For those of you who don’t know, a pleaser is the reverse of a teaser play, as you give up points to the sportsbook rather than buying them. If Team A is a -6 favorite, and Team B is a +4 underdog, a pleaser bet including both teams would end up with Team A at -13 and Team B at -3. The payout for most two-team pleasers is around 8/1, so obviously going up from there would payout quite nicely. A three-team pleaser is normally around 25/1, but after that, betting a pleaser anything higher than three teams would be close to giving your money away.
This has been somewhat of a theme of my offseason betting strategies, but for a pleaser, it’s the law. The difference between a three and four team pleaser is that it gives more of an advantage to the house, because only two or three teams cover their pleaser odds during any given NFL week. You’re simply throwing your money away if you’re betting four or more teams in a pleaser, as the odds are already against you.
However I like to use the pleaser in two instances. The first being the most common, which is when I handicap a game and the line is completely different from what the sportsbook has posted. For instance, when a team is a road favorite of only -6 or so, and they end up winning by 20 points. That would be a perfect example of where you could please them to -13 and still find tons of value for your NFL picks. These are tough to predict, and considering favorites are normally inflated a point or two anyways, it makes that strategy difficult.
The value begins to show up when you start pleasing -10 favorites to -17. In picking pleasers, you have to be very careful, and NFL bettors should know that there are some weeks where there is no value to be found. I would recommend keeping your pleasing to the lines that are in between a pick em, and seven points. Once you get into giving away points to a spread that is already eight points or higher, you better be banking on a huge upset or be on the underdog. Those would be the only times I would touch a spread that big in a pleaser. There are a few times when the spread will be sitting at +14 and pleasing it to +7 isn’t a bad bet. I just find more value in pleasing the small lines that are less than a touchdown, especially on underdogs.
Finally, the pleaser can also be used as an alternative to money line betting. Say you like two underdogs to win SU, and they are both +4 ½ underdogs. Instead of parlaying their money lines together or betting them both straight, you can please them from +4 ½ underdogs to -2 ½ favorites. This will normally pay out higher than a true parlay, or of course betting them to win SU. They still have to win by a field goal, but only around 7-8% of NFL games end with a margin less than three points. Normally, that trick can only be used on spread that is +5 or smaller, (Considering the odds conversion between spread and money line) but it can be a great money multiplier if used in the right circumstances.
The pleaser can be a nice addition to your sports picks, but use it only as an alternative to a moneyline bet, or in rare instances where a team that is favored by a touchdown wins by 20 points.