What Is a Teaser? Sports Betting Definitions

Credit:

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Jimmy Garoppolo (10) of the San Francisco 49ers.

A teaser is a type of sports bet that allows you to adjust the point spread on multiple games, but requires you to win every game to cash the bet.

The sportsbook isn’t giving you those six points for free, though, adjusting your payout based on how many points you’re buying and how many games you picked.

At its core, a teaser is a parlay in which you’re buying a lot of points on every game. Teasers are common in football and basketball, and can be used on both point spreads and over/unders.


Click the links below to jump to each section.

  1. Teaser Examples
  2. Is a Teaser a Good Bet?
  3. How to Place a Teaser Bet
  4. Different Types of Teasers
  5. General Teaser Rules
  6. A Pleaser, Explained


Teaser Examples

The most common teaser in sports betting is a 6-point football teaser, in which you have to pick two games correctly but get six additional points on each line.

Let’s use this example from the 2019 NFL season. A Redskins and 49ers teaser in Week 16 looked like this:

  • Redskins +7 (moved from +1) vs. Giants
  • 49ers -1 (moved from -7) vs. Rams

The Redskins were a 1-point underdog and lost 41-35.

The 49ers were a 7-point favorite and won 34-31.

Neither the Redskins nor the 49ers covered the original point spread, but both would have covered in a teaser.

You’re not getting these points for free, though.

Because the sportsbook is giving you six extra points on two games, the juice on this teaser is -110. You’d risk $11 to win $10.

It’s the same price as a straight bet, but you need to win both games to cash the bet.


Is a Teaser a Good Bet?

Teasers are not good bets in college football due to the volatility, nor on totals or many NFL point spreads.

Teasers are only good bets over a large sample when you go through two key numbers in the NFL. This idea was popularized by Stanford Wong and is known as the Wong Teaser.

You want to bet short underdogs up through 3 and 7 — like taking a team that’s +2 to +8.

And for favorites, you want to bet them down through 7 and 3 — from -7.5 to -1.5, for example.

Bettors must win each leg 72.3% of the time for a 6-point teaser to break even. (That assumes the book is charging you -110. If they’re charging -120 or more, like some books are, these numbers are moot).

Even since 2015 when the NFL moved the extra point back (which caused more unusual finishing margins), teasing NFL games through those key numbers has been profitable.

The margin of victory in NFL games is most often 3, 6 and 7 — those make up 30% of all finishing score differentials, so they’re the most “key” numbers in football betting.

These bets are called teasers for a reason — it looks so easy for an NFL team to cover with an additional six points, but needing to win both games makes it much more challenging.


How to Place a Teaser Bet

Placing a teaser bet might like a little different by sportsbook. Generally, the option is going to appear after you’ve selected two games you want to tease.

1. Choose the Games You Want to Tease

I never advocate teasing basketball games, but let’s use a college basketball example from FanDuel.

Let’s say you want to tease Duke down to -4 and Baylor down to -2. Select those bets at your sportsbook.

2. Head to Your Bet Slip

Next, you’ll go to your bet slip, which is usually in the top right corner.

3. Click “Teaser” 

At FanDuel, the teaser option will be one spot over from a straight bet. Click that.

Now it will give you the option to change how many points you want to buy, and the payout.

At FanDuel, getting four points on each game in basketball will make your teaser -110.

At DraftKings, you follow the same process, but teasers are grouped in with parlays. Once you get to your bet slip, click parlay, then click teaser underneath your bets.

You can bet teasers now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 sign-up bonus.


Are There Different Types of Teasers?

A 6-point, two-team football teaser is most common, but you can get real creative with teasers if you want.

Because a teaser is really just a parlay with adjusted prices, you can do almost anything.

  • A six-team, 6-point teaser
  • A two-team, 10-point football teaser
  • A four-team, 4-point basketball teaser


And so on.


General Teaser Rules

Betting teasers is in general a -EV decision. But then again, so is all sports betting if you have no edge.

Some general points about teasers to keep in mind:

  • Never, ever tease through 0. That would mean you’re taking a team that’s -4 to +2. Why? Because NFL games are designed not to end in ties (and can’t at all in college), so you’re not getting one of the points that you’re paying for.
  • Don’t tease college football games. The range of outcomes is wider, and even going through key numbers, it’s not profitable.
  • Make sure you’re getting -110 on 6-point, two-team teasers. If you’re not getting a fair shake there, you’re probably not getting it on other teasers.


What On Earth Is a Pleaser?

With teasers, you’re buying points.

A pleaser is the opposite of a teaser — you’re selling points in at least two games for a bigger payout.

Let’s say I love the Lions +7.5 and Cardinals +11 and think they’re going to cover a shorter number. I can “sell” six points each to get Lions +1.5 and Cardinals +5.

That’s a pleaser.

A two-team, six-point pleaser pays around 6-1 at some sportsbooks. So bettors need to win each leg about 38% of the time to break even.

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