What is a Teaser in Sports Betting?

A teaser is an extension of a parlay bet that allows bettors to increase or decrease lines on totals and spread bets, in exchange for a slightly lower payout. In this article, we’re going to be looking at what is a teaser in sports betting, how the bet works, real-world examples, and strategy related to teaser betting.

What is a Teaser?

A teaser bet is a type of sports bet where you can adjust the point spread or total of multiple games in your favor. It allows you to “tease” the lines by adding or subtracting a certain number of points from the original spread or total.

BetOnline with betslip showing teaser details.

The number of points you can tease varies depending on the sport and the sportsbook. However, in exchange for favorable adjustments, the odds and potential payouts are reduced compared to traditional point spread or total bets. Teaser bets can be appealing for bettors who want more favorable conditions but are willing to accept lower potential winnings.

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How Does a Teaser Bet Work

We’ve stated previously that teasers are like parlay bets and for the most part, they are identical. But there are certain conditions about how they work that you need to be aware of.

Below we’ve included the features that make a teaser bet unique.

  1. Selection – Choose two or more games to include in your teaser bet. It can involve point spread bets or over/under (total) bets.
  2. Teaser Points – Determine the number of teaser points you want to add or subtract from each spread or total. Teaser points are predetermined values set by the sportsbook.
  3. Adjusted Lines – The teaser points are applied to each game’s original point spread or total. For example, if a team is favored by 7 points, and you have a 6-point teaser, the new line becomes -1 point (7 – 6 = -1).
  4. Combining Bets – All the adjusted lines are combined into a single bet. For teaser bets, all selections must win or tie (push) for the bet to be successful.
  5. Payouts – The payout odds for teaser bets are usually lower than regular bets due to the favorable adjustments. The specific odds depend on the number of teams and the teaser points used. Sometimes odds are fixed depending on the number of selections included in the bet.
  6. Potential Winnings – If all your selections win or tie based on the adjusted lines, your bet is considered a winner, and you receive the predetermined payout based on the odds.

Teaser Betting Odds and Payouts

Most online sportsbooks will have fixed odds, for the most part, when it comes to teaser betting. They’re able to do this based on the fact that markets are from the spread and total, which means the original odds are around the -105 to -115 mark.

The table below is taken from the FanDuel sportsbook and highlights how changing the points spread for the teaser affects the odds for bets within the NFL.

Number of Picks 6 Points 6.5  Points 7 Points
2 Picks -134 -143 -150
3 Picks +140 +130 +120
4 Picks +240 +200 +180
5 Picks +333 +290 +250
6 Picks +500 +400 +350

As you can see, the more picks that you include and the lower the points spread that you choose, the higher the odds will be.

What if a Game from the Teaser is a Push?

This is a common question for teaser bets and if the line is set at a whole number, might be a common result. It’s worth noting that any lines that are not whole numbers (6.5, 5.5, 4.5, etc.) will always have a result and only lines that are whole numbers (5, 6, 7, etc.) can be a push.

So, if the game is a push then the bet is simply removed from the overall teaser. For example, you have one game from a 5-pick teaser that is a push and the other four games win, all that will happen is the push is removed and the odds adjusted to a 4-pick teaser.

If one pick is a push from a 2-pick teaser and the other pick wins, then the whole bet for this will be deemed a push and your stake will be refunded.

Teaser Bet Example

Below we’ve included an example of a teaser bet from two NFL games. With each, we’ve stated how the 6.5 spread affects both the totals and the points spread line.

Game 1: New England Patriots vs. Kansas City Chiefs

  • Original Point Spread: Patriots +3.5
  • Original Total: 48.5

Game 2: Green Bay Packers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Original Point Spread: Packers -4.5
  • Original Total: 51.5

Teaser Points: 6.5 Adjusted Point Spreads:

  1. Patriots +3.5 adjusted to +10
  2. Packers -4.5 adjusted to +2

Adjusted Totals:

  1. Total of 48.5 adjusted to 42
  2. Total of 51.5 adjusted to 45

Odds: -120

Payout: $100 for $120 

In this example, you have two picks from different NFL games that you want to include in your teaser bet. The original point spreads and totals for the games are adjusted using a teaser line of 6.5 points.

For Game 1, the Patriots were originally underdogs at +3.5, but with the teaser points applied, they are now adjusted to +10. For Game 2, the Packers were originally favored at -4.5, but with the teaser points applied, they are adjusted to +2.

Similarly, the original totals for both games are adjusted. The total for Game 1 is adjusted from 48.5 to 42, and the total for Game 2 is adjusted from 51.5 to 45.

The odds offered for this teaser bet are -120. This means that for every $120 you wager, you stand to win $100 if your teaser bet is successful. The payout ratio of -120 means you would receive your original stake back ($120) plus the $100 in winnings.

