College Football Teasers: Is There Value Buying Points Like In The NFL?

Written By Brett Gibbons on August 17, 2021 - Last Updated on August 17, 2022
College Football Teasers

So, you’re considering betting a college football teaser. Everywhere you look, outlets advise against buying points at the college level for a multitude of reasons. But, could there be a certain set of parameters where teasing spreads is more viable? Over much of the 2021 college football season, we collected data and tracked that viability.

Teaser betting is common practice in the NFL, but those games are frequently more competitive and the betting market more efficient. Wong teasers are the No. 1 example of this.

But might there still be a place for similar teasers in college football? We attempted to find out.

Methodology

For this study, we teased 166 college football games from the 2021 season, starting in Week 5. Each outcome was looked at individually. The success rate was recorded for the games and broken down into categories. All spreads were teased six points.

Since teasers must be at least two legs and bumps the price down to -120 (or shorter at some books), you have to hit on 54.6% of teasers to break even. But what about EACH teaser leg? The math comes out to requiring a 74% success rate. This means that in order for teasers to be profitable, you’d need to be correct on >74% of your teaser leg selections.

Keep that number in mind moving forward as a target goal.

Sample of Teaser Legs in Study

This study was conducted on a couple categories of college football games:

  • Favorites and Underdogs with Over/Unders less than 50 points (110 total games)
  • Favorites and Underdogs with Over/Unders greater than 65 points (55 total games)

We set those parameters under the hypothesis that buying points in low total games could be more valuable in college football, as it is in the NFL.

Might any of these subsets prove profitable for college football teasers from our sample of 166 games from Week 5-13 of the 2021 season?

College Football Teasers Vs. Straight Bets: 166-Game Sample, 2021 Season

SubsetTeaser Leg RecordTeaser Leg SRStraight Bet RecordStraight Bet SR+/- Units (-110 price)
Overall Underdog104-61-156.4%70-94-242.7%-30.36
Underdogs (U50 Total)72-3965.5%52-57-147.7%-9.73
Underdogs (O65 Total)32-22-159.3%18-36-133.3-19.64
Overall Favorites110-53-366.3%94-70-257.3%+15.46
Favorites (U50 Total)70-4163.6%57-52-152.3%-0.18
Favorites (O65 Total)40-12-376.9%36-18-166.7%+14.73

College Football Underdogs: Teaser Leg Findings

The overall teased underdog success rate in our sample was 62.7%– far below the break even threshold of 74%.

In college football, it’s not uncommon for teams to feature massive talent and coaching gaps that results in large margins. Through Week 12 of the 2021 NFL season, the Buffalo Bills led with an average +13.1 scoring margin; the Bills margin would rank 14th in the 2021 college football season and is almost three times fewer than Georgia’s nation-leading +32.4.

Underdog Teaser Legs: Low Total Games

Was it more valuable to buy points on college football underdogs in projected low scoring games? Success rate on teased underdogs when the point total was under 50 points improved to 65.5% but still under the break even bar of 74%.

Underdog Teaser Legs: High Total Games

Was it less valuable to buy points on college football underdogs in projected high scoring games? Teasing underdogs with a total over 65 proved to be the least viable of the four subsets in our sample. Teased underdogs in this situation hit just 59.3% of the time. Again, nowhere near the 74% required to break even on two-leg teasers at -120.

Underdog Teaser Legs: Wong Philosophy

What about applying the Wong Teasers strategy from NFL betting to our college football sample of games? The idea here is to take +1.5-2.5 underdogs and tease them through the key numbers of 3 and 7 to make them +7.5-8.5.

From our 166-game sample, 17 underdogs fell in that range. Admittedly, it’s a small sample, but these teaser legs went 13-4 for a success rate of 76.5%, slightly higher than the mathematical break even threshold of 74%. Straight bets on these underdogs went 9-8, returning a small profit of 0.18 units if all were priced at the standard -110.

College Football Favorites: Teaser Leg Findings

Overall, teased favorites had a 66.3% success rate, still well short of the 74% break even goal.

Since teasers move the line six points, there was a substantial number of favorites that were teased to a plus number. For example, Iowa (-3) was a three-point favorite in their week 5 matchup with Maryland. That number was teased to Iowa +3 with the six-point buy. Ultimately, there was no strong correlation between success rate and teams that were teased across zero.

Another factor to consider is whether or not teasing favorites made a difference vs. just a straight bet to cover the normal spread. Was the teaser leg even required to cover, therefore devaluing the points you bought for two legs at a -120 price vs. -110 on a straight bet?

Straight bets of favorites in our 166-game sample covered 57.3% of the time, returning a profit of +15.46 units at -110 per bet. Therefore, teasing these favorites in six-point, two-leg teasers at -120 would have substantially shifted your ROI from a profit to a loss.

Favorite Teaser Legs: Low Total Games

Favorites teased in point totals under 50 posted a 63.6% success rate. Once again, this isn’t a viable number enough to break even, much less be profitable.

Straight bets in this category almost broke even, with a slight loss of 0.18 units.

Favorite Teaser Legs: High Total Games

Teasing favorites when point totals were over 65 saw the highest success rate of any teaser subset in this study. Those had a success rate of 73.6%– the closest we got to the 74% breakeven number. While this might look like a success, remember that 73.6% is still a losing number over time.

Compared to what these sides did as just straight bets at -110, it’s an abject failure. These favorites covered without teasing 66.7% of the time, returning a profit of +14.73 units. Again, you would have had a worse ROI if you opted for teasers instead.

Favorite Teaser Legs: Wong Philosophy

What about applying the Wong Teasers strategy from NFL betting to our sample of favorites? The idea here is to take -7.5-8.5 favorites and tease them through the key numbers of 3 and 7 to make them -1.5-2.5.

From our 166-game sample, only five favorites fell in that range. Again, too small of a sample to be actionable. For what it’s worth, four of the five covered the teaser legs versus three of five covering the regular spread.

Perhaps a larger sample of games that fit the Wong teaser philosophy would be the next step in finding if any subset of college football games make for viable teasers.

Takeaways and Application

On TheLines teaser page, our writers advise against teasing college football spreads. That’s attributed to college football having less certainty than the NFL and more variability in talent and coaching. That was backed by our 166-game sample during the 2021 season.

Six-point, two-leg college football teasers didn’t hit the success rate needed to break even, and sometimes would have cost you a profit versus just wagering on a straight bet at a price of -110.

Keep up-to-date with TheLines to stay ahead of the curve with college football betting and teasers.

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Written by
Brett Gibbons

Brett is an avid sports traveler and former Division-I football recruiter for Bowling Green and Texas State. He’s a graduate of BGSU and works as an auditor for Google content curation products. He’s also contributed to Sports Illustrated and Fansided during his young writing career.

View all posts by Brett Gibbons