Teaser Betting Guide: What They Are, How to Place Them, & Best Strategies

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A teaser is a variation of a parlay that allows you to shift the lines in your favor in exchange for a lower payout. This type of wager is less profitable than normal parlays but is easier to hit. Like a parlay, you must correctly predict all the included selections in order to win the bet.

For the most part, teasers are exclusive to basketball and football point spreads and totals. The most common type is the 6-point teaser in the NFL, which involves moving the spread by six points in your favor.

Let’s take a hypothetical example where the Eagles are 2-point underdogs and the Chiefs are 7-point favorites with the standard spreads. The adjusted teaser lines would look like this:

  • Philadelphia Eagles +8 (teased up from +2)
  • Kansas City Chiefs -1 (teased down from -7)

Suddenly, the spreads look a lot more reasonable.

If you can’t wrap your head around this seemingly complex betting concept, don’t worry. This article will show you how teasers work, how to use them, and what kind of payouts you can expect.

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How Does a Teaser Bet Work?

In a nutshell, teasers are parlays consisting of multiple alternate lines that are moved in your favor compared to the standard lines. By making the lines more favorable, bettors increase their chances of winning, but receive a lower payout.

On a standard 6-point 2-team NFL teaser, you can expect the odds to be -120. In some cases, you may receive -110 but most books now do -120 odds.

>> Read More: How to Read Betting Odds

Like parlays, teasers are all-or-nothing bets. You need to hit all of your picks for the teaser to win. Another common thing between the teasers and parlays is the more legs (selections) you include, the higher your payout will be.

Example of an NFL Teaser

Here's a quick example of a 4-team, 6-point NFL teaser from BetRivers Sportsbook:

NFL Teaser Example

You can see the original lines on the left side of the betslip and what they were teased to on the right side. All of the options included above are decent options for teasers since they all cross at least 2 key numbers.

Example of an NBA Teaser

Here's another example—this time a 4-team, 4-point NBA teaser from BetRivers Sportsbook:
NBA Teaser Example

You can see the original lines on the left side of the betslip and what they were teased to on the right side. 

Is a Teaser a Good Bet?

Most sharp bettors only recommend teasing certain NFL spreads. You won’t see many pro bettors betting teasers on the NBA and college football because the scores are much more volatile and unpredictable.

Also, it’s usually not a great idea to tease totals since they vary from the standard line much more than spread bets.

When putting in NFL teasers, you want to focus on the key numbers. These are the most common margins of victory of NFL games. The main key numbers in the NFL are 3, 6, 7, and 10—with 3 and 7 being especially important.

You get the largest advantage teasing NFL games when you go through 2 key numbers. For example, if you can tease a team from +2.5 to +8.5, you go through the key numbers of 3, 6, and 7. This is better, mathematically, than going from +7.5 to +13.5, for example.

Wong Teasers

A Wong Teaser is a specific type of teaser popularized by Stanford Wong in his book Sharp Sports Betting that has been shown to give positive expected value (+EV). A Wong teaser is a 2-team, 6-point NFL teaser that includes +1.5 and +2.5 underdogs and -7.5 and -8.5 favorites.

For example, a Wong teaser could include teasing the Chargers from +2.5 to +8.5 and the Buccaneers from -7.5 to -1.5.

While Wong Teasers often hit, sportsbooks have started charging more juice on teasers (-120 instead of -110 on a 2-team teaser), making them slightly less profitable. In addition, many books often avoid having the standard spreads of +1.5, +2.5, -7.5, and -8.5 because of the susceptibility of being teased.

The math behind 6-point NFL teasers implies that you must win each selection 72.37% of the time to break even assuming the sportsbook is charging -120 on a 2-team teaser.

Teasers Odds & Payouts

The payouts on your teaser will depend on two factors—how much you adjust the line by and the number of games included.

The more you adjust the points in your favor, the lower the payout. For example, 7-point teasers will bring a lower payout than a 6-point NFL teaser.

Also, the more selections included in the teaser, the higher the payout.

