A teaser bet is a popular sports wager where the bettor moves the point spread in their favor. Learn more and get teaser betting tips and strategies!
Teaser Betting in The USA
When it comes to sports betting, a teaser is a type of bet that is a variation on a parlay that allows the bettor to shift the point spread or Over/Under a predetermined number of points in their favor. Doesn't that sound incredible? The catch is that multiple bets must be linked together as part of the overall teaser, and in order for the teaser bet to be successful, each of the individual wagers must win in order for the overall bet to be successful.
How exactly does a teaser bet work?
The most common type of teaser is a 6-point teaser, which allows the bettor to adjust the spread or total in any way they see fit by adding or subtracting six points. Some sportsbooks offer different point sizes for teasers, so it's possible to come across 6.5-point and 7-point teasers.
Teasers must include at least two bets (although some books require three or more), and the more bets added, the greater the potential payout, but also the greater the risk. To win money on a teaser wager, as with parlay wagers, each individual bet that is part of the teaser must win. Even if only one game fails, the entire teaser is considered a failure, regardless of the number of games involved.
The following is an example of a two-team, 6-point teaser in the National Football League. In this case, the bettor has reduced the Baltimore Ravens from 9.5-point favorites to -3.5, while increasing the Chicago Bears from 2.5-point underdogs to +8.5.
The bettor must now have the Ravens winning by four points or more and the Bears either winning outright or losing by eight points or less. If both of these events occur, the bettor will collect at odds of -110, implying that a $110 wager on the teaser will result in a $100 profit.
But what exactly is a Teaser Bet?
If you're familiar with parlay betting, a teaser bet is very similar, but it has a twist in that you can move (tease) the points to a more advantageous position, lowering the risk of the wager. Because you are shifting points in your favor, which affects the payout, it is clear that the potential reward is lower than in a traditional parlay. Teasers are only available for point spreads and totals in football and basketball.
Similar to a parlay, you have the option of selecting between two and fifteen different outcomes that you believe will occur. The teaser is useful when you believe that one or more of your bets may require some extra points to reach the point where you can collect your winnings, which requires that all of your bets win before you can collect them. You can "tease" your point spreads and totals by a certain amount, which can range from four to ten points depending on the sport.
If you lose even one leg of your wager, the entire wager is a loser. If your wager is a push, your payout will be reduced by the odds associated with the losing bet.
If you've read our guide to parlay betting, you should have no trouble understanding how teasers work. As an example, we will use National Football League teams because this is the sport where teasers are most commonly used by bettors.
Point spread teaser wagers
A point spread, also known as a point differential, is the most common betting option to move points on when placing a teaser bet. If you tease the favorite team, you will reduce the number of points needed to win, so it is in your best interest to do so (the negative number). When you tease the other team, you increase the number of points that the underdog team has of losing (positive number).
Let's begin with a teaser point spread for two NFL games.
The Chicago Bears lead the Green Bay Packers by +8.5 points (-110)
Dallas Cowboys -2.5 points vs. Philadelphia Eagles -2.5 points against the spread (-110)
If we like the Packers and Eagles in these two games but believe the spreads are not where we want them to be, we can consider a teaser wager. Our prediction is that the Packers will win, but not by nine points, and that the Eagles will lose by more than a field goal to the Cowboys. You bring the score within eight points of a victory. The Packers now have a 0.5-point lead, while the Eagles now have a 10.5-point lead.
Your wager will be successful if the Packers win their game and the Eagles lose by less than ten points. The payout you would have received on a parlay based on the original odds is no longer available to you. By doing so, you reduced some of the risk. If you look at the tables below, you can see that the payout for a two-leg, eight-point teaser is 2/3 odds. This means you'd get two-thirds of what you'd get if you'd placed a regular parlay bet. i.e. $66.67 of a $100 total wager
Teaser wagers on totals
Teaser bets on totals are slightly easier to understand than other types of bets, owing to totals being one of the more straightforward types of betting available. When you tease a total, you are changing the total number of points that both teams must score in order to win. When you place a teaser bet on the over, the total number of points that both teams' combined total score must be to win your total wager is reduced. When you place a teaser bet on the under, you increase the total number of points that both teams must score in order for your under bet to win.
If you're betting on a two-game NFL teaser, you might go with the Chiefs and 49ers for a total of 51 points and the Browns and Bengals for a total of 42 points. You are aware that both the Chiefs and the 49ers have strong defensive units, so you conclude that the point spread of 51 may be too large for those teams and opt to tease the over by seven points. The Chiefs and 49ers now have a combined score of 44. If you believe the Browns and Bengals will score dangerously close to 42 points and don't want to risk going over, you can tease the under by 7 points, pushing the under to 49 points. If you believe the Browns and Bengals will score dangerously close to 42 points, this is an option.
Why do we need a teaser? Consider the following scenario: you want to parlay two bets, Saints -8.5 and 49ers +2.5. You want the Saints to win in this scenario, but not by a touchdown and a field goal. And you think the 49ers won't lose by a landslide? Think again. They might not even come within a field goal of winning. You end up losing both games by a total of eight points. The Saints have a -0.5 point spread, while the 49ers have a +10.5 point spread. All that remains is for the Saints to win and the Niners to suffer a loss that falls less than ten points short of the Saints' victory. Clearly, the odds of you winning the bet are significantly in your favor.
The tradeoff can be found in the payout. In the previous example, which involved a two-team teaser with an 8-point spread, the payout (as shown in the chart) is 2/3, implying that a $100 wager will pay $66.67. A $100 parlay on the same games without teasing would have paid $160. Only you can decide whether the significantly increased chance of winning is worth the nearly 60% decrease in the amount you stand to win. Following that, we will preview two NBA games separated by six points.