What Is A Teaser Bet In Sports Betting?

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Teaser meaning

A teaser is a type of parlay, yet far less risky – although there is also less reward. You must bet multiple legs like in a parlay, and all of them must win for you to cash. However, the chances of winning are considerably higher while the payouts are substantially lower. Teasers involve adjusting the point spread of each selection in your favor. Let’s get into the details.

Teaser Betting Definition

Simply put, a teaser bet is a parlay in which the spread for all selections is moved by a certain margin in the bettor’s favor. Teasers can range from two-team cards to a massive number of selections. The appeal is that the risk is considerably lower than a standard parlay, while the downside is that you have to pair quite a few bets together for a considerable payout. All the while, if just one selection loses then you lose your entire bet – just as with a typical parlay.

Teaser bet examples – How does a teaser bet work?

Teasers are common in football, so let’s use the NFL as our first example. You will generally see teasers offered between six and seven points. Standard football teaser denominations are 6, 6.5 and 7. You can occasionally find 10-point teasers, generally limited to a smaller selection of wagers.

If you add an NFL team favored by -3 to a 6-point teaser, they would become +3 underdogs since you add six points to the spread. A team that is a +3 underdog would become a +9 underdog. The same principle would apply to 6.5 and 7-point teasers. The payouts would, of course, become less on 6.5 and 7-point teasers since you are “teasing” the spread further in your favor.

Basketball teasers generally involve between four and six points added to the spread. The same concepts apply, although the point amount may be different.

Clearly, in any teaser each selection is quite likely to win. As a result, though,you must combine many selections to gain a sizable payout. In spite of how much you are moving the lines, it is still somewhat likely that one of your selections will lose on a large teaser card. You can see that there are both advantages and disadvantages with teasers.

What happens with a teaser bet tie or teaser bet push?

Of course, it is possible for one leg on a teaser to “push.” This represents a tie according to the spread, like a -7 favorite winning by precisely seven points. In this case, that leg of your teaser is essentially voided due to the teaser bet tie, while the rest of your card remains active. For instance, if you have a five-team teaser and one of the selections pushes, it becomes a four-team teaser and the potential payout is adjusted accordingly. 

This means you don’t have to worry about a teaser bet push. It is still active, but your potential payout has just decreased.

How to bet on a teaser

Betting a teaser in person at a retail casino or an online sportsbook is easy. When betting at a physical location, you will see teaser cards in the same area as conventional parlay cards. They will list the bet selections available and the teaser lines. You can fill out these cards and bring them to the ticket writer at the sportsbook desk. You can also tell the ticket writer what type of teaser you would like to play and what selections you choose; they will enter the teaser for you.

When betting online, you will generally see a teaser tab within the parlay section of the sportsbook. Some may also have a dedicated teaser section in the virtual bet slip. Odds can vary from sportsbook to sportsbook on teasers, so it is generally wise to shop around to find the most advantageous option.

How to calculate a teaser payout 

You will see teaser odds at your sportsbook of choice either on teaser cards, at the sportsbook desk or on the online sportsbook. They will be similar from sportsbook to sportsbook but can vary slightly. The more selections you add to the teaser, the more the payout will increase. For example, a standard two-team, six-point football teaser will generally come at around -110 odds – similar to a standalone point-spread bet. If you increase it to seven points, the payout will decrease to around -130.

A three-team, six-point teaser will pay out around +180. Once you get into the four-team, six-point realm, you get up to around +300 odds. And so on. Please refer to your sportsbook of choice to see exact payouts depending on the type of teaser and amount of selections added.

The rule of thumb here is that the payouts will increase by a considerable margin the more selections you add, and the more points you are teasing the lines by, the less you stand to win. A six-point teaser naturally pays out higher than a 6.5 or 7-point card.

Are there different types of teasers?

There are a few different types of teasers, but they all operate according to the same principle. The big difference is how many points by which the lines are moving. Football teasers generally come in anywhere from six to seven points. Basketball teasers are more likely to come in four to six. “Super teasers” also exist, and they move point spreads by as much as 10. The more points that are involved the less the payout, since the wagers become more advantageous to the bettor.

Best teaser bet strategies 

When looking at the top strategies for betting on teasers, let’s look at the NFL. Many NFL games are decided between either three or seven due to the nature of scoring in football. You can consider these standard point differentials and use them in your favor.

You might have an underdog that is +2. By moving them to +8 using a six-point teaser, you would win that selection if they lose by seven (one touchdown with an extra point). This is an example of a potentially beneficial teaser selection. Another example is a favorite moving from -8 to -2, which means you would win your bet if the favorite wins by three (the margin of one field goal). 

NFL teams often win by 10, as this number represents one touchdown (plus the extra point) and one field goal. If you can move a line by under or over 10 in your favor, such as teasing an underdog from +6 to +12, this is the type of teaser selection you want to consider.

These principles make NFL teasers particularly profitable since there are numbers by which contests are often decided. This contrasts with the less predictable nature of basketball points, which are accrued in generally smaller denominations. Plus basketball is much higher scoring. Still, NBA teasers can be profitable; it is just more difficult to ascertain which numbers are more beneficial based on particular point differentials.

Teasers are one of the few ways in sports betting to gain particularly advantageous odds on your selections. The key is balancing the number of choices you add to your teaser card and their relative value to maximize profitability on this exciting version of parlay betting.


Luke Lindholm

Managing Editor for US Media Partnerships

Writer for Pickswise. Luke was born in PA but raised in MA and has been writing about major sports for 2 years. He plays soccer and basketball with a love for the EPL, NBA, NFL and NCAAF. Nothing runs faster than home dogs and betting the under is an act of maturity. Luke is a Liverpool and Patriots fan for life, YNWA

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