The teaser in sports betting is where the bettor can elect to buy points on a parlay bet. Teasers offer the sports bettor some breathing room when they are unsure of the spread or even the over/under. However, they do come at a price. Teasers, because they offer you an advantage, result in a lower return on your wager.
How Teasers Work
Teasers allow bettors to alter point spreads and over/under. They are available only when you play a parlay, and they apply to the entire parlay wager. The teaser is always used to benefit the sports bettor.
As an example, let’s say you’re wagering on two NFL games. In the first, which features the Steelers at the Browns, Cleveland is at +7.5. In the second game, which is the Patriots at the Dolphins, New England is at -13.5. You want Cleveland and New England, but you don’t think either will cover. You can purchase a teaser to help you hedge you bets.
If you purchase a 6.5-point teaser, then the Browns will be at +14.0 and the Patriots at -7.0, which means Cleveland has some leeway versus the Steelers and the Pats don’t have to win by as much when playing the Dolphins.
However, points don’t come for free. The normal payout on your two- team parlay, which is 13-5, is now reduced to 10-12, which means that for every $12 bet, you can win $10. That 6.5-point teaser has robbed you of about half your profit potential. Thus, you have actually turned your parlay into what is close to a normal point spread bet, but instead of getting paid for each game, you have to correctly pick both to get any cash.
Combining with Totals
You are also able to use teasers for the over/under. You may take Packers at home at -3.5 against the Bears and purchase a 6-point teaser, making Green Bay +2.5. Plus, you take six on the over/under, which stands at 38.5. You choose the under and the additional six points makes your under 44.5 instead of 38.5. That allows for some real space, making your chances of winning much better.
Is the Teaser a Good Bet?
There are a few things to note about teasers that make them less than desirable to many serious sports bettors. The first problem is that you are spending more to win less. Let’s face it, there are a lot of games on which you can bet, and you may be better off finding a few contests that you like a lot better than the two or three you’re going to utilize with a teaser. Also, although you’ve bought points, parlays are still a major risk when compared to individual bets.
Finally, the cost goes up for each half-point that you buy. Football teasers start at 6 points, and also include 6.5, 7, and depending on the sportsbook, 10 points. A teaser can be played at most books on as few as two teams and on as many as six. Some bookmakers offer 10-game teasers.
It’s hard to imagine purchasing a teaser where there are six points in play for ten different teams. Normally a six-team parlay pays 45-1, while a six-point, six-team teaser pays only 6-1.
Finding Smart Picks
You may believe that any won bet is a success, and the advantage that the teaser gives you is worth the cash. However, remember that you are dipping into your bank and using additional funds to get a lower return. Play teasers minimally as they tend to eat up your bank, will diminish your return, are made on a type of bet that is traditionally difficult to win.