The purpose of this piece is to provide even the most novice sports bettor a look into the different aspects of sports betting. The focus of this particular article is on how to bet NFL football via teasers.
When it comes to gambling, the National Football League is the undisputed king. Now there are a lot of different betting options to consider when it comes to the NFL. Not only are there sides (point-spread) and totals (Over/Under), but there are also parlays and teasers.
The majority of people bet sides, totals, and parlays, but one bet type that doesn’t get as much attention is a teaser. But, with the explosion of gambling taking over the airwaves, NFL teasers are finally being discussed among new bettors. So, without further ado, let’s break down that type of wager with a little bit more in detail.
What is a teaser?
First a quick primer: A teaser is a special, multi-leg bet in which you are able to adjust the point spread or total for a game in your favor.
The most common types of teasers are either the two-team, six-point teaser or the two-team, seven-point teaser. Some books also offer three-team, ten-point teasers. These points are added to the underdog or subtracted from the favorite. Teasers are considered favorable bets because they give bettors extra points, but as with parlays, you must win every individual leg of your bet to win your wager.
Let’s take a look at some teaser examples. To do so, we will use the big game between the Green Bay Packers at the Chicago Bears kicking off the NFL season on September 5th.
Currently, the odds for that game sit at:
First, let’s start with a two-team, six-point teaser. Since the line is Bears -3, and you are betting a 6-point teaser, your new line would be Bears +3 if you take Chicago. On the flip side, betting the underdog in that situation would bump that number up to Packers +9
If you did a two-team, seven-point teaser in the same game, your new lines would either be Bears +4, or Packers +10.
If you were looking to tease the Total in the aforementioned game you would be able to manipulate the line to either Under 52 or Over 40 (two-team, six-point teaser example).
Basically, if I was going to wager on the game was putting in a teaser, my two-team, seven-point teaser bet would look like this:
Chicago +4, Over 39. Remember, you have to win both individual legs to win your teaser bet.
Typically the price on a two-team, six-point teaser is -120 (bet $120 to win $100) while a three-teamer pays out at +180 (bet $100 to win $180). Be mindful that if a game falls on the adjusted number, the bet is reduced by one (i.e.: a three-teamer becomes a two-teamer). Note that in the event of a tie in one leg of a two-teamer, the bet is a push, no matter if the other selection wins or loses.
Teasers vs. Parlays
A teaser is similar to a parlay, as in all of the legs of the individual games need to win in order for you to win your wager. But a teaser differs from a parlay because you put points down in your favor to help the bet come to fruition. A parlay on the other hand, the lines stay the same.
Using the same Packers-Bears example above, if you did a parlay, you’d be taking Bears -3 or Packers +3 and Over/ Under 46. Whereas if you use the teaser example above, you are getting more favorable lines, as we discussed.
Because of that fact that a parlay line stays the same, they pay out at much better odds than a teaser. Because of the better payouts, parlays also seem to be more popular with bettors overall.
A two-team parlay generally pays out at +260 (bet $100 to win $260), 6-1 for a three-team parlay, 10-1 for a four-team parlay, and the numbers go up exponentially from there. That is, because the wagers become tougher to win with the more teams you add.
A lot of beginner gamblers often like betting parlays because they can wager a smaller amount to start with, but have that opportunity to win a lot of money. Basically, these same types of bettors consider parlays their lottery tickets. Just as winning the lottery is tough, the same goes for parlays. Remember, the odds are stacked against you, so sportsbooks will generally win if you just bet parlays more often than not.
Another type of bet that is rarely discussed but has a high payout is called the Pleaser. Many describe pleasers as a combination of parlays and teasers, so let’s break that down next.
What are pleaser bets?
Pleaser bets, also known as reverse teasers, can be complicated bets. This is why they aren’t recommended for gamblers new to the betting world. But, if you know how pleasers work, and more importantly, can win at them, you can use them to make wagers that will provide you with big-time payouts.
