So the Green Bay Packers have been lined 7-point home favorites against the Chicago Bears. Since you lean toward the Cheeseheads to cover the game minus the points, why not better your chances of cashing a ticket by moving the point spread in your favor? In order to do that without buying points and paying a ton of extra vigorish, you can instead put Green Bay in a multiple team teaser and let the chips fall where they may. On top of that, you could possibly get paid out better odds depending on the number of events you insert into the teaser. Sounds great, right? Well, that’s exactly what brick and mortar and online sportsbooks want you to believe!
So exactly what is a teaser? In a nutshell, a teaser allows for the sports bettor to group a number of events into one parlay bet; you must wager on a minimum of two outcomes to officially place a teaser bet. In order to cash said teaser wager, all legs of the bet must cash in at the newly assigned point spread. Say for instance you place a three-team teaser on the Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders and Baltimore Ravens. Just like a traditional parlay, all three teams would need to come through for you to successfully win your bet. If only two of the three find their way to the winner’s circle, you unfortunately won’t be following them there as your bet would be deemed a loser.
Should one of your teased selections end up pushing, the bet would revert to the next lowest tier. For example, if you place a four-team teaser and three legs cash in while the last pushes, the bet would then become a three-team teaser with the push being removed from the overall wager. The payoff would also decrease from a four-team teaser to a three-team teaser.
This however isn’t the case with all sportsbooks; some have their own rules on how to decide the outcome of a pushed teaser leg. Three main scenarios exist. The wager is deemed a loss. The wager is deemed no action. The wager reverts to the next lowest tier. Make it a point to know your respective sportsbook’s MO before investing in a teaser. Always know the rules!
The major difference between teasers and traditional parlays is that you get to move the betting line in your favor. Teasers are only available when betting on football and basketball; both college and professional. Basketball teasers allow for moving the betting line 5.5-8 points in your favor. Football teasers allow for moving the betting line 6-10 points in your favor. But all sportsbooks aren’t the same in terms of their teaser offerings. Some might allow for moving the line even more, while others might be stricter with how much you can move the line.
Another area where books differ is the number of legs that you can enter into a teaser. Some might only allow for up to six teams while others might allow upward of 15 into a single wager. Every sportsbook is different. While adding a number of legs into a teaser offers up higher payouts, it also increases the risk of losing one of those legs and seeing the wager go up in smoke. Remember, any time a sportsbook requires you to be perfect to cash a bet at increased payoffs, the odds of doing so will be weighted heavily against you. This is why many in the industry deem teasers, and parlays for that matter, to be sucker bets. As attractive as +800 odds might look with seven teams locked into a teaser, it’s going to be incredibly tough to get each and every one of those legs home. Careful bankroll management is a must when dealing with any types of exotic bets. If not, you’ll be redepositing on a regular basis, and that’s not good for the bottom line.
Even so, teasers continue to be one of the more popular types of wagers at sportsbooks, and it has everything to do with the increased odds and ability to move the point spread. Each teaser pays out according to the number of teams within the wager and how many points the betting line is moved. For instance, a three team 6-point football teaser will pay out much differently from a 10 team 6-point football teaser. All teaser scenarios pay out differently; there is no golden standard. Sportsbooks take it upon themselves to set the payoffs.
You can expect to lay juice on any two-team parlay whether of a football or basketball variety. It isn’t until that third team is thrown in the mix that positive odds start to figure into the payoff. Three-teamers offer up a +150 return, meaning a $100 wager would net $150 should all three legs successfully come through. Overall you’d be getting $250, which includes your initial stake. Four-teamers pay out in the neighborhood of +235, which would gross $335 including an original $100 wager. A five-teamer clocks in at +350, a six-teamer at +550 and a seven-teamer at +800. Keep in mind, those payoffs are only for 5.5-point basketball and 6-point football teasers. The odds decrease when bumping the teaser up to 6/6.5, 6.5/7 and so on.
Just to make sure you understand what’s being discussed here, let’s drum up a scenario and see it all the way through. We’ll use a 6-point football teaser as an example. You’ve perused the week’s card and circled five teams that you believe will cover the single game spread. Along with placing traditional side wagers on those teams, you want to take a stab at accruing an even bigger payday and make it easier to do so by moving the point spread in your favor.
The five teams you select are the New England Patriots -8, Philadelphia Eagles +4, Los Angeles Rams -2, Miami Dolphins +9 and Minnesota Vikings +1. Installing these teams into a five-team teaser would see the betting lines turn into New England -2, Philadelphia +10, Los Angeles +4, Miami +15 and Minnesota +7. If all five of these teams manage to come within the newly established point spread, the bet would pay off at +350 for every $100 you wager. If four teams came in and one ended up pushing, the wager would revert to a four-team teaser and pay off at +235. If any of the legs failed to come through, you would lose your entire stake.
Here’s a piece of advice should teaser betting be something you’d like to take part in this upcoming football season. The five most popular spreads in football games are 3, 7, 10, 6 and 14. Crossing these key numbers is always an excellent positive expected value (+EV) move regardless of whether the wager wins or not. When doing so, the math is on your side, and that’s all a sports bettor can ask for when attempting to gain a rare edge on bookmakers. Simply following the numbers and ignoring the team names on both the fronts and backs of jerseys is one of the most important aspects of being a successful sports handicapper and bettor. Another piece of advice would be to avoid 8-point NBA and 10-point NFL teasers — they’re fool’s gold!