You’ve probably heard the typical items to bet on sports whether it’s the point spread, moneyline, or point totals. Those are the major three categories when it comes to sports betting, but there are plenty of opportunities worth exploring.
Teasers are more advanced and can be a little more complicated than the industry’s more basic terms and may need some explaining, but we’re here to help you understand it all and how it works.
A teaser bet is similar to parlay bet in that it requires multiple outcomes to be correct for the bet to be a winner. It’s an all-or-nothing style of bet that can be a useful tool when analyzing the betting board. A teaser is different from a parlay in that the sports bettor is in control of the lines whether it’s a point spread or point total. Spreads and totals may be modified in whichever direction the gambler decides to make for a better winning opportunity.
While the ability to shift numbers in your direction makes for an easier chance at a winning bet, the payout in a teaser bet is typically smaller than the payout of a parlay bet, which is another difference between the two strategies.
Teasers are most commonly used when betting on football and basketball, as both see a significant amount of points scored compared to the other major sports. With the point spread and point totals as large components of wagering both sports, it provides an opportunity for betting teasers.
Sportsbooks typically will give football bettors the chance to tease 6, 6.5, and 7 points. When you look at the point spread or point total for a particular game, you can choose to add your teaser points to the sides or totals you’d like for multiple outcomes.
One aspect to watch when analyzing NFL and college football teasers is key numbers. The most important numbers in football betting are three and seven, as those two numbers have the highest chance of winding up as the final deficit in games.
In basketball, sportsbooks typically will offer teaser numbers of 4, 4.5, and 5 points for sports bettors to choose from.
If all the combinations you select are winners, you win the bet. If just one of the outcomes falls short, the bet is a loser no matter how many winners you selected in the teaser.
The more points added to your preferred side or total, the less of a payout there will be if the bet eventually becomes a winner. For example, if you’re betting a football game and take seven points on the teaser, there would be less of a payout than there would be if you teased six points.
Sportsbooks may differ when it comes to payouts on teasers, but most have agreed on a standard of how they operate up to ten outcomes.
The payout increases quite a bit with the more teams you add, but the payout is less the higher the teaser number is.
Basketball payouts are similar to football. Here they are:
This is more for more experienced bettors but having a general sense of where a line will move before game time can provide an even greater chance at picking a winner. When the oddsmakers set their initial lines on the point spread or point total, it’s not uncommon for the number to change depending on where the majority of bets are coming in. If you have a good hunch on which side or total the largest amount of money will come in on, you might be able to snag a half-point or more to your side for an even larger advantage to your teaser.
Football has the most movement since lines are usually put out well in advance of the start of the game.
A push is the gambling term for a tie. If you put together a three-team teaser and one of the outcomes lands right on the number you’re betting on, that’s called a push. Sportsbooks handle pushes differently with teasers, but typically the outcome that resulted in a push is eliminated from the teaser bet. If it’s a three-team teaser, the bet that finished in a push is taken out as if it never happened and you’re now playing a two-team teaser.
Now that you’ve read the basics of betting teasers, let’s put what you’ve learned into examples to give you an even better understanding. Let’s dive in.
After analyzing the betting board, let’s say you are interested in the home teams and want to add a little extra to their number with a teaser. In this scenario, you’re picking the Packers, Lions, and Eagles to cover in your teaser. Here’s what the board initially looks like before you add in your teaser points.
Let’s say you decide on a seven-point teaser. After putting that into effect, here’s what your gambling card looks like now:
The teaser added seven points to each outcome. Instead of needing the Packers to win by more than three points, now all the Packers need to do is win or lose by three points or less. The Lions need to win or lose by less than nine, and the Eagles turned from 6.5-point favorites to 0.5-point underdogs.
If all the outcomes wind up coming true, the bet is a winner. Since this is a three-team teaser at seven points each, the odds would be set at +140, which means a $100 bet would net a $140 profit.
If any of the outcomes fail, the entire bet is a loser.
Let’s head to the NBA for our next example. For this one, say you think offenses are being undervalued in terms of how many points they will score on this day. While you’re confident the point total is going to go over, you protect yourself with a four-point teaser on the following slate of basketball games:
Since you’re rooting for the over, we will subtract four points to make the point total mark easier to hit. After the teasers are placed, here’s what your betting card looks like now:
Just like all teasers, you must succeed on each outcome for a winning bet. If you get a four-teamer teased at four points correctly, the odds are set at +300, so a $100 bet turns into a $300 profit with a winner.
For our third and final example of teaser betting, let’s look at a slate of college football games. In this scenario, we will take point spreads and point totals and combine them into a four-team teaser.
For Ohio State, you think they will beat Michigan, but 10 points might be too much, so you tease that number down seven points, and you do the same with Clemson against South Carolina.
With Michigan State and Rutgers, you think the over will hit, so you subtract seven points. Finally, for Alabama and LSU, you are confident fewer points will be scored, taking the under and adding seven points.
After all the teasers are placed, the board now looks like this with your four-team teaser:
In the example, let’s say Ohio State winds up beating Michigan by exactly three points with a final score of 23-20. That’s a push, so that bet is eliminated. Your four-team teaser is now a three-team teaser.
If you get the rest of them correct, three teams teased at seven points will be at +140 odds. A $100 bet nets you $140.
Sports bettors have the opportunity to modify the lines. All outcomes need to be correct for a winning bet. The more outcomes added, the higher the potential payout will be. The more points added to the teaser, the less the potential payout will be.