In the world of sports betting, bettors are always on the lookout for strategies and bet types that can increase their chances of winning. One such intriguing option that has gained popularity over the years is the “teaser bet.” At its core, a teaser bet offers a blend of the excitement found in parlays with a twist that allows bettors more control over the odds. For those unfamiliar with this betting type or for seasoned bettors looking to refine their approach, this article aims to shed light on the fundamentals of teaser bets.
What is a Teaser Bet?
A teaser bet is a type of parlay bet, which means it involves multiple selections in a single wager. The unique aspect of a teaser is that it allows bettors to “tease” or adjust the point spreads or totals for the games they’re betting on. This adjustment is typically in the bettor’s favor, making it slightly easier to win the bet, but at the cost of reduced odds compared to a standard parlay. The primary allure of teaser bets is the increased control they offer. By adjusting the point spread or totals, bettors can give themselves a better chance of winning, especially when they believe the original lines are close but just need a slight nudge in their favor.
For example, in the NFL a 2-team, 6-point teaser if fairly common. If you like the Patriots -7.5 and the Chiefs +1.5 then you can tease the two together to get the Pats -1.5 and the Chiefs +7.5. The standard bet on this is -120 so you have to bet $120 to win $100 and both sides have to win for you to win your wager. If either loses, the bet is graded as a loss. This six-point adjustment provides a safety cushion to the gambler, but the payout for both games winning decreases as a trade-off.
Standard Teaser Payouts
Teasers are most commonly found in basketball and football, the two sports who use point spreads the most often. The number of points and payouts differ from sport-to-sport and book-to-book. I have went to great depths to compare the best teaser odds for NFL, college football, and basketball. Check those pages out if you are interested in which sports book to sign up for to get the best odds in each sport.
There are some online sports books that I recommend specifically for teaser betting. 5Dimes used to be my favorite for basketball but they have left the industry. Bookmaker has some nice options as well. GT Bets, BetOnline, and Bovada are three options I would stress you take a look at if you want to do football teasers.
Teaser Rules for Pushes
The rules for pushes on teasers are generally the same everywhere. If one leg of your teaser loses, it doesn’t matter if you push or win the other side, you still lose the wager. However, a push with the rest of the legs winning will reduce the teams in the teaser. If on a 2-teamer you push and win, you push the bet. But if on a 3-teamer you push and win the other two legs, it will be graded similar to a 2-teamer.
Teaser Betting Strategy
I think most people know by now that teaser betting can be profitable if you know what you are doing. I want to educate you so that you too can be profitable and this explanation should be as simple as possible.
Let’s calculate the rate each leg of your teaser needs to win at for the different odds. The formula is pretty simple. If the odds are +100 you need to win 50% of your bets (risk amount/(win amount+risk amount)). If the odds are -110 you need to win 52.38% (110/210). You then take the square root of those winning percentages and each leg of your teaser has to hit by this percentage in order to be profitable.
For 3 teams we have to take the cubed root of the required winning percentage to determine what rate each leg needs to hit at for it to be a profitable teaser bet.
As you can see, sometimes you get better odds on 2-team teasers, but sometimes you are better off taking 3-teams if you like that many.
Now that you know how often each leg needs to win, how can you handicap winners based on those numbers? Well the key is to cross as many key numbers as possible.
Teasers are also a great way to avoid pushes in sports betting if you have an aversion to ties. This is because you can get two teams off of whole numbers and onto half numbers if the match works.
Football Teaser Tips
Basic NFL teaser strategy says you want to teaser underdogs from +1.5 to +2.5 up six points so you can cross the key numbers of 3 and 7 to get to +7.5 through +8.5. Likewise you want to take favorite of -7.5 to -8.5 and tease them down to under a field goal.
However, I dug into the numbers and generally it’s the home teams that keep things close. If you take only home underdogs of +1.5 to +2.5 and home favorites of -7.5 to -8.5 you have a better shot at winning your teaser bets.
The strategy for college football teasers is a little different. Going back through history I have found the best numbers here are the small, road underdogs. If you can tease them up through the key numbers of three and seven you can turn a small profit.
Basketball teasers work a little differently than football teasers. You get less points for one thing, but also there aren’t the same key numbers like in football. We’ve gone over thousands of basketball games in order to find the best numbers for teasers for both college basketball and the NBA.
What we have found is that in college basketball road favorite are typically good teams to tease. You want to hit the sweet spot of teams that are expected to win the game, then tease them down to where they barely have to get the W for you to cash.
The NBA doesn’t have a lot of options, but it’s similar. You want to get those big favorites down to a reasonable number. If a team is supposed to win by double digits it’s likely they are going to win the game. If the game is close at the end the team that is losing typically starts fouling. That is why you see teams that have a small edge with a minute to go end up winning by 5-7 points. If you can tease down into this sweet spot then you have a great chance of winning.
Teaser bets offer an exiting way to bet. There is some additional strategy that bettors can use to gain an edge over a sports book. Plus it gives an extra way to possibly find some action on a primetime game you will be watching on television. I never like to force action on games, but having more tools in your arsenal means you can normally find something with positive expected value which helps prevent you from making bad bets.