Gambling 101 | Understanding Teaser Bets

Just like going for a two-point conversion, the difference between a winner and a loser can be a couple of extra points. Chris Graythen/Getty Images/AFP

Whether you’re a seasoned bettor or are brand new to the game, OddsTrader has you covered. We have current odds on all the major sporting events and plenty of tools to help with your handicapping process.

And we also have basic information for the rookies out there who might be familiar with the terms but not quite sure what they mean. Below we’re talkin’ teasers and before you know it, you’ll be teasing your best bets like an old pro. Let’s go!

What’s a Teaser?

Essentially a teaser is getting additional points on an underdog, or laying fewer points on a favorite, on either two sides (teams) or two totals, or one of each. It is all up to you to decide how you use this “gift” from the top online sportsbooks.

We put the word gift in quotes because we both know the bookies don’t play Santa Claus and if you think you’re getting something for nothing, you’re not. But that doesn’t mean teasers are a bad thing, it just means that instead of getting one ATS (Against The Spread) cover, you must get two for the teaser to win.

How many points you get depends on the sport and the number of teams or totals you are including. You can also take fewer points and get better odds, but for the purposes of this discussion, we will stick with the basics. Let’s take a look at a few examples below from both football and basketball.

Football Teasers

The standard football teaser is six points on each side or total but you should note you can also get 6 ½ and even 7-point teasers but the more points you get the more it will cost you in vig (the bookie’s commission). Let’s take a look at one of the best U.S. online sportsbooks in the industry, BetMGM, and see their most popular football teaser tables.

Two Team Teaser

  • 6 points -130 ($130 to win $100)
  • 6 ½ points -140 ($140 to win $100)
  • 7 points -150 ($150 to win $100)

Let’s use the 6-point example for an NFL teaser. Let’s assume that the Patriots are 8-point favorites over the Dolphins.

In another game of interest, the Chiefs are 10-point favorites over the Broncos. In order to get the points, we must choose two sides (or totals) wrapped up in one bet. For the bet to pay off, both sides must cover so in this instance we can include the Patriots -2 and the Chiefs -4.

All we did was subtract the 6 points from the Patriots -8 and the Chiefs -10.

We could also use the underdogs and get the Dolphins +14 and the Broncos +16 as we added 6 points to Dolphins +8 and Broncos +10.

The Patriots -2 and Broncos +16 would work as easily as Dolphins +14 and Chiefs -4. It’s all up to you and this goes for college football too!

Three Team Teaser

BetMGM gives you a better payoff rather than more points when you play a three-team teaser. But depending on your location and the sportsbook you use, rules can vary and there might be jurisdictions where more points are offered with a static vig structure. Always check the rules before you wager to make sure.

  • 6 points +160 ($100 to win $160)
  • 6 ½ points +140 ($100 to win $140)
  • 7 points +120 ($100 to win $120)

The scenario here is identical to the one above when we talked about two-team teasers except for two things: 1) you must use three teams, 2) the payouts are higher because getting three teams to cover the spread is more difficult than two.

Basketball Teasers

NBA or college basketball teasers work exactly like they do in football only you don’t get as many points because the game is different and the mentality is that 4 points in basketball are equivalent to 6 points in football. So, with that, the basketball teaser tables are as follows:

2 Team Teaser

  • 4 points -110 ($110 to win $100)
  • 4 ½ points -120 ($120 to win $100)
  • 5 points -130 ($130 to win $100)

3 Team Teaser

  • 4 points +160 ($100 to win $160)
  • 4 ½ points +140 ($100 to win $140)
  • 5 points +120 ($100 to win $120)

Again, it is important to check with your sportsbook to find out what their rules are on betting teasers but at least you now know what a teaser is and how it works. Make sure to choose the sportsbook that is right for you and may all your wagers be winners!

And remember to check back for more betting strategy at the OddsTrader blog. Happy betting!

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