A teaser is designed to be just that, a tease. This type of bet offers the player the chance to effectively buy points, in exchange for pairing at least two bets together. Both bets must win (as in a parlay), however, if one bet pushes in a teaser, usually the entire bet is declared a push. This means that it is possible to bet a four team teaser, lose the first three games, and still have a shot (albiet small) of getting your original stake back, if the last leg lands exactly on the number you originally bet.
Many first time bettors view teasers as easy money, and it’s easy to see why. After all, how often do games come in right on the spread, or darn close to it? A teaser is basically a bet that two (or more) teams will come within a touchdown of covering the spread. What’s not to love, right?
A standard teaser offers seven points on football spreads, and five points on totals. The odds vary but are usually no better than -120 for a two team teaser. Many books offer five, six, or even seven+ team teasers, and many places also offer teasers that allow 10+ points to be added to your team. These bets seem like sure things, but as we all know, there is no such thing as a lock in sports. We have all seen crazy upsets and huge blowouts, as well as last second, “backdoor cover” situations. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on who you’ve got), these same events play out when a teaser bet is made.
Example of a standard teaser: A teaser involves at least two teams (or totals), and it adds points to each team (or total). Normally 7 points for sides, and 5 points for totals. So if the game you’re interested in teasing offers odds of Buffalo -4, with a total of 44, you could place a teaser bet that would give you the combination of Buffalo +3 (-4, and then add the 7 points) and over 39 (44, subtracting 5 points to make the over more likely to hit). If both of these hit, you are a winner. If not, you lose. You could also tease the underdog up to +11, or the under up to 49. You can also combine multiple games, so you could tease Buffalo to +3 and then pick another team from a separate game and add points
to their spread as well.
There are many different sports betting sites operating today. Likewise, there are many different types of teaser bets offered online.
The most basic teasers are two team teasers that offer seven points on sides and five on totals. This means you can either add seven points to the underdog, or subtract seven from the favorite, or you can either add or subtract five points from the total to help increase your chances of a win.
However, there are of course three team teasers, there are teasers that offer more or less points, there are teasers that count pushes as a loss, and many, many more. An article dealing with every type of teaser would read more like a novel, and new options pop up from time to time amongst the more aggressive books. A quick glance as your favorite site’s rules or a click on the “teaser” section of the site will help clear up exactly which options your site offers. On this site we cover another popular form of teaser betting known as Sweetheart teasers.
One type of teaser that some bettors enjoy is known as a “jake.” This bet is where both teams in the same game are teased. So, if the Steelers are favored by 7 over the Eagles, and you think the Steelers will win a close, hard fought game, you may choose to jake the game. You would place your teaser bet and select both the Steelers and the Eagles. Now, if the Steelers win by less than 14, your bet would win. Otherwise it will lose. This gives you some extra cushion in case, for example, the game is decided in overtime, or is very tight. This bet generally is not a great one, simply because the chances are too high that one team or the other forgets to show up, or one team simply clobbers another. A jake on a game with a 14 point spread will not win if the game is decided by 35 points.
Example of a jake: Any combination of two teams in the same game, bet as a teaser.
A good (and profitable) spot to bet teasers is what is known as a basic strategy teaser. This occurs when you tease a team’s spread through both the “3” and the “7.” So for example, Buffalo is playing at Miami and Miami is +2. Also, Minnesota is playing at Chicago and Chicago is -9. This would call for a basic strategy teaser, where we would play Miami +9/Chicago -2. The reason this bet is generally profitable is because both 3 and 7 are key numbers in the NFL, as a high percentage of games land on those numbers. If you can bring the spread up or down to capture both of those key numbers, your chances are greatly increased at booking a win. A lot of books are aware of this strategy and try to limit it by dealing teaser lines that do not allow this bet, but some places still offer it. Check with your favorite site to see what kind of lines they offer on their teasers.
Example of a basic strategy teaser: Any game that, when teased, causes the favorite’s spread to cross through the “3” and the “7” or the underdog to also cross through the “3” and the “7” as well. These teasers can include any combination of favorites with a spread of -9.5, -9, -8.5, -8, or -7.5 and any underdogs with a spread of +.5, +1, +1.5, +2, and +2.5.
If you’re interested in a big payday, parlays are probably a better bet for you. However, if you’re looking for more of a “sure thing” then teasers may be correct.
My basic advice is to really look for underdogs in the +.5 to +2.5 range and favorites in the -9.5 to -7.5 range (for 7 point teasers) to spot opportunities for basic strategy teasers.
As with parlays, generally speaking, the more teams you add to your teaser, the worse odds you will face. The chances of two teams covering are obviously better than three teams, or four, or so on. Also, the more points you use in your teaser, the more expensive (worse odds) the bet. So it is best to search for sports books that offer basic, two or three team teasers with good odds and try to find some lines that will pass through both the 3 (field goal) and the 7 (touchdown+extra point).
Of course, line shopping is critical here, as it is with any bet. Searching for an extra half point is crucial and must be done if you are to bet with any level of seriousness.