Please note that the specific odds, teaser points, and payouts may vary depending on the sportsbook and the specific NFL games being bet on. This example is for illustrative purposes only.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Teaser Betting

Teasers, like all bet types, come with their advantages and disadvantages. You need to be able to decide when to use a teaser and when to avoid it. This section will help you make those decisions.

Advantages:

  • Increased chance of winning – Teaser betting allows you to adjust the point spread or total line in your favor, increasing your chances of winning the bet. By moving the lines in your favor, you can create more favorable conditions for your wagers.
  • Reduced risk – By moving the lines in your favor, you can create a buffer zone where you can win even if the outcome is slightly different from your original prediction.
  • Flexibility – Flexibility can be created in terms of adjusting point spreads or total lines. This allows you to customize your bets according to your analysis and predictions, tailoring them to your specific strategy.
  • Higher payouts – Although teaser bets typically have lower odds compared to straight bets, they offer higher potential payouts due to the adjusted lines. If you combine multiple bets in a teaser, the potential payout can be significantly higher than individual straight bets.
  • Strategic advantage – Teaser betting allows you to take advantage of market inefficiencies or exploit certain matchups. By adjusting the lines, you can capitalize on favorable conditions or exploit overvalued or undervalued teams.

Disadvantages:

  • Lower odds – These bets generally offer lower odds compared to straight bets. The sportsbook adjusts the lines in your favor, but in return, you receive lower potential payouts.
  • Limited selections – The number of selections or the specific types of bets you can include are limited. Some sportsbooks may limit teaser bets to certain sports or specific bet types, such as spreads or totals.
  • Overconfidence and complacency – Bettors may become too reliant on the adjusted lines and fail to thoroughly analyze the underlying factors or other relevant information, which can negatively impact their betting outcomes.

How to Place a Teaser Bet

In this section, we’re going to look at how to place a teaser bet. Our example will be using the BetOnline sportsbook and it will cover upcoming games from the NFL. The process may alter slightly depending on which offshore sportsbook you use, but for the most part, it will be very similar.

1. Open or Login to Your Betting Account

The first step is to log in to your betting account. If you don’t have an account, then you need to create one.

BetOnline homepage.

2. Find Betting Markets

Use the sportsbook menu and navigation bar to find the markets that you want to bet on. This example is going to use NFL, so we click the “NFL” button down the left to then see the list of games that we want to bet on.

BetOnline NFL markets.

3. Add Markets to Betslip

To populate the bet slip, click on the odds. If there is a bet that you want to remove, just click on the odds again and they will be deleted. For this bet, we’ve taken the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at +6.5 on the Spread and Under 42 points in the Jaguars vs. Steelers game.

BetOnline with teaser bet slip.

4. Choose “Teaser” Within the Betslip

At the top of the bet slip will be a button that says “Teasers”. You need to click this so you can now enter the bet for a teaser.

Teaser button.

5. Choose Your Bet Amount

At the top of the bet slip, you will be able to choose the points spread for the bet. This is set at 6 as default, and we’re going to keep it at this for this example. Enter your stake and it will show you the odds and then returns based on the stake.  Confirm your bet amount and place the bet.

Teaser with stake.

Reverse Teasers

A reverse teaser bet is essentially the opposite of a traditional teaser bet. While a regular teaser bet allows you to adjust the point spread or total line in your favor, a reverse teaser bet moves the lines against you, making it more challenging to win the bet.

In a reverse teaser, the sportsbook adjusts the lines by adding points to the point spread or total line. For example, if you’re betting on a football game with a point spread of -7 in favor of Team A, a reverse teaser bet might increase the spread to -10 in favor of Team A. Similarly, if the total line for the game is set at 45 points, a reverse teaser bet could raise it to 48 points.

The purpose of a reverse teaser bet is to increase the difficulty of winning the wager in exchange for higher potential payouts. The adjusted lines make it harder for the team or the total score to cover the spread or reach the adjusted total line.

These are considered riskier than traditional teaser bets because they go against the bettor, making the outcome more challenging. However, the increased risk is compensated by higher odds and potential payouts.

Teaser Betting Strategy – When to Use a Teaser

Teaser betting strategies involve utilizing knowledge, research, and careful analysis to gain an edge in teaser bets. One notable betting strategy in teaser betting is the “Wong Teasers,” named after Stanford Wong, a renowned gambling author, and expert. Wong teasers focus on specific key numbers in football betting and aim to maximize the value of teaser bets.

