What is a Teaser Bet?

What is a Teaser Bet? Everything You Should Know About the Tease

News December 12, 2022

Everything Maryland sports bettors should know about the tease, including what is a teaser bet and which sportsbooks offer it.

With sports wagering now legal in Maryland, thousands of new customers will be entering the sports wagering landscape for the first time and learning that there’s more than just winning and losing in the world of sports betting.

One of the best things about sports wagering is the different bets available. Money lines, spreads, and totals are just the beginning.

What is a Teaser Bet

An underrated way to bet is the teaser. This allows you to move the point spread in your favor when combining two or more games in one wager.

The Teaser Bet Comes to Maryland!

What is a teaser bet?

If you’re familiar with parlays, teasers are similar in that you’re combining the outcomes of multiple games into a single wager. But there’s a big difference that explains the name of this bet.

The teaser allows you to move point spreads in your favor. Numbers vary, but at some sportsbooks you can move spreads anywhere from 3-14 points when betting football.

For example, a pair of recent NFL games had the following point spreads:

  • Philadelphia Eagles (-6.5) at Indianapolis Colts
  • New York Jets (+3) at New England Patriots

In a traditional parlay, you’d pick sides of each game. Then, if they hit, you’d expect a payout of around +260 on your wager.

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What is the Difference Between a Parlay and a Teaser?

But in a teaser, you are moving each point spread in your favor. The traditional teaser moves the number 6-7 points. Let’s use six for our example… your point spreads would now look like this if you took the visitors:

  • Philadelphia Eagles (-0.5) at Indianapolis Colts
  • New York Jets (+9) at New England Patriots

Instead of needing the Eagles to win by at least seven points, now any win cashes for you. Likewise, the Jets can now lose by up to eight points and you’ll still win.

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In the end, there’s a reason we chose these two games. The final scores were:

  • Philadelphia 17, Indianapolis 16 (covering the teaser bet, but not the original point spread)
  • New England 10, NY Jets 3 (allowing New York to stay within ten points, but not the original three-point spread.)

How Do Teaser Bets Work?

Too good to be true, right? Well, no, but there is more to the story.

When we said above that the payout on a two-team parlay would be around +260, that’s not the case for a teaser. There’s a price for moving those lines seven points each – a steep price.

The price on a seven-point, two-team teaser is -150, meaning you need to risk $150 to win $100. It’s a considerable price tag.

At FanDuel, bettors can move NFL spreads anywhere from three to 14 points. The following are the payout scales for two-team teasers at each point spread:

ADDING THIS MANY POINTS TO THE SPREADS…WILL GIVE YOU THE FOLLOWING ODDS:
3+140
3.5+125
4+110
4.5+100
5-110
5.5-120
6-135
6.5-140
7-150
7.5-165
8-170
8.5-175
9-185
9.5-205
10-250
10.5-275
11-300
11.5-330
12-350
12.5-400
13-450
13.5-500
14-550

As you can see, when you add points, your odds change for the worse. This means you want to be confident that teasing a point spread is worth the price tag.

When Should I Tease the Point Spread?

When you tease a point spread, what you’re really doing is buying certain margins of victory. In our NFL example, by teasing the Eagles from -6.5 to -0.5, you ‘bought’ any victory of less than a touchdown. With the New York Jets, the original point spread meant losing by a field goal. Now, you can weather a loss of a full touchdown plus 1-2 additional points.

The idea here is key numbers. Two-point conversions have muddied the picture, but generally speaking, a lot of NFL games are decided by exactly three points, seven points… numbers that equate to a single score, whether that’s a touchdown or a field goal. This gives us a good guideline for teaser betting:

Try to cross at least one key number, and preferably cross two.

In order of importance, the most important numbers in NFL wagering are 3, 7, and 10. So if you can bet a six-point teaser that takes a point spread from -7.5 to -1.5 (or the opposite, if you’re betting the underdog!), this is a solid wager because you’ve ‘bought’ both the 3-point and the 7-point margin.

When betting more than two teams in teasers, these rules change somewhat. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Point Spread Teaser

Totals are trickier. And we don’t necessarily advise using NFL totals in teasers. But you can do it by following the same strategy. Think of the most common scores you associate with NFL games… 20-17, 24-21, 23-20, 24-17… ideally, you want to buy at least a few of these totals. There’s a good reason why few experts ever predict a final score to be 32-29, for example.

Taking a total down from 44 to 38 is considerably more beneficial than taking one from say, 56 to 50, just because there are more games that end in that 38-44 range. Remember, nothing’s guaranteed – you’re just trying to make those increased odds worth the price you’re paying.

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Which Sportsbooks Offer Teasers?

Most sportsbooks offer teasers, including the better-known companies such as DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars, and FanDuel.

For now, it appears that the variable teasers (where you can add anywhere from 3-14 points) are exclusive to FanDuel, which is something for Maryland bettors to keep an eye on in the future.

One note: we’ve focused on the NFL in this article, but it’s not the only sport where you can bet teasers. College football, college basketball, the NBA – they all offer these wagers.

NFL Teaser Betting: The Place to Be

The difference, at least in our opinion, is that these sports don’t offer ‘key numbers’ the way the NFL tends to, making it harder to find value on a teaser bet. In any event, the numbers most commonly associated with basketball teasers are 4-5 points.

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And we definitely don’t recommend betting basketball totals in a teaser – 4-5 points in basketball is just a couple extra trips up and down the floor.

The teaser is one more way for Maryland sports fans to enjoy their new sports wagering hobby. And, hopefully, following these guidelines will make it a profitable experience!

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