Based on these two key factors, here’s a table that showcases the potential payouts for a $100 NFL teaser:

2 teams3 teams4 teams

6 points

-110 ($91 profit)

+180 ($180 profit)

+300 ($300 profit)

6.5 points

-120 ($83 profit)

+160 ($160 profit)

+250 ($250 profit)

7 points

-130 ($77 profit)

+150 ($150 profit)

+200 ($200 profit)

Here’s a payout chart for the NBA teasers with regards to the three core tease numbers:

2 teams3 teams4 teams

4 points

-100 ($100 profit)

+180 ($180 profit)

+300 ($300 profit)

4.5 points

-110 ($91 profit)

+160 ($160 profit)

+250 ($250 profit)

5 points

-120 ($83 profit)

+150 ($150 profit)

+200 ($200 profit)

What Happens if a Leg Pushes in a Teaser?

Sportsbooks have different house rules on how to handle pushes or ties in teasers. Most commonly, the outcome that resulted in a push becomes eliminated, and the teaser drops to the next lower level (such as a 3-team teaser to a 2-team teaser).

At some sites, like FanDuel Sportsbook, a push in a two-team teaser will make the entire bet a push. Check your sportsbook’s official rules to see what happens in the case of one leg pushing.

Tips for Betting Teasers

Teasers are not always smart bets to take. Yet, with a data-driven strategy, they can be a great boost to your chances, especially if you’re leapfrogging key numbers. Here are a few tips that could help you get over the hump when you’re betting NFL teasers:

  • Tease through 2 key numbers for the most success: In the NFL, the main scoring units are field goals (3 points) and TDs (7 points), so you should primarily focus on these two numbers. 6 and 10 are also less-important key numbers to consider. Many games are decided with a margin of victory of 3 or 7 points, so teasing through these two key numbers (in either direction) will increase your chances of winning.
  • Never tease through 0: The golden rule of betting teasers is to never teaser through 0. Games rarely end in ties or 1-point margins of victory, so you’re essentially paying for points that are unlikely to matter.
  • Shop around for the best lines: Pricing on teasers tends to be highly volatile among U.S. sportsbooks. Some sites may give you -110 on a 2-team teaser, while others may charge you as much as -135. The shorter the odds, the more often you’ll have to win in order to be profitable. Always shop around for the best odds and lines to ensure that you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
  • Avoid teasing totals: Generally, teasing totals isn’t a profitable betting strategy—largely in part because games end up totaling the key numbers (41, 43, 44, 51) less often as compared to the key numbers on spreads.
  • Tease spreads on games with lower totals when possible: Points are more valuable on games with lower totals since they are more likely to end up being close as compared to a game with a high total.

How to Place a Teaser

Most sportsbooks now allow you to automatically create teasers after selecting standard spreads and/or totals. Once you make your selections, you’ll often find a “teaser” button in the bet slip that lets you automatically adjust the lines by a number of your choosing.

If your book doesn’t have this option, you can click into the games you are interested in and find the alternate lines to manually create a teaser.

Here’s are the steps you’ll generally have to take to place a teaser:

  1. Open up the sportsbook’s website or mobile app.
  2. Go to the betting lobby and open the sport/league that you are interested in (such as the NF).
  3. Add the spreads and/or totals that you want to tease.
  4. Open up the betslip and look for the “teaser” button or tab.
  5. Select how much you want to adjust the lines by. Remember, the standard is 6 points for the NFL and 4 points for the NBA.
  6. Once you’re done adjusting the lines, the sportsbook will display the odds you’ll get for your teaser bet. If you are ok with the odds, enter the amount you want to stake and submit your bet.

What is a Pleaser/Reverse Teaser?

Pleasers and teasers are the two sides of the same coin. Whereas teasers move the lines in your favor, pleasers (sometimes called reverse teasers) move the lines against your favor. With a pleaser, you get worse lines in exchange for a higher payout.

As awesome as pleasers/reverse teasers may seem, they are usually what expert bettors call a “suckers” bet. They are longshots that are almost impossible to hit and don’t offer a lot of value. Sure, you may nail a juicy pleaser occasionally, but that would be an anomaly and not a profitable betting strategy over time.

>> Read More: Types of Sports Bets

Dave Rathmanner

Dave Rathmanner is the Founder & CEO of Odds Assist. After struggling to find helpful sports betting resources and honest reviews when he first started betting, he decided to create the site he always wished he had. Dave has been betting on sports since NJ legalized it in 2018 and regularly analyzes sportsbooks to find the best options for bettors. Aside from creating new content for OA readers, Dave is also passionate about researching betting markets, creating models, and developing profitable betting strategies.