Teasers can be some of the shrewdest wagers to make when it comes to betting on the NFL. They are less volatile than parlays, and they benefit the bettor by giving them extra points on their wager. However, many people use teasers incorrectly and are essentially surrendering a huge edge to the sportsbooks.
What are Teasers?
Teasers are similar to parlays in that you are combining two different wagers into one overall bet. You have to win all sides of a teaser or parlay in order to win the overall bet. However, where a parlay is essentially a bet multiplier, the teaser has set odds with bettors getting the benefit of additional points.
There are generally three types of teasers: Two-team teasers, three-team teasers, and four-team teasers. Two-team teasers are easily the most common types of teasers. A two-team teaser generally means that you are adding six points to two different bets at -110 odds. If you want a little extra protection, you can also add 6.5 points to both parts of your teaser at -120 odds or a full seven points to both parts at -130 odds. The jump from -110 to -120 and again to -130 is a steep one though.
A three-team teaser adds 10 points to all three sides at -110 odds, while a four-team teaser adds 13 points to all four sides at -110 odds. These aren’t as popular as two-team teasers because bettors have to rely on more teams to win, but you do receive extra points.
While the lion’s share of teasers involves betting on teams, it’s possible to put totals in a teaser too. Teasing totals isn’t nearly as common as teasing teams, but there are situations in which you might want to receive a few extra points with a total. That’s particularly the case in games that are going to be impacted by weather.
Teasers can put sportsbooks in a real difficult position. For instance, Team A might open as a 9 or 9.5 point underdog. Early money might come in on Team A at this price, but a sportsbook would be hesitant to move the line off the number. That’s because a shift to 8 or 8.5 would lead to a lot of teaser action on Team B, potentially putting sportsbooks in a position to be middled. If Team B were to win by 3 to 7 points, sportsbooks would lose money on bettors who put Team B in teasers and bettors who bet Team A against the spread.
Tips for Betting Teasers
The ability to cross key numbers with teasers makes them a popular proposition with many veteran bettors. More games are decided by 3 points and 7 points than any other margin in the NFL, so these are considered key numbers. That makes the opportunity to get both of these numbers in a teaser a very tempting bet.
If you are looking to have the best success with teasers, you would take underdogs between 1.5 and 2.5 points and favorites between 7.5 and 8.5 points. For instance, if you put Team A in a teaser and they are originally +2, you get them at +8. The inverse is where if you bet on Team B at -8, and if that team wins by a field goal, you win that leg of your teaser.
There are other important numbers that aren’t as essential as 3 or 7. The numbers 4, 6, and 10 are also numbers you want to have on your side, so the aforementioned teasers give you four of the five most common winning margins.
However, the rise of two-point conversion attempts due to the increased length of extra points has had an impact on those key numbers. We are seeing more two-point conversion attempts than ever before, and that has led to less games being decided by 3 or 7 points.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when betting teasers is to eschew key numbers and tease a 6 to 7 point favorite. That essentially turns the teaser into a moneyline proposition, and that is popular with novice bettors. Unfortunately, it doesn’t lead to a lot of real value in the betting world as you are depriving yourself of value.