By definition, a pleaser bet is a bet that allows the player to move the line in the sportsbook’s favor. In exchange, the sportsbook gives the gambler better than normal odds. It is similar to a teaser except the sportsbook is gaining the better line while you receive the chance at a higher payout as the bettor.
Pleasers are usually used to bet football games, because they involve points. Since they are a type of parlay bet, you can select two or more teams, and if you win all the legs, you win the bet.
On paper, this sounds straightforward. But with all things gambling, especially ones with big payouts, there is a catch. With pleasers, the point-spreads and total lines are moved against you. That is why some call it “reverse teasers”. Of course, this makes it harder for your wagers to win, and is the reason why a lot of people stay away from them.
To further breakdown how pleasers work, let’s imagine a situation where you want to place a pleaser bet on an upcoming NFL game.
Let’s use the same Packers-Game game we used above, but also throw in one more game, the Bills at Jets (-3). In this scenario, say you are interested in betting on the Packers and the Bills, because you believe they will not only both win but cover the spread.
If you were to place a regular two-team parlay on the teams, you would need the Packers to lose by less than 3 and the Bills to lose by less than 3.
If you were to place a two-team pleaser bet on both teams, using a seven-point pleaser bet for example, the lines will shift for both teams by seven points. The Packers would now would need to win by 4-points and the Bills would have to win by 4-points in order for you to win your bet.
The payout normally works like this. If you bet $50 on a regular two-team parlay, your payout will be approximately $180 (depending on your book). But, if you bet the same $50 on the seven-point pleaser bet, your payout will be around $450.
The chances of you winning the seven-point pleaser bet with both teams aren’t very high, but sometimes, the possibility of a big payout makes it worth the risk. This is the similar mindset gamblers have when it comes to parlay. Lottery ticket mentality.
If you prefer to bet on totals rather than on point-spreads, the same overall betting logic applies. If you are placing a wager on the Packers-Bears game going Over 46 and use a seven-point pleaser bet, the line will shift to Over 53. This makes your wager more difficult because that means that the teams have to finish with 53 points or more in order for you to win the bet.
The options you have when it comes to the number of points you can move the line by are usually between six and ten points in football. With the most popular being six or seven points.
The higher the points you take in a pleaser bet, the bigger the risk you assume, and the bigger the payout as well. Like anything else, the more the risk the more the reward.
Teasers or pleasers are definitely not sure bets. It’s harder to sweep two plays no matter the situation. Whether you are getting six or seven bonus points per game via the teaser, and especially if you are giving points via the pleaser..
With that being said, professional bettors do prefer teasers over parlays and pleasers, and let’s take a look at why next.
Advantages of NFL Teasers
With the NFL betting market being very efficient, smart bettors can take advantage by utilizing teaser bets. Pay attention to key numbers when taking the extra points in a teaser bet. Because of the importance of key numbers in football betting, the teaser can actually be a profitable strategy on point-spreads. A good basic strategy for you to start with would be to include underdogs — not favorites — and to get as many points through the key football numbers of 3, 4, 6, 7.
Why underdogs? Most new bettors want to bet on favorites because they feel more comfortable rooting for the superior team. In their head, “Those 7-point favorites are going to kill these underdogs! I can get them both at pk ‘em. This is easy money.”
Just remember, big favorites don’t win by big margins as often as you think they do. If they did, then gambling would be easy, and we’d all be rich!
If you are going to go the teaser route, as mentioned above, go with dogs. Overall, if you’re able to move multiple teams through the main key numbers of 3 and 7, for example, you give yourself an edge in winning more long-term. As we all know, when it comes to gambling, every advantage and dollar counts. And, that is why some “sharps” prefer teasers over parlays and pleasers (lottery tickets).
There’s still a lot to consider if you want to make regular and consistent profits when betting via teasers. The bookmakers are very good at setting these lines, so you’ll rarely find spots where it’s obvious which way you should bet. You’ve got to do your research and try to make genuinely informed judgements. You need to be patient too, and wait for the right opportunities. Now, go get them!