A teaser bet is a bet where you can adjust the point spread or totals in your favor and is a most popular bet in football. Here you’ll find an explanation of teaser bets, followed by some strategy you can use to make your teasers as profitable as possible.
What is a Teaser?
A teaser bet is a combination of two or more bets in which you can adjust the point spread in your favor on each selection – this adjustment meaning that the payout is somewhat lower. A popular teaser on the NFL is a six point teaser. Here is an example of how it works:
The Dallas Cowboys are hosting the Washington Redskins and one particular sportsbook have the Cowboys as 8.5 point favorites. If you were to back the Cowboys on a standard point spread bet, they’d have to win by more than 8.5 points. However, a 6 point teaser here would give you much more of a cushion as they’d only have to win by more than 2.5 points.
Conversely you might want to back the Redskins here. A standard point spread bet would mean the Redskins needing to either win or lose by less than 8.5 points. The teaser here means that the Redskins have to either win or lose by less than 14.5 points – a much better scenario.
You can also place a teaser bet on totals. Here is an example:
The Cowboys and the Redskins game has a totals expectation of 48.5 points.
If you wanted to back overs on a standard totals bet, you’d need over 48.5 points in the game, however a 6 point teaser would mean that you’d only need more than 42.5 points in the game. Conversely, if you back under, instead of needing under 48.5 points, you’d need under 54.5 points.
You can see here that a Teaser bet is much more likely to win, and this is why the payout on teaser parlays are much lower than a standard parlay.
Some sites will offer a very wide range of separate teasers and will list fixed odds for different combinations of teasers. Here is a typical payout for combinations of 6 point teasers:
2 teams -110
3 teams +170
4 teams +280
5 teams +425
6 teams +600
Although the majority of teaser bets are placed on the NFL and college football, teasers are also popular on the NBA and college basketball.
Teaser Betting Strategy
When evaluating the best games to place a teaser bet, it is good to consider the most popular winning margins in the NFL. It is probably no great surprise to be told that many games in the NFL are won by either three or seven points – around a quarter of the games are won by either of these margins.
Now look at a team that is considered a 7.5 point favorite for the game. If you were to back this team in a standard point spread bet, they’d need to win by eight or more points. If you were to back them in a 6 point teaser, then they’d only need to win by 1.5 or more points. This is a great situation to place a teaser, as both the three point and the seven point win are covered here. (The same applies for a team considered 8.5 point favorites – the move to 2.5 covering both numbers still).
Conversely you’ll also be able to take on underdogs in a similar way. A team might be considered the 1.5 point dog, but by adding a six point teaser, your bet wins if they lose by less than 7.5 points, once again covering both the three and seven point margin. (Obviously the same situation applies for a team that is the 2.5 point dog, needing to lose by less than 8.5).
There is no obvious strategy for playing teasers in basketball, as the winning margins are spread out much more evenly – however the most popular winning margins at this game are 5 and 7 points, and knowing this can give you an edge. However, this edge is not as pronounced as the edge in football.