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Sports Betting 101: Understanding Teaser Bets

Matt Brandon Jan 4th 5:53 PM EST.

What Is A Teaser Bet? 

In the sports betting world, a teaser is similar to a parlay in that multiple games or “legs” are linked and all picks must be correct in order for the bet to cash. However, teasers are slightly different than parlays in the sense that the bettor can increase or decrease the spread or Over/Under in their favor by a designated number of points.

Sounds a lot easier than parlays, right? They are, which is why the payouts are dramatically less than parlays.

Teaser Odds & Payouts

Teaser payouts will rise with every game added to the teaser, but more games mean more risk. The table below shows the payouts for 6, 6.5, and 7-point teasers when selecting two games, three games, and four games.

Teaser size

6 Points Odds

6.5 Points Odds

7 Points Odds

Two-Team Teaser

-110

-120

-135

Three-Team Teaser

+160

+140

+120

Four-Team Teaser

+265

+240

+215

Please Note: Payouts can vary by sportsbook.

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Teaser Examples

There are several types of teasers that sportsbooks make available depending on the sport that you would like to bet on. Unlike parlays, a teaser bet must include picks from the same sport.

Three-Team NFL 7-Point Teaser (Week 18)

  • New England Patriots -8 vs. Carolina Panthers
  • New Orleans Saints -4.5 at Atlanta Falcons
  • Washington Football Team at New York Giants Over/Under 38

With a seven-point teaser, a bettor can adjust the Patriots-Panthers line down to Patriots -1 or up to Panthers +15. In the second game, the bettor can adjust the line so that the Saints are 3.5-point underdogs or move the Falcons to +11.5. In the final leg of the teaser, a bettor can adjust the Washington-New York over/under to Over 31 or Under 45. 

In this example, let’s say that a bettor locks in the following teaser:

  • Patriots -1
  • Saints +3.5
  • WAS-NY Under 45

Since this is a three-team 7-point teaser, the bettor would win $120 on a $100 wager if all three selections are correct.

Below is an example of a massive bet on a two-leg teaser:

NFL Super Teasers 

An NFL super teaser card is a variation of the teaser bet that allows bettors to move the spread or total by a large number of points, most often 7.5 points (but sometimes even more – I’ve seen teasers that allow 13-point line movements). These bets often require at least three bets per teaser and the payouts are adjusted to reflect the number of points allotted for line movement. 

Learn more about the basics of sports betting!

Teaser Bet Pushes

If one of the bets in your teaser ties or pushes with the spread or total, it is removed from the teaser (similarly to a parlay). 

  • A four-team 7-point teaser that finishes with three wins and one push would result in the payouts dropping from +215 to +120.
  • A three-team 7-point teaser that finishes with one push would be graded as a two-team teaser and see its payout drop from +120 to -135.
  • A two-team teaser with a push would be graded as a push overall and the original wager would be returned.

Note: It’s important to do research ahead of time about how sportsbooks handle pushes when it comes to teaser bets. Although the majority of books simply pay out a fraction of the original wager if one leg pushes, there are a small handful of sportsbooks that consider a push a losing bet since they already gave the bettor a massive handicap.

Football Teaser Betting Strategies

Let’s take a look at a few proven strategies that tend to work when placing teaser wagers on football.

Key Numbers

Since teams typically score in increments of three (field goals) and seven (touchdowns), there are a few key numbers to keep an eye on when it comes to point spreads. The key numbers in football are 3,6,7, and 10. Most games are decided by one of those four margins. Look for opportunities to move the line off of the key numbers to increase the probability of your teaser covering the spread.

Moving Favorites To Underdogs

It’s often a good idea to take alter the line so that a favorite becomes an underdog. If a team is favored by 4.5 points, move the line by 7 points, and all of a sudden, the favorite is a 3.5-point underdog. Considering Vegas listed them as the favorite, the odds of them losing by more than a field goal are very slim. 

Stick to NFL Teasers, Avoid College Football

The large point spreads and volatility of the NCAA make teasers much more difficult to capitalize on in college rather than in the NFL. NFL teams tend to be more consistent, which makes it easier to spot value.

Don’t Be Afraid Of Over/Unders

Teasing point spreads are much more popular than game totals, however, there are key numbers to consider when adjusting over/unders. The key numbers associated with over/unders are 37,41,44, and 51. I suggest dropping the total on expected low-scoring games and taking the Over. Similarly, if there is a game with a massive total, increase that number and then take the Under.

Basketball Teasers

Although teasers are most commonly associated with football, many sportsbooks offer basketball teasers. Just like with football teasers, bettors can adjust the spreads and/or totals. Sportsbooks typically offer basketball teasers between 4 and 6 points. You can get larger amounts at some sportsbooks, such as 8 or 10 points (often called sweetheart teasers), but the further you go from the initial number, the odds start to lean in the house’s favor. 

Basketball Teaser Strategies

Basketball games tend to finish between a 5 and 7-point margin. Basketball teasers allow bettors to move a line past these numbers, which can be very advantageous.

The most important key number in NBA betting is 7. This is because when there are 7 points between the teams, the game becomes a three-possession game. If this is the case with close to a minute left, teams will frequently stop fouling and simply let the game run out. 

To convert a successful NBA teaser, it is important to follow these basic rules:

  • Lean heavily on big road favorites expected to win by 9 or more points. Shifting the line down to 4 or 5 points will pay off in the long run.
  • Look for opportunities to move home underdog spreads past the numbers 5 and 7. For example, tease an underdog spread of -0.5 by 6 points up to +5.5.

Just like in the football teasers, moving the spread in basketball also comes at the cost of worse payouts. The exact odds depend on the sportsbook. However, two-game teasers typically have odds between -110 and -140, depending on how many points you decide to move the line. 

Should You Bet Teasers?

Similar to parlay bets, teasers are risky wagers since you need multiple results to happen instead of one. The more games added to the teaser, the greater the chances one of those games will produce results outside of the teased lines. However, if you keep the size of your teaser bet low (I suggest a three-game maximum), you can take advantage of line movements by pushing the spread or total above key numbers. This will increase your chances of cashing. 

If you are new to betting or to teasers, I recommend starting with a two-or three-team 7-point NFL teaser. They are the easiest to convert in my opinion. Once you get the hang of that, you can try small adjusted spreads and more games.


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