Teasers are another bet type that sports book offer. They essentially allow you to adjust the spreads or totals of teams in their favor to get a better line. You must tease multiple different lines making it into a parlay for this bet type to work. Teasers are typically bet between two different lines, but most books allow you to tease up to 10 lines in one parlay.
Teasers With Football
Teasers only work in football and basketball. In football, the standard teaser is a two team, 6 point teaser. This means that you move the line 6 points in each line’s favor. In basketball, the standard teaser is a two team, 4 point teaser. This means that you move the line 4 points in each line’s favor. You can tease totals or spreads. The juice on these teasers is typically a fixed number that will be discussed later, but they will vary with the number of legs. Let’s get into a couple of examples.
Here’s an example of two lines this week in the NFL.
Match up 1: Giants +4 Eagles -4 Total: 45
Match up 2: Colts +3 Buccaneers -3 Total: 53
Let’s say from these match ups, we like Colts spread and Eagles spread and we want to do a 6 point teaser. That would mean we could tease the Colts spread up to +9 and the Eagles down to +1. When teasing favorites down, the zero does count as a point when moving the line 6 points. The bet would now be a parlay with Colts +9 and Eagles +1. By doing this, we get far better value in each spread. The trade off, though, is that both bets have to win to win the bet.
Teasers With Basketball
Here’s an example of lines in the NBA.
Match up 1: Pistons +10.5 Lakers -10.5 Total: 214.5
Match up 2: Clippers +2.5 Warriors -2.5 Total: 215
Let’s say from these match ups, we like Lakers -10.5 and Clippers +2.5 and we want to do a 4 point teaser. The bet would then be a parlay with Lakers -6.5 and Clippers +6.5. Both of these bets would have to hit to win the bet. Now lets also say that we have a good read on the first match up, and want to tease the spread and the total. We still like the Lakers -10.5 and also like the over. The bet would then be a parlay with Lakers -6.5 and Over 210.5. You can do the same game teaser with both the spread and total teased in football lines as well.
Should You Bet Teasers?
Now that know what teaser are, it’s time to learn if and when you should bet them. Right now, you may be thinking that teasers are easy money and a great bet. That’s not actually the case. As we have mentioned before, sports books are not in the business of losing money. If teasers were free money for betters, then sports books wouldn’t offer them. Let’s get into the numbers.
Sports Books have adjusted the payout for teasers in the past couple of years. 2 leg, 6 point teasers use to be fixed at -120 on almost all sports books. As shown below, Fanduel offers them at -134. This is a substantial decrease in value compared to -120. Other sports books do not have fixed odds for each teaser type, and the odds vary depending on the game. The table below shows the fixed payouts for Fanduel NFL lines. Note: Books do offer 7-9 and 8-9.5 point teasers as well, but for the sake of time and simplicity those are not included in the tables.
Fanduel Teaser Payouts and Implied Probability
This table shows, the more legs you add, the higher the payouts. Also, the more points you tease, the higher the price gets. Next let’s walk through how to see if there is any value in these odds. First we will need to convert the American odds converted to decimal odds.
From these decimal odds, you can calculate the implied probability. Implied probability is the likelihood of a bet hitting based on the odds that Vegas has set. For example, from the table below, a 2 leg 6 point teaser has a 57% chance of hitting. Remember, these teasers are not even money. They are -134. The table below shows the implied probability of each teaser as a whole.
As expected, the higher point teaser you do, the greater the implied probability. The more legs you add to the teaser, the lower the implied probability. If you want to learn how that math works, check out The Truth About Parlays. The table below shows the implied probability of each individual leg in the teaser based off of Bookmakers odds.
Fanduel Probability for Each Individual Leg of a Teaser
Next, we took roots of each decimal odds to essentially factor in the number of legs. We then converted everything back to American Odds. The table below shows what each leg of a teaser is valued at.
This shows that each leg in a 2 leg 6 point teaser is valued at -311. Each leg in a 3 leg 6 point teaser is valued at -295. This is very interesting considering if you look at it solely from a an individual, statistical stand point, each leg has the same probability of hitting no matter the amount of legs. It appears Fanduel knows that 2 leg 6 point teasers are the most common teaser bet and they adjusted their value accordingly. From a value standpoint, a 4 leg 6 point teaser has the best value.
For Sports Books that do not have fixed odds, there are a couple of tells on what may affect the payout. As mentioned in the previous Money Lines Lesson, totals surprisingly play a role in what the line could be. If you tease two games that have low totals, it is likely that the teaser will have more juice than if you tease two games that have high totals. So, for Fanduel and other books that have fixed odds, teasing games that have low totals will hep you gain some value back.
Comparing Teasers on Draftkings to Fanduel
I will now show why you should never bet NFL Teasers on Fanduel. The picture below is from Draftkings and shows all of their teaser odds.
If you look back at the odds that Fanduel offers, you will see that Draftking’s teaser odds consistently offer far better value. For example, the fixed odds for a 2 leg 6 point teaser on fanduel is -134. The fixed odds for a 2 leg 6 point teaser on Draftkings is -120. It may seem minuscule, but losing that kind of value every teaser adds up. When betting teasers, you should always check books like Barstool Sportsbook that does not offer fixed odds to make sure you are getting the best value. If their odds are worse than Draftkings shown above, then use Draftkings.
When Should you Bet Teasers
Historical data shows that the best way to bet teasers is by betting spreads to key numbers in the NFL. Key numbers in football for spreads are 3,7,10,13,14,17, and 21. These are the most common margins of victory. For totals, key numbers are any number that is divisible by 3 or 7. When teasing NFL spreads you should try to tease through as many key numbers as possible. So, an example of a good line to tease would be -7.5. A 6-point teaser would make this line -1.5. Contrarily teasing a line from +1.5 to +7.5 would also provide good value. Teasing a line at +3.5 does not provide the best value. Although you do have a higher chance of hitting the bet, you do not tease all the way to the key number of 10, and also waste quite a few points teasing through non key numbers. Games can end with those margins of victory, but it’s not as likely. It won’t always be possible to tease to an exact key number, but it’s something to consider for all teasers. It’s important that you make every point that you are technically buying count.
Another strategy that we do not recommend is teasing through zero. The 0 does count as a point when teasing from -1 to 1. You are wasting a point in the teaser every time you tease through zero as games very rarely will end in a tie. An example of this would be teasing a line up from -3. A 6-point teaser would make a line at -3 become +3. At first glance, it seems as if you are teasing to a key number and that you are getting to a good number, but in reality, you aren’t benefiting that much. A 3-point spread already isn’t that high. If a team is going to lose a 3-point spread, there is a decent chance that they also lose the game. If they lose the game, the lowest, most common number they will lose by is 3. That would mean your teaser pushes. If you think it is going to be a close game, you would get better value teasing the +3 7 points to +10. Once again, it’s important that we take full advantage of every point in a teaser, and by teasing through zero, you are not doing that.
Although you can also tease totals, we do not recommend it. There is a lot more room for error when teasing a total. You can still tease through key numbers. Totals of 37, 41, and 44 have been the most common totals. It is still rare for totals to end at those numbers. Historical data has shown that teasing totals is not profitable, and we recommend staying away.
All the points that we have previously made for NFL teasers also apply to College Football teasers. College Football teasers have proven to be less successful than NFL teasers. There is more randomness in College Football. Book makers have a lot easier time predicting final scores of NFL games where there is much more historical data they can use on each player/teams. Less stats = more randomness = more variation in lines. Due to this, college football teasers are less successful. That does not mean you can’t do them from time to time. We recommend only doing them in a unique situation. For example, 2 games with low totals and lines at -7.5.
Should you do Basketball Teasers
Sports books offer a bunch of options for basketball point teasers. We highly advise against basketball teasers, for the same reason we advise against teasing NFL point totals and college football lines. There are no key numbers in a basketball score, and the variation is larger due to end of the game fouls. Your odds of each individual leg hitting after teasing are not much better than hitting the actual line. You would be much better off hitting the 2 bets at the original line, so when you go 1-1 you just lose juice, instead of the full the unit.
To conclude, if you want to do teasers, your best chance of being successful is with teasing point spreads in the NFL. This is due to NFL having several key numbers you can tease through that gives you an edge. College sports have larger variation in final scores, compared to the spread, due to book makers having less predicative stats to go off of. When you do not have key numbers you can tease the line through, you would be better off hitting each bet individually at its original line.