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Teaser Bets

Teaser bets are 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 (albeit small) of getting your original stake back, if the last leg lands exactly on the number you originally bet.

Keep reading to learn more about teaser bets.

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How a Standard Teaser Works

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

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.

Sports betting odds display in retail sportsbook

Different Types of Teasers

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 sportsbook’s rules will help clear up exactly which options your site offers. At SBO.net, 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.

Example of ‘Jaking’ a Game

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.

If the Steelers win by less than 14, your bet wins. Otherwise, it loses. 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.

Basic Strategy Teasers

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’.

For instance, 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 teasers are 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 sites still offer it.

An example of a basic strategy teaser would be 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.

Pile of $100 bills

Use Discretion With Teasers

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.

It is best to search for sportsbooks 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.


What is a teaser bet?

A teaser is a sports bet that is similar to placing a parlay. As its name suggest, a teaser bet is designed to be just that – a tease. You effectively buy points in exchange for pairing at least two bets together. You can adjust the point spreads, but you will receive a lower return on the bets in the event of a win.

What does a teaser pay?

As you adjust point spreads, teaser payouts are smaller than traditional parleys. The more points used to tease betting lines, the less the payout will be. While a two-team point spread parlay might pay +200 if both bets win, a two-team teaser might pay -110 because you’ve manipulated the lines.

Do teasers lose with a push?

A push in a two-team teaser without a losing selection will make the entire bet a push. The same is true if there is no action in one leg of a two-team teaser. A push in a regular teaser of three or more teams results in the payout being recalculated based on the reduced number of teams.

Are teaser bets worth it?

Veteran sports betting handicappers will tell you that most teasers are sucker bets. Why? Because the six additional points must increase the win probability by 19.73% and this scenario is rare.

About the author

Alan Penny


Alan hails from Northern Ireland and is an avid fan of all sports. He has been with us since 2017 and serves as SBO’s Editor-in-Chief. Alan passionately covers everything from the latest regulatory developments across the globe to tips on the latest football matches.

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