi State under 6.5 wins at -145 ($435 to win $300) Colorado under 3.5 wins at -130 ($260 to win $200); Miami over 7.5 wins at +125 ($200 to win $250); Myles Garrett to win NFL Defensive Player of the Year ($300 to win $2,400); Florida over 5.5 wins at -120 ($240 to win $200); Kentucky over 7 wins at +110 ($200 to win $220); Mississippi State under 6 wins at Even money ($100 to win $100); Oklahoma State over 6 wins at -140 ($280 to win $200); Texas Tech under 7.5 wins at -120 ($240 to win $200); UCF over 7 wins at Even money ($200 to win $200); West Virginia under 5.5 wins at -180 ($360 to win $200); Air Force to win the Mountain West at 5-to-1 ($200 to win $1,000); Colorado under 3.5 wins at -120 ($120 to win $100); Oregon State under 8.5 wins at -135 ($135 to win $100); USC under 10 wins at Even money ($150 to win $150); Washington over 9 wins at -120 ($180 to win $150); Ohio State over 10.5 wins at Even money ($150 to win $150); Penn State under 9.5 wins at +130 ($150 to win $215); Iowa under 8.5 wins at -115 ($230 to win $200); Nebraska under 6.5 wins at -110 ($220 to win $200); Purdue over 4.5 wins at -140 ($210 to win $150); Duke under 6 wins at +125 ($200 to win $250); Miami over 7.5 wins at +116 ($200 to win $232); North Carolina under 8.5 wins at -150 ($300 to win $200); Syracuse over 6 wins at +105 ($200 to win $210); Boise State under 8.5 wins at -130 ($260 to win $200); New Mexico over 3 wins at -130 ($260 to win $200); Fresno State under 8.5 wins at -150 ($300 to win $200); Hawaii over 3.5 wins at -130 ($260 to win $200); Anthony Richardson to win Offensive Rookie of the Year at 9-to-1 ($200 to win $1,800); Zay Flowers to win Offensive Rookie of the Year at 30-to-1 ($65 to win $1,950); Miami Dolphins to not make the playoffs at +105 ($300 to win $315); Cleveland Cavaliers to win Central division at 3-to-1 ($300 to win $900); Derrick Henry to lead the NFL in rushing yards at +850 ($200 to win $1,950); Justin Herbert to lead the NFL in passing yards at +550 ($200 to win $1,100); San Francisco 49ers to win the NFC West at -165 ($660 to win $400); Western Kentucky to win Conference USA at +110 ($500 to win $550); Jacksonville Jaguars to win the AFC South at -190 ($570 to win $300); Tampa Bay Buccaneers NOT to make the playoffs at +120 ($200 to win $240); Boston Celtics to win the NBA in-season tournament at +950 ($200 to win $1,900); Los Angeles Rams -3 -105 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers ($315 to win $300)