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.
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.
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, for example, 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.
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)
|Basketball Teaser Payouts|
# of Selections
Payout Odds (4.0 Points)
Payout Odds (4.5 Points)
Payout Odds (5.0 Points)
To further illustrate exactly how teasers work, we'll look at an example teaser based on the following three football matches.
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 strategy articles with advice on both football and basketball teasers.
- Football Teasers Strategy
- Basketball Teasers Strategy
Author: Brad Johnson
Updated: March 2015
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