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What is a Teaser Bet? How to Place a Teaser Parlay (May 2024)

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Teasers are exciting wagers on game winners with extremely favorable lines. Basically, you are buying points boosts to give your teams a better chance of winning. It does not even matter if you are betting on an underdog or a favorite's either. This type of bet is massively popular amongst football fans, and most US and Canadian sportsbooks offer them.

Point Spreads and Parlays Explained

Before delving into the ins and outs of teaser bets, you should be familiar with point spread bets and parlays. You may already be familiar with these two types of bets, but to go further it is worth exploring the mathematics behind them.

Parlay Bets

This is basically a combination bet in which you pick numerous single bets and merge them into one big bet. The odds of every single bet in the combination are multiplied against each other, generating long odds.

Whilst the odds may be highly generous, parlays come with their own dangers. To win your parlay, you need all the legs in your combination bet to come through. Should just one of your selections lose, then you have lost the entire bet.

You can find out more about the mechanics of this form of wagering, check out our beginner's guide to parlays. Here, you can read about how the odds work with examples.

Point Spreads

Point spreads are bets on the winner of a game, with a betting line that levels out the playing field. What this means is that a line is implemented in the game, which will make the two teams more even. The line is a fixed number of points, which is added to the underdog’s score and subtracted from the favorite's score. When you bet on one of the teams to win, they should do so with a point boost or point deficit.

For example, a bookmaker may offer a line of 3.5 in a game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets. The Bills are the favorites' and will receive a point deficit of -3.5. The Jets, on the other hand, are the underdogs and will receive a points boost of +3.5. If you bet on the Bills to win, you will need them to finish the game 4 or more points ahead of the Jets. Alternatively, a bet on the Jets will require them to beat their opponents with an extra 3.5 points added to their score.

In case you were wondering, the bets on either team should bring even money (or as close to bringing even money as the bookmaker can get). As the playing field is even and the odds are practically level, the risk of betting on either team is equal – on paper. And then, just to go into more advanced betting options, there are alternative point spreads. Also known as handicaps, you can bet on a team and pick the line for yourself, and each one comes with its own price.

Brush up on your knowledge by reading our guide to point spreads, which includes examples and strategies.

What is a Teaser Bet

A teaser is basically an adjustable bet that combines point spreads, in the same way that a parlay bet would. The only difference is that it adds an extra cushion of protection onto those parlays, by means of a boost in points. The odds for teaser bets depend on which sportsbook you are betting at. Before going into all that, here are some examples of how a teaser bet works.

Examples of Teaser Bets

The most common teaser bet is a 6-point teaser. You can pick as many selections as you like, and each point spread will be given a +6 point boost. This will significantly change the odds.

Two-Leg Teaser Bet

Let’s say you pick out two point spreads:

  • Philadelphia Eagles to beat Washington Commanders at -7.5
  • Arizona Cardinals to beat Tampa Bay Buccaneers at +3.5

The odds on either bet are -110 (1.91) and the odds for a 2-leg parlay would be +264. The odds for a 6 point teaser are -120 (1.83). With the teaser, the spreads will be adjusted to the following:

  • Philadelphia Eagles at -1.5
  • Arizona Cardinals at +9.5

With these boosted spreads, your chances of winning increase tremendously, but let’s see what that does to your potential winnings. To give some perspective, you place two single bets and one teaser bet. On a budget of $10 for each type of bet, here is what you can win:

  • 2 Single Bets: 2x$5 at odds -110 to bring $9.55 + $9.55 = $19.10
  • Teaser Bet: $10 at odds -120 to bring $18.30

Though the teaser needs both legs to win, the teams have boosted spreads. This greatly enhances the chances of either winning, whereas the single bets are 50-50. The rewards are almost the same.

Three-Leg Teaser

Going forward, you add another $5 to your budget and pick another selection. Here is what you can expect to win.

  • 3 Single Bets: 3x$5 at odds -110 to bring $9.55 + $9.55 + $9.55  =$28.65
  • Teaser Bet: $15 at odds +160 to bring $39

Four-Leg Teaser

Putting in an extra $5, now you can make 4 single bets of $5 or one 4-leg teaser using $20.

  • 4 Single Bets: 4x$5 at odds -110 to bring $9.55 + $9.55 + $9.55 + $9.55  = $38.20
  • Teaser Bet: $20 at odds +260 to bring $72

Whilst it is not without its risk, the teaser bet can bring you quite a large profit. It does require all legs to win, but with the points boosts, you have a good chance of going all the way.

Teaser Payouts

You may find some bookmakers offer better prices for their teaser bets than other sportsbooks. However, sometimes it may not be exactly the case. You must double-check to see whether the lines are the same at all bookmakers. If a sportsbook offers a better deal at the expense of a more unfavorable line, then it is not really beneficial.

Football Teasers

6, 6.5 and 7 point teasers are the most common teasers for football. However, you may find sportsbooks that deliver a larger range of teasers, extending up to 12 points. Here are general odds that you can find at most sportsbooks for up to 7 selections. Bear in mind that odds may vary between sportsbooks.

