A pleaser bet is a bet that allows the player to move the line in the sports book’s favor, in exchange for better than normal odds. It is similar to a teaser except the sports book is gaining the better line while you receive the chance at a higher payout as the player. Most pleasers are for 6 points, however many books allow you to give away more points for better odds. Typically, pleasers contain anywhere from 2-6 teams, but again, some more aggressive books will allow more teams to be used. Pleaser bets are generally only available on football and basketball spreads.
Typical payouts for a 6-point pleaser are:
Two teams: 6/17.00+6006.006.00-0.17
Three teams: 17/118.00+170017.0017.00-0.06
Four teams: 45/146.00+450045.0045.00-0.02
Five teams: 120/1121.00+12000120.00120.00-0.01
Six teams: 300/1301.00+30000300.00300.000.00
Examples of Pleaser Bets
Lets take a look at a few examples of pleaser bets and how they work.
Here are some NFL game day spreads:
San Diego -7
There are a few combinations that you can bet using these lines. You can bet a 2 team, 6 point pleaser with Baltimore -22.5 and San Diego -13. You can also take Baltimore -22.5 and Buffalo +1. Or you could take Indianapolis +10.5 and San Diego -13, or Indianapolis +10.5 and Buffalo +1. If both of your picks win, you get paid out 6/17.00+6006.006.00-0.17. If one pushes, then the bet is usually a push, depending on your book. If one loses, your bet is a loser and worthless.
Another example of a pleaser, this one involving 3 teams and 6 points:
You like Pittsburgh -6, Tennessee +2.5 and Jacksonville +6. The lines for your pleaser become Pittsburgh -12, Tennessee -3.5 and Jacksonville pick ’em. If one pushes, the bet usually will be graded a push. If one loses, you lose, and if all 3 hit then you get paid 17/118.00+170017.0017.00-0.06.
One example of a pleaser that you cannot bet is one involving two teams from the same game. For example, if we have
Kansas City +6
you cannot bet both Carolina and Kansas City in the same pleaser. The reason is that your bet has exactly a 0% chance to win! If we were able to place that bet, it would become
Kansas City pick ’em
which is obviously impossible since Carolina cannot win by 13+ points while Kansas City also wins the game.
This is one main difference between a pleaser and a teaser. In a regular teaser bet you certainly can bet both teams in the same game, also known as a “jake.”
How to Place a Pleaser
A pleaser bet is relatively straightforward in it’s application. You log into your account and select “pleaser” and then pick between 2 and 6 teams (or more if your book offers it), and then usually there is a drop down box to select how many points to “please.” Some books only allow 6 team pleasers, so they may simply post the lines with the 6 points taken off when you select “pleaser.” This makes it a lot easier to see exactly how many points your teams need to win/lose by for your bet to cash. Other books make you do the math yourself which seems strange in 2020.
Strategy for Pleaser Bets
One strategy that can be used to bet pleasers is to find teams with spreads in the pick ’em-3 range and bet them with other teams in a similar range. Upsets happen often in the NFL and a 3 point underdog will win a decent portion of the time. If you can find two teams primed for the small upset, you can get paid 6/17.00+6006.006.00-0.17, not a bad return with minimal risk.
The odds for a pleaser look very good, but in reality they are still in favor of the sports books most times. (Where have I heard that before??)
If you can find a certain subset of bets where moving the spread 6 points won’t cripple your chances of cashing, then you may have found a good bet. For example, moving a spread across the -1, pick ’em, and +1 seems like a good way to “burn” points while not really reducing the chance that you win. The chance of an NFL game landing on the 1 is very slim. These bets might work best if you find a book that allows smaller pleasers such as 5.5 points.
Generally, if you find more than two teams worth pleasing, you’re better off simply betting them in a round robin parlay bet. The math works out so that it’s about the same expected payout, but with a pleaser you are taking a much higher risk and thus increasing your variance, which requires a higher than usual bankroll.
Betting pleasers profitably and professionally requires a lot of math and legwork but can be done. It is a bit beyond the scope of this article, but there are resources online to help aid your progress if you wish to devote a lot of time and money to this.
If you aren’t looking to go pro, and simply want to gamble it up, pleasers are a nice option if you see some lines that you think are pretty far off in the best sports book sites. You can usually find lots of NFL games that are “closer than the experts think” and use that to your advantage. It can be fun, although not very smart, to pick 4 or 5 teams, fire up a pleaser bet, and hope for the best. Who knows, you may be running well and get lucky that day. Playing pleasers in this way is similar to playing a slot machine hoping for a big payout. It is possible, but the odds are against you, and in the long run you will most likely come out behind.
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