What is a Teaser in Regards to Sports Betting?
by Doc's Sports - 10/10/2014
A "teaser" is a special kind of sports wager available when betting pointspreads in basketball or football. Like a parlay it is a multi-game bet in which you must win each individual bets in order to win the overall bet. The difference between a parlay and a teaser, though, is that you are allowed to adjust the pointspread in each game you are betting on. That makes it easier to win each individual game, so it makes sense the potential returns are lower than a parlay - often much lower.
There are different sizes of teasers available. In football you can typically shift the lines by 6 points, 6.5 points, 7 points, and in some places 10 points. In basketball the most typical teasers available are 4, 4.5 and 5 points.
An example will make things clearer. Let’s say that on a Sunday during the NFL season you like three teams - the Patriots -7, the Bears +3 and the Colts -4. If you were to bet them in a three-team, six-point teaser you would be betting much different odds. Now the spreads you would need each team to cover would be Patriots -1, Bears +9 and the Colts +2. As you can see, each team’s task of covering the spread has become six points easier than it was going to. Of course, the potential payoff has changed as well. If you were to do a straight parlay with the three teams then the payoff for a winner would be 6/1 at most sportsbooks. The typical payout for a three-team, six-point parlay is just 9/5. The risk is much lower, but so is the reward. It is up to the bettor to decide whether the reward is adequate to make a bet.
Teasers in football are more popular in football than in basketball - partly because football betting is much more popular in general, and partly because of the perception that teasing a line in football means more because fewer points are scored. In reality, though, each sport can offer opportunities, and at time each sport can be totally unattractive in terms of value when it comes to teasers. As with any bet you make you need to understand the risk involved so you can properly assess the bet.
Different sportsbooks will have different payouts, offer different teasers, have different limits, and deal with ties differently, so it is important to make sure that you know the rules of where you are betting before you make a bet. Different rules might not seem like much, but they can make the difference between profit and failure over the long term.
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