6 Point Teasers

  • 2 Selections: -120 (1.83)
  • 3 Selections: +160 (2.60)
  • 4 Selections: +260 (3.60)
  • 5 Selections: +450 (5.50)
  • 6 Selections: +700 (8.00)
  • 7 Selections: +1,000 (11.00)

6.5 Point Teasers

  • 2 Selections: -130 (1.77)
  • 3 Selections: +140 (2.40)
  • 4 Selections: +240 (3.40)
  • 5 Selections: +400 (5.00)
  • 6 Selections: +600 (7.00)
  • 7 Selections: +900 (10.00)

7 Point Teasers

  • 2 Selections: -140 (1.71)
  • 3 Selections: +120 (2.20)
  • 4 Selections: +200 (3.00)
  • 5 Selections: +350 (4.50)
  • 6 Selections: +500 (6.00)
  • 7 Selections: +700 (8.00)

Basketball Teaser Bet Payouts

Most sportsbooks offer 4, 4.5 and 5 point teasers for basketball games. In the same format as for football teasers, here is a list of the odds for teasers of up to 7 selections. The odds may vary between different sportsbooks.

4 Point Teasers

  • 2 Selections: -110 (1.91)
  • 3 Selections: +180 (2.80)
  • 4 Selections: +300 (4.00)
  • 5 Selections: +500 (6.00)
  • 6 Selections: +700 (8.00)
  • 7 Selections: +1,000 (11.00)

4.5 Point Teasers

  • 2 Selections: -120 (1.83)
  • 3 Selections: +160 (2.60)
  • 4 Selections: +250 (3.50)
  • 5 Selections: +400 (5.00)
  • 6 Selections: +550 (6.50)
  • 7 Selections: +700 (8.00)

5 Point Teasers

  • 2 Selections: -130 (1.77)
  • 3 Selections: +150 (2.50)
  • 4 Selections: +200 (3.00)
  • 5 Selections: +350 (4.50)
  • 6 Selections: +500 (6.00)
  • 7 Selections: +700 (8.00)

Teaser Betting Strategy

Now that you are acquainted with teaser bets, you can start planning to put them into your betting strategy. There are lots of ways punters use teaser bets, and here are a few tips to get you on your way.

Shop for the Best Odds

In relation to the payouts that we have listed, you should definitely do your own research. The payouts we gave are a general idea of what you can expect, but there are some books with better, and some with worse, deals. Shop around and you find the bookmaker that gives the best prices, without changing the line.

Smaller Teasers are Favorable

The more legs you have in a teaser, the higher the risk that one of them will lose you your bet. Statistically, you are better off by using fewer legs and smaller teasers: 6 points for football and 4 points for basketball. Do not compromise your bet by picking risky selections either. If you are comfortable with three selections but not on the fourth, then it is better to stick to a three-leg teaser. Do not extend your bet to four selections and compensate by going for a 6.5 or 7 point teaser.

Look for Key Numbers

Most NFL games end with teams winning by a margin of 3 or 7 points. This is because of the structure of the scoring and points system used. It works to your advantage if you can try to reach these margins with your point teasers.

With underdogs, the idea is to avoid losing by a margin of 7 points if you bet on the underdog. Look for spreads of +1.5 and +2.5. With a 6 point spread you can extend this up to +7.5 and +8.5, which is over the margin of 7.

For favorites', you must avoid giving the favorites' a spread that will stop them from winning by 3 points. You can apply 6 point teaser to spreads of -7.5 and -8.5. Then, the spread will only be -1.5 or -2.5, which falls below a winning margin of 3 points.

There are no special numbers in the NBA, as there are in the NFL. This is because the scoring system is more fluid.

Special Tip: Look for Promotions

Sportsbooks that specialize in football or basketball may offer teaser bet promotions. Keep your eyes peeled for any deals, and make sure they hit key numbers. Some sportsbooks may offer special deals for larger teasers, which can also be highly useful. However, remember that more legs mean far more risk. It is even riskier than picking teasers with fewer points boosts.

Be Patient

Teasers will not bring as much money as parlay bets. There is no two ways about it: a two-leg teaser will come at odds of +160 whereas a parlay will bring odds of +264. Stepping up, a three-leg teaser delivers +160 whilst the parlay equivalent brings -596. Teasers are not big moneymakers, and so you must accept the fact that parlays will always bring more.

Instead, you would use teasers to give yourself a better chance of winning and can build slowly, but steadily. Point spread parlays, on the other hand, are 50-50 affairs. With a level playing field, each game has an equal chance of winning or losing. If you bet on two games, the chance of winning on paper is 1 in 4. Betting on three games makes the chance of winning even slimmer, and on paper, it is 1 in 8.

Conclusion

Whilst they are most popular among football and basketball fans, you can try forming your own teasers in any sport. The logic is the same, in which you are picking numerous legs in a parlay, covering spreads with short odds. If your sportsbook does not offer teaser bet tools, then you can simply follow the same principles.

  1. Find games you want to bet on
  2. Check the alternative spreads market
  3. Pick your bets (choose the spread of your choice)
  4. Combine the bets into a parlay
  5. Confirm and pay

Teaser betting is not for everyone. Some bettors swear by it whilst others may say they are not worth the hassle. Whilst teaser bets may not bring as much money as regular point spread parlays, the concept is definitely intriguing. Learning when to spot good point spreads and where to draw the betting line is also an invaluable talent. Hopefully, you have learnt a few new tricks and strategies, and next time you line up your bets you can give teasers a try too.

Lloyd is passionate about online gambling, he lives and breathes blackjack and other table games, and he enjoys sports betting.