Here’s an overview of the Wong Teasers strategy:

  1. Identify key numbers – In football, key numbers refer to the most common margins of victory or total points scored. The key numbers in the NFL are 3, 4, 6, 7, and 10. These are significant because a large number of games are decided by these margins.
  2. Tease through key numbers – The Wong Teasers strategy involves teasing games through key numbers. For example, if the original point spread is -7.5 in favor of Team A, and the Wong Teaser moves the line by 6 points, it would adjust the spread to -1.5 in favor of Team A. As a result, we would cross 7, 6, 4, and 3 from the key spread numbers.
  3. Combine favorites with underdogs – By combining favorites with underdog betting you take advantage of the adjusted lines to increase the chances of covering both sides of the teaser bet. By teasing through key numbers, you improve your prospects of winning both legs of the teaser.
  4. Focus on underdogs and totals – Concentrate on teasing underdogs and totals instead of favorites. This is because teasing favorites generally provide less value betting due to the additional points added to their already-favored spread.
  5. Shop for the best lines – To implement the Wong Teasers strategy effectively, it’s crucial to shop around different sportsbooks and compare the available teaser options. Different sportsbooks may offer different point adjustments or have varying rules regarding teasers. Finding the most advantageous lines and odds is essential for maximizing potential profits.

How Teasers Work with Different Sports

Betting lines will vary based on different sports. For example, in the NBA, games will average around over 200 points per game, whereas in the NFL it’s around 40 points. Ironically, standard teaser lines are higher in the NFL than in the NBA, which are set around 6 compared to 4. This is why it’s much more popular to tease the NFL than any other sport.

NFL

Here is an example of how an NFL tease might work betting on three markets across two games.

Original games and lines:

  1. New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins
    • Point spread: Patriots -7.5 (Odds: -115)
  2. Kansas City Chiefs vs. Baltimore Ravens
    • Point spread: Chiefs -3.5 (Odds: -115)

Original total line:

  • Under 48.5 points (Odds: -110)

Now, let’s say you want to place a 6-point teaser bet and you decide to tease both games by adding 6 points to each line.

Teaser bet selection:

  1. New England Patriots teased to -1.5 (moved 6 points in your favor)
  2. Kansas City Chiefs teased to +2.5 (moved 6 points in your favor)

Adjusted total line:

  • 5 (moved 6 points in your favor)

In this teaser bet, you have created the following adjusted lines:

  1. New England Patriots: -1.5
  2. Kansas City Chiefs: +2.5
  3. Total under line: 54.5

Now, for your teaser bet to win, both the Patriots and Chiefs need to cover their adjusted spreads, and the total score in the game must not exceed 54.5 points. The odds for this are +140, meaning that for every $100 staked, you make $140 profit.

NBA

The NBA has a shorter tease line than the NFL, with games averaging around 4 to 5 points to tease. This is one of the main reasons why this bet is more popular within the NFL, however, NBA teasers are still accessible, as you will see in the example below.

Original game and line: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Brooklyn Nets

  • Point spread: Lakers -4.5 (Odds: -110)
  • Moneyline odds: Lakers -200, Nets +180

Original total line:

  • 5 (Odds: -110)

Now, let’s say you want to place a 4-point teaser bet on this NBA game. You decide to tease both the point spread and the total line by 4 points in your favor.

Teaser bet selection:

  1. Los Angeles Lakers teased to -0.5 (moved 4 points in your favor)
  2. Total line teased to 214.5 (moved 4 points in your favor)

Adjusted lines:

  1. Los Angeles Lakers: -0.5
  2. Total line: 214.5

In this teaser bet, the Lakers need to win the game by any margin, and the total score of the game needs to stay under 214.5 points for your bet to be successful. The final odds are +110, meaning that you will win $110 for every $100 wagered.

Can You “Tease” NHL and MLB Lines?

The NHL and MLB typically do not have teaser lines with the vast majority of sportsbooks. The reason behind this is that the lines are much shorter, meaning that a tease would either be pointless or it would massively favorite one team over the other and the odds would hold little value.

For example, if we look at the comparison in the total number of points, runs, and goals for the totals betting market in each game, you will see that the NHL and MLB are much lower than the NBA and NFL.

Average points, runs, or goals per sport per game:

  • NBA = 228
  • NFL = 46
  • NHL = 6
  • MLB = 8

There is a workaround for the NHL and MLB and this comes in the form of betting alternative lines, which can often be found within the prop bets section. This allows you to move the line from the initial spread to add or remove runs and goals for an increase or reduction in the odds. You can then include these into parlays or round robins with selections from other games.

Are Teaser Bets Worth it?

Like all bet types, teasers have a time and a place, but if we were being honest, generally they are not worth it. The reason behind this is that the more bets you add, the less chance that you have of winning, regardless of the odds.

However, there are certainly times when a teaser bet will be worth it and it takes skill and practice to determine when that is. Key factors you need to look out for include inflated spreads or totals and buying key numbers in the spread, as stated within the “Wong” strategy.

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FAQs

What is an example of a teaser bet?

Is a teaser a good bet?

What is the difference between a teaser and a parlay?

How do sports betting teasers work?

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What happens if a teaser pushes?

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Jonathan Askew
Sports Betting and Casino Expert

Jonathan is a freelance writer working with Techopedia. He has been working within the gambling sector for over 15 years and has been fortunate enough to work with brands that include Gambling.com, CheekyPunter.com, BasketballInsiders.com and Betfair. He specializes in US and UK-based sports and casino content for Techopedia.