Basics of Teaser Bets

Teasers are one of the more advanced wagers in sports
betting. This is a wager you should definitely learn about
though, even as a beginner, as it provides opportunities to
place relatively low risk wagers which can still provide a good
return.

In this article we explain in detail how teasers work, but we
should point out that you need to already understand a few
things if it’s going to make any sense to you. For one thing you
should know how odds work, because odds are a basic component of
any wager. You should also know how parlays, point spread bets,
and totals bets work.

If you’re not yet familiar with any of these subjects, you
can find what you need to know on the following pages.

The Basics of Teasers

Teasers are essentially a type of parlay, in that they
involve making multiple selections as part of a single wager.
All selections have to win for the bet to be successful. The
selections included in a teaser must be based on either point
spread bets or totals bets. As such, teasers are typically
available only for football and basketball.

The main feature of teasers is that you are able to move the
spreads or totals lines in your favor, increasing your chances
of winning. Let’s take a look at the betting for an upcoming
football match so we can explain how this works in practice.

Teaser Example 1

As you can see, the Kansas City Chiefs are given 3.5 points
on the spread here. If you were including a point spread bet on
the Chiefs in a parlay, or just making a straight bet on the
spread, you would need them to lose by three points or less (or
win). As a selection in a teaser, however, they would be given
extra points. If you included them in a six point teaser, for
example, they would be given 9.5 points on the spread, meaning
they could lose by up to nine points and the selection would
still be a winner.

The same principle applies if you’re betting on the totals.
The line is set at 46.5 for this match, which means if you went
for the over you would need the total points scored to be 47 or
more. In a six point teaser the line would be moved to 40.5,
which means 41 or more would be good enough. If you went for the
under, the six point swing would be in the other direction, and
the line would move to 52.5.

As you can see, teasers can make it significantly easier to
get your selections right. The downside is that the payouts are
lower than in standard parlays, which we’ll get to later.

Teaser Variables

The main variable with teasers is the number of points that
the spread or totals lines are moved by. With football teasers
you’ll find most bookmakers and online betting sites offer
three options – 6, 6.5, and 7 points. With basketball the three
options are usually 4, 4.5, and 5 points. These aren’t set in
stone though, and some places will offer even more flexibility.

Another variable is the number of selections you include in a
teaser. With most bookmakers, online and offline, the minimum
allowed is two and the maximum allowed is ten. This isn’t
always the case though. Some places may require more than two
selections or allow more than ten.

The payouts for teasers also vary. The more the spreads and
lines are moved in your favor, the lower the payouts will be. So
a 7 point football teaser will have lower payouts than a 6 point
football teaser. Payouts also change based on the number of
selections, as they do with a standard parlay. The more
selections included, the higher potential payouts. Remember,
though, that including more selections also increases the
chances of one or more of them losing.

Example Payouts

The following charts show some example payouts based on the
number of points and the number of selections. Please note that
the payouts for teasers won’t always be exactly the same with
every bookmaker and sports betting site, but the examples here
provide a good guide.

Football Teaser Payouts
# of Selections Payout Odds (6.0 Points) Payout Odds (6.5 Points) Payout Odds (7.0 Points)
2 10/11 10/12 10/13
3 9/5 8/5 7/5
4 3/1 5/2 2/1
5 9/2 4/1 7/2
6 6/1 11/2 5/1
7 10/1 9/1 8/1
8 15/1 12/1 10/1
9 20/1 15/1 12/1
10 25/1 20/1 15/1
Basketball Teaser Payouts
# of Selections Payout Odds (4.0 Points) Payout Odds (4.5 Points) Payout Odds (5.0 Points)
2 1/1 10/12 10/13
3 9/5 8/5 7/5
4 3/1 5/2 2/1
5 9/2 4/1 7/2
6 6/1 11/2 5/1
7 10/1 9/1 8/1
8 15/1 12/1 10/1
9 20/1 15/1 12/1
10 25/1 20/1 15/1

Teaser Example

To further illustrate exactly how teasers work, we’ll look at
an example teaser based on the following three football matches.

Teaser Example 2

Let’s assume you decide to place a three team, six point
teaser, for a stake of $50. You select the Kansas City Chiefs,
the Dallas Cowboys, and the Atlanta Falcons on the spread. You
would need the following three results to win this teaser.

  • Kansas City Chiefs to win, or lose by nine points or
    less.
  • Dallas Cowboys to win, or lose by less than nine points.
    A nine point loss would be a push.
  • Atlanta Falcons to win, or lose by a single point. A two
    point loss would be a push.

If all three results came in, then you would win $90 based on
odds of 9/5. You’d also get your stake back of course. If just
one result went the wrong way, you would lose your $50 stake.

You can see that a push is a possibility in two of the games.
The rules relating to pushes varies at different bookmakers and
betting sites, but what generally happens is that a push means
that selection is effectively removed from the wager. If the
Cowboys lost by exactly nine points, for example, then that
selection wouldn’t count anymore. You’d be left with a two team
teaser. If the other two results came in, then you would win at
reduced odds of 10/11.

Now that you understand how teasers work, you might want to
learn how best to use them to your advantage. We can help you
with this, because we have provided a strategy article with advice on
football teasers.