Should You Bet Parlays and Teasers in Football?

Imagine having a payout of $736,959 depending on Jared Goff beating the Packers at Lambeau Field on MNF? An unlucky bettor with a 16 team parlay on Week 2 knows all about that. Wesley Hitt/Getty Images/AFP

Every week of the football season, sportsbooks have a game or two on Saturday or Sunday, they have greater exposure (potential loss).

Typically, next in line from an exposure perspective, are parlays and teaser wagers. The amount of money is not close to the same, but if the football bettor nails it, that can cause some long faces at the book.

The lure of making a low or relatively low bet to have a large, or in some cases, a massive payout is intoxicating to a lot of gamblers. That is why lottery tickets sell, because if you hit “the big one” that can change your life.

One would have to wager a great deal of money to win a million or more dollars when it comes to sports betting, however, a lottery ticket is a random outcome compared to assembling a 10 to 15 play parlay or teaser card, in which you, the individual made all the picks, which also give you a story you can tell forever.

While online sportsbooks don’t like losing, the smart ones know it is good for business. They would promote and flood the media with a bettor who cashed a 14-team parlay in college and pro football and turned $200 into $180,000!

Why would they do this, here is why.

Parlays and Teasers Are a Huge Profit Center

A UNLV Center for Gaming Research study, that covered 27 years, concluding in 2019, found the average of regular sports bets (team vs. team), had an average hold or take was five percent. In other words, for every dollar wagered the book kept five cents.

For parlays, that jumps to 30 percent hold, with teasers in the low 20’s. That is more than four to six times more profit. Imagine for every $100 bet, you would earn $20 to $30 compared to $5, what would you promote?

The Problem with Parlays and Teasers

It is widely accepted the sharpest of bettors will hit 60 percent in a college or NFL football season. Without question, some outliers will nail more than that, sometimes at 70%, however, those you can count on one hand among millions.

If hitting 60% is a huge challenge, then why would some think they would hit four to 15 games all on one card? The odds are enormously stacked against anyone to win such a bet.

Say you put $250 on a 10-team parlay or teaser and you hit eight of ten and both losses were by a single point. That is sheer agony being that close to such a huge payday.

Now, let’s think about taking that same $250 and making 10 $25 wagers and hitting eight of ten. Instead of losing that $250, you instead walk away with $145, a difference of $395 having the same amount of winners on each card. The big paydays can be fun, but how much was spent overtime to win that one time?

“But I Love the Action and it’s Fun”

We have shown you the truth and negative aspects of betting parlays and teasers. Nonetheless, if you have stocks or want to invest in a somewhat risky venture, if you want to you will, thus, it is not our place to tell you what to do with your money.

Instead, we suggest making wiser bets that give you a better chance to win your football picks.

On parlays, limit them to two teams. If you bet $100 and win, your return is $260. If you do more than one, we would recommend limiting them to a total of three.

That way if you are correct on two of three, that’s a profit of $220 and if you connect on only one, your loss is $40, which based on the amount wagered seems acceptable.

After two weeks of NFL, you wouldn’t expect teams like the Packers and Chiefs to rank so low ATS. That can be a parlay or teaser killer. Avoid trap games with the OddsTrader ATS tool to maximize your profits.

Some might be tempted to make a 3-teamer because the payout is 6-1, but there is a reason for that, that’s how much harder that is to win.

On teasers, you have options when it comes to football of normally six to seven points. If you want to be more conservative, do a two-team teaser (6 points), as you bet $11 to win $20 at most books. (Some are 12/20)

If you are more adventuresome, a three-teamer is not a terrible choice on six-points (going through key numbers), as $10 can return $26.

We would not recommend doing a 7-point teaser because that eats up almost 15 percent of potential profits when six points should take you thru almost every key football number if you are making the right bets.

As always, be smart and have fun and maximize your potential winnings.

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