Football Betting: NFL Teasers
By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
Teasers are like parlays. You put multiple teams on a ticket and are forced with the prospect of having to win all of the games for your bet to be a winner. But unlike parlays, you are able to move the point-spread in your favor. The most popular teasers are 6, 6.5, and 7-point teasers. You take 2 or more teams and “tease” them. The points are then shifted in your favor depending on which teaser you choose.
You definitely pay for the privilege of tilting points in your favor. Teasers don’t pay nearly as much as parlays do. But it allows you to get a big advantage against the spreads. Here’s an example:
New York Jets (+7) vs. New England Patriots (-7)
San Francisco 49ers (+5) vs. New Orleans Saints (-5)
Imagine you wanted to bet a two-team teaser on the Patriots and the Saints. If you wanted to make a 6-point teaser, for example, the lines would change from New England -7 to New England -1, while New Orleans would go from -5 to +1. If both teams cover, you win the teaser. Here is a chart of common teaser payouts and odds for a 6-point teaser.
Two-Team Teaser: 10/11
Three-Team Teaser: 9/5
Four-Team Teaser: 3/1
Five-Team Teaser: 9/2
Six-Team Teaser: 6/1
Seven-Team Teaser: 10/1
Eight-Team Teaser: 15/1
Nine-Team Teaser: 20/1
Ten-Team Teaser: 25/1
Take the same example and let’s do a 6.5-point teaser. New England would go from -7 to -.5, while New Orleans would go from -5 to +1.5. Here are the payouts for a 6.5 teaser.
Two-Team Teaser: 10/12
Three-Team Teaser: 8/5
Four-Team Teaser: 5/2
Five-Team Teaser: 4/1
Six-Team Teaser: 11/2
Seven-Team Teaser: 9/1
Eight-Team Teaser: 12/1
Nine-Team Teaser: 15/1
Ten-Team Teaser: 20/1
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Take the same teams and make a 7-point teaser. New England would go from -7 to “pick-’em,” with the Saints going from -5 to +2. Here are the payouts for 7-point teasers.
Two-Team Teaser: 10/13
Three-Team Teaser: 7/5
Four-Team Teaser: 2/1
Five-Team Teaser: 7/2
Six-Team Teaser: 5/1
Seven-Team Teaser: 8/1
Eight-Team Teaser: 10/1
Nine-Team Teaser: 12/1
Ten-Team Teaser: 15/1
You can also tease totals, which follows the exact same format as sides. There are also 10 and 20-point teasers (5Dimes Sportsbook), which you should avoid. A two-team teaser is not available at all books. If that will be a play you plan on making, do some research to makes sure the book you choose offers that bet. It’s important to know, with teasing two favorites being the strongest of all teaser plays.
There is a lot to be said for and against teasers. First off, the best value you’re going to find is betting straight single games against the spread. It’s a a -110 proposition, or even less, on what amounts to a heads-or-tails wager. Once you go off the grid, however, and start delving into these different kinds of bets, the house advantage becomes steeper. The sometimes-handsome payout possibilities can blind us from what is essentially very poor value.
In addition to bad value, you are also asking a lot when playing teasers. Two-team teasers are one thing, but beyond that it’s not easy to be within 6 points of the point-spread when having to be right a handful of times in a row without fail. Sure, you’re getting a big break with the points, but a lot of times when you’re wrong--you’re wrong by a lot. A lot of games do in fact fall pretty close to the posted spread. But you don’t need a lot, you need all of them to be close.
Not to mention how much you’re giving up in terms of potential payout for the privilege of getting points off the spread. A $100 three-team parlay wins you $600. A $100 three-team 6-point teaser would win $180. So when paying teasers, be aware that they’re not terribly easy to win and when you do, the payout isn’t always very stellar considering that you’re asking for a lot of stars to line up right.
If you enjoyed this article, you may also be interested in reading Loot's article on teasing NFL favorites.
Related: The Problem With Teasers.