Sports Bets: Sweetheart Teasers
By Loot, Sports Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
By now, you’re likely familiar with regular teasers. They are bets that exist in basketball and football betting. Not to do a whole review, but teasers are when you take a group of at least 2 teams or totals and you get a pre-determined number of points in your favor. All the teams on your teaser bet must cover the adjusted spread or you lose.
So what is a sweetheart teaser? The inclusion of the term “sweetheart” should convey to you that the book is even giving you even more points in your favor. In a regular football teaser, the common point allowance is between 6-7 points. In basketball, it’s 4-5 points. With sweetheart teasers, you get 10 or 13 points in football and 8 or 10 points in basketball. Sweetheart teasers for both football and hoops must either be of the 3 or 4-team variety.
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Just to break it down, there are two kinds of sweetheart teasers you can make for both football and basketball. For football, you can either make a 3-team/10-point or a 4-team/13-point sweetheart teaser. In basketball, you also have two choices. You can make a 3-team/8-point or a 4-team/10-point sweetheart teaser. Those are your choices.
In both sports, the 3-team sweetheart teaser pays -110. That means you must wager $110 for every $100 you hope to win. For the 4-teamer, the return is -120, which naturally means you must wager $120 for every $100 you want to win. Let’s look at a few examples so we can see exactly how sweetheart teasers work.
Say you want to make a sweetheart football teaser with these bets: Arizona +4, Carolina +5.5 and over 44.5 in the Atlanta-Philadelphia game. Those are the normal lines as they appear on the betting board. You make a 3-team/10-point sweetheart teaser. The lines are now Arizona +14, Carolina +15.5, and over 34.5 in the Atlanta-Philly game. All bets must win against the adjusted number. For the policy on ties, check your specific book. By in large, however, ties usually result in losing the sweetheart teaser.
In basketball, let’s say you want to make a sweetheart teaser on 4 teams. You like Brooklyn -2.5, Golden State -5.5, Toronto +6, and Portland +4. You make a 4-team/10-point sweetheart teaser. The lines are now Brooklyn +7.5, Golden State +4.5, Toronto +16, and Portland +14. If all 4 teams cover the new spread, you get a return of -120 on whatever amount you wagered.
Here are the pros and cons of a sweetheart teaser. First of all, being able to move the spread so many points in your favor is a powerful tool. You get to take your best 3-4 picks and you can be wrong, just not wrong by a ton. In football, getting 10 or 13 points in your favor against the spread is major, as is 8-10 points in hoops.
Some might raise an eyebrow upon noticing a normal straight bet against the spread at -105 pays better than any of these sweetheart teasers. So what’s easier--picking one team against the normal spread or picking 3-4 teams correctly with a bunch of points in your favor? That’s inevitably up to you to decide.
Generally, when you place a bet that requires multiple things to go your way spread out over several different games, you’d like to be getting better return than the -110 and -120 offered by sweetheart teasers. You can make two sweetheart teasers and if only one of them fails, you end up losing. So on a pair of 4-team/13-point NFL sweetheart teasers, you could go 7-1 and lose. In other words, the margin for error on sweetheart teasers is tiny.
In sports betting, there are a mind-numbing amount of different options. Some are better than others. Generally when the equation is very muddled or not readily-identifiable, the odds you receive are not as good. A sweetheart teaser is a bet where the elements are hard to compute. I’m sure it can be done, but figuring out what the odds are on a sweetheart teaser is not something anyone can do off the top of their head. And you can bet the book didn’t begin offering sweetheart teasers without first knowing they were going to make money for them. Still, with the millions of combinations of bets, feelings, inklings and insight--there might actually be a time where a sweetheart teaser is the right move.