Teasers have become a more popular way to bet on sports over the last decade. This is especially true for football, where lots of books and articles have been written about how to use them to beat the sportsbooks. Teasers are not just for football though, as you can also use them for basketball. The rules and the strategy around teasers are different for each sport, but the functionality and the concept are the same.
A teaser is a bet on two or more outcomes, much like we discussed previously with parlays. Like a parlay, you have to win every leg of the teaser in order to get paid out on it. The main difference here is with a teaser, Tipico actually gives you extra points to make it easier for you to win that bet. In football, the typical teaser is worth six points. In NBA, it is worth four. You can find books that allow you to tease more points than that, but the more points they give you to adjust the spread, the worse your payout on a winning bet becomes.
The second thing to understand about a teaser is the payout structure. If you parlay two spreads that are both at -110, you would get a payout on Tipico somewhere around +260 if both sides covered. That means you can turn every $100 bet into $360 for a profit of $260 or +260. Teasers on those same numbers typically pay out -120 or lower. Remember the books allowed you to move the number by four or six points in whatever direction you choose, making it even easier for you to cash that bet. The tradeoff for doing so is that you receive way less of a reward for being right. At -120, every $100 bet would return about $184 for a profit of just $84. That’s a big difference from the $260+ profit we had in our parlay example.
The optimal way to utilize a teaser is to work around what bettors refer to as key numbers. In the sport of football, the two most common final scores have been the numbers of three and seven. If you chart the final scores of football games for any significant time period, you will see that those two numbers end up being the most common margins of victory. Therefore, the most profitable legs of a teaser are when you can use those six points to cross over those key numbers. Teasing a spread from -8.5 down to -2.5 now turns a final score of -3 or -7 into a win at -2.5, instead of a loss at -8.5. It works the same if the spread is +2.5 and you tease it up to +8.5. A loss of 3 or 7 points would be a loss at +2.5 but turn into a win if you were teasing it up to +8.5.
Closing lines in a betting market are always efficient because they are the culmination of bets on both sides until a happy medium is reached where bettors no longer think the number is too high or too low. That is why teasing a game four or six points away from that market number creates a major edge for the bettor. Sportsbooks like Tipico understand this too. That is why payouts are much lower on a teaser, as they are more likely to win. Teasers will not help you get rich quick, but the fact that they cash often will help you slowly build a bankroll.