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Pleaser Bets

NFL Betting: Pleasers

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper,

If teasers are the safer versions of parlays, pleasers are parlays for thrill-seekers. With parlays, you pick two or more teams at the regular point-spread. Teasers allow you to shave points off the point-spread for your parlay-style bet. Pleasers are like teasers in reverse--rather than getting points, you have to give up points!

As if teasers and parlays weren’t hard enough! As we have discussed, beating the spread once is tough. Doing it multiple times on the same ticket is downright difficult. With pleasers, not only must you pick multiple games correct without fail, but you must give up points too! So you want to win a pleaser bet? I want to date a young Sophia Loren. Let’s see who gets lucky first.

Sounds like a crazy bet, doesn’t it? Well the payoffs are the biggest of any bet in NFL football. So there are great potential rewards for taking this enormous leap-of-faith. Then again, the payouts should be enormous because these are far and away the most difficult bets to hit. Proving the oddsmakers wrong by 6 or more points in consecutive games and being on the right side to boot is somewhat of a pipe dream.

Here are the payouts for Pleaser Bets. This chart reflects the potential payouts of a 7-point pleaser. Any tie results in a push.

Two-Team Pleaser: 8/1
Three-Team Pleaser: 25/1
Four-Team Pleaser: 60/1
Five-Team Pleaser: 150/1 Six-Team Pleaser: 450/1
Seven-Team Pleaser: 700/1
Eight-Team Pleaser: 1000/1
Nine-Team Pleaser: 1350/1
Ten-Team Pleaser: 1750/1


Not too shabby, huh? But the sportsbooks are not in the business of being generous. The payouts are enormous, particularly with the more teams you choose, but why do you think that is? It’s because they’re ultra-hard to win. Here’s how pleasers work. You pick 2 or more games and are forced to give yourself a 7-point disadvantage. Let’s use an example. Imagine these are the games you want to bet. Here, they are listed with their standard point-spread:

Chicago Bears (+4.5) vs. Detroit Lions (-4.5)

Denver Broncos (+6) vs. New York Jets (-6)

Here is the regular point-spread. Let’s say you want to pick Detroit and Denver. Detroit is -4.5, with Denver getting 6 points. Now you put those teams on a 7-point/two-team pleaser. Detroit goes from -4.5 to -11.5, with Denver going from +6 to -1. Both teams must cover that new spread for you to win. And if you do win, you get a nice return of 8/1. Let’s do another example. You’re focusing on these 4 games:

Seattle Seahawks (+4.5) vs. Arizona Cardinals (-4.5)

Carolina Panthers (+7) vs. Atlanta Falcons (-7)

Green Bay Packers (-8) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (+8)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+5.5) vs. Washington Redskins (-5.5)

You like Arizona, Carolina, Green Bay, and Tampa Bay. Arizona goes from -4.5 to -11.5. Carolina goes from +7 to “pick-’em.” Green Bay goes from -8 to -15. And Tampa Bay goes from +5.5 to -1.5. If you were to somehow win all 4 games within the new spread, you would receive an enticing 60/1 on your bet. Not bad!

Again, it is very difficult. Odds say you could play a 4-team pleaser weekly and only hit it once every 5 NFL regular seasons! You’re putting yourself in a position where you have to isolate multiple games where the oddsmakers were drastically wrong. And pick on which side they will err to boot. And do it multiple times on the same ticket and have to be right on every game.

So understand the nature of the beast before tangling with these kinds of quixotic bets. A 2-Team pleaser can maybe be justified on some level for someone who is betting recreationally. After that, you’re basically playing for thrills, as opposed to making a thoughtful sports wager. Considering how many people play the lottery, it’s not so abnormal to play these types of bets. Just know going in that you’re not going to win many of these. It’s a hail-mary play. And just as hail marys are used sparingly in a game, it should not be a major feature in your betting profile.

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