Teaser Odds Explained

Teaser bets could also be classified as parlays for the faint-hearted, because they are lower-risk multiple wagers. Most commonly wagered on football and basketball games, teaser bets are designed to reduce the risk assigned when you play a parlay wager. Instead, you place a teaser bet, which must consist of a minimunm of two teams, but can grow as high as 10 or even 15 teams. As is the case with a parlay wager, all teaser bets require every wager to be a winner.

You're Just Teasing

By playing a teaser, you are able to adjust the point spreads in your favor, but at a cost of a reduced payout should your teaser prove to be a winner. When the teaser bet includes a point spread, you can decrease the spread for the favorite, or increase the spread for the underdog. If your teaser bet is on a total wager, you are permitted to increase the over or decrease the under. 

Say the Oakland Raiders are -9 against the Baltimore Ravens. Were you to play a six-point teaser on this game and bet the Raiders, then you would get the odds reduced on the Raiders to -3. On the other hand, were you to bet the Ravens in the same game as part of a six-point teaser, then you would jump the odds on them from +9 to +15.

How To Play A Teaser Bet

Let's look at what is required to play a teaser wager at Bovada:

For starters, you must select a minimum of two games to place your bet. At Bovada, the maximum number of bets allowed on a teaser wager is 10 and only football and basketbal games are eligible because they are the only sports that utilize point spread wagering. All lines involved in the teaser bet must be point spreads or total wagers. A tie, also known as a push in betting terminology, results in a no action call and reduces the teaser bet.

For example, if you played a five-bet teaser and two games ended in ties, it is now a three-bet teaser. Two-team teaser bets are not permitted to reduce. In this case, if you had a win and a push on your teaser bet, the entire wager would be declared as no action and your stake would be refunded. If you have a loss and a push, then that ticket is a loser and no money would be refunded. You are not permitted to include futures, props, moneylines, first half, second half or quarter line wagers in a teaser bet.

Teaser Payouts

With teaser bets, your payout depends upon the sport, the number of teams in the teaser and the selected point adjustments made. Again, utilizing Bovada as a basis, let's look at the respective payouts on their teaser bets on the NFL:


 This is what the Bovada payout plan is on NBA games with teaser bets played on them:


As you can see, the greater the play, the greater payout, but also, the greater the risk. And in some cases with the two-team teasers, you are actually reducing your odds to a negative number, so you have to ask yourself if the reduction or addition of points on your wager is really worth it for the limited return you will receive?

Cross Sport Teasers

It isn't just fitness that can successfuly be crossed from one genre to another. You are allowed to inter-mingle football and basketball games into a cross-sport teaser bet, although there are restrictions. With Bovada, when you combