Some bettors might be feeling wronged because some legal online sportsbooks have wrung out all the value from Wong teasers.

For those who don’t know what the “Wong” is here, it’s what has become basic teaser strategy and named after author Stanford Wong (a pen name) who introduced it in his 2001 book Sharp Sports Betting.

In short: It’s betting a six-point teaser only using teams that are either favored between 7.5 and 8.5 points, or underdogs between 1.5 and 2.5 points. Taking these — and only these — accomplishes a singular goal: They move the spread through both the “3” and the “7,” the two numbers games most often finish on. The book detailed the percentages and such, but let it be known these teasers were +EV.

“Two-team teasers were even money, sometimes even +110 back then,” said Ed Miller, author — along with Matthew Davidow — of Interception: The Secrets of Modern Sports Betting.

But the oddsmakers wised up, and two-team teaser prices went up, Wong or otherwise.

Today, among America’s sports betting apps the best you’ll find is -120 (at DraftKings and bet365), and prices are as high as -134 at FanDuel.

Three-team teasers also have a wide spread. DraftKings, bet365, and BetMGM offer +160, with FanDuel and Hard Rock Bet at +140. Caesars, which used to be +160, recently went down to +140.

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These prices — which don’t change no matter what the teaser is, Wong or otherwise — are simply the way it’s always been done.

“The traditional teaser is mathematical shorthand. It’s like, ‘Ah this is close, math is too hard,’ whatever,” Miller said. “This made sense before computers were doing all this, but now … we have computers that can do this.”

As it turns out, ESPN BET is one of the sportsbooks using those computers.

Dynamite dynamic

“I first encountered this four or five years ago at G2E,” Miller said. “It was a European company entering the American market. They had never heard of a teaser before. They were basically offering the product ESPN BET has — dynamic pricing, and I was like, ‘Yeah, this is how it should be.’”

Miller notes that teasers are a Vegas creation, and they don’t really exist outside the American market. Enter the bevy of European companies that handle much of the back end for American online sportsbooks, and you’ve got a culture clash.

“It’s an entirely foreign concept to them and I’m sure none of them love it. They’re just like, ‘Americans just love this thing and we have to do some version of it.’ I’m sure they’d love to get away from them. Heck, I’m an American, did [oddsmaking] for five years, and I hated [offering teasers]. All of the teasers currently offered in the United States are offered as a bone thrown to the legacy American sports betting culture, and none of the sportsbooks want to lean into it.”

And despite the rising prices of teasers, there’s still value that can be had.

“The fact the teaser is locked to a certain number is what makes it vulnerable,” Miller said.

But ESPN BET is upending this. To wit: Two-team Wong teasers get priced entirely higher at ESPN BET than at its competitors.

While no games currently meet the criteria this week, the Nov. 19 games between the Lions and Bears and between the Jets and Bills did.

The Lions were 7.5-point favorites teased to 1.5 point, the Bills 7-point favorites teased to -1, and ESPN BET’s price was -165. At DraftKings and bet365, the price was what all two-team teasers always are. They didn’t change, Wong or not, at -120.

Clearly, ESPN BET had a “bad” price, and Twitter did not disappoint.

But this also cuts the other way.

Stay away from Wongs, and the price gets better — by a lot.

For instance, this week, the Bengals are 8-point dogs to the Jaguars, the Commanders 9.5-point dogs to the Dolphins. Tease those at ESPN BET to 14 and 15.5 points, and the odds are -104 — significantly better than the standard -120s (and higher). Add a third non-Wong team — for example, the Seahawks and the points — and it goes up to +176.

“The sharp contingent are all like, ‘I can’t get my Wong teaser anymore,’ and yeah, you can’t,” Miller said. “But everyone betting square teasers gets a better price for the most part. If you’re teasing through zero, now you’re not screwing yourself anymore. Now it’s viable, theoretically — assuming it’s priced correctly. Beyond that, there is still the opportunity for sharp people to beat this stuff.

“This dynamic pricing is not magical. Whoever works the back end of ESPN’s model decided what these points are worth. There’s no magic to it, and it can easily be wrong.”

Alternate parlay = teaser

Other sportsbooks call this rose by another name: alternate line parlays. For instance, Fanatics does not currently offer a “teaser” product, but it will let a bettor put together alternate lines to effectively create one.

In some in-house testing, it was found that two-team, six-point Wong teasers at Fanatics priced out to -141, whereas two-team, six-point non-Wong teasers were at -110.

At BetRivers, another book that isn’t offering an official teaser product, a two-team, non-Wong six-point alternate parlay popped up at +107, while a two-team Wong alternate parlay was -136.

“Clearly these books want to protect against Wong teasers,” said professional bettor Captain Jack Andrews of Unabated.com, who offers a calculator designed to figure out how profitable — or unprofitable — alternate line teasers can be. “The silver lining here is you are getting better odds if you’re not doing Wong teasers. Are they +EV odds? No, but often — and if you’re using the Unabated tools — at least you’re getting fair odds.”

For Miller, this is the obvious way forward.

“You can’t dogmatically bet teasers through 3 and 7 anymore,” he said. “Well, fine. That angle is 25 years old. RIP to that as far as I’m concerned. This is the next stage, and I think it’s absolutely where it should go.

“The alternative to dynamic pricing is just price the traditional teaser product like garbage,” Miller continued. “Just slap increasingly negative numbers on it so that the Wong teasers aren’t good anymore. And if the Wong teasers are bad, then think about how bad the non-Wong teasers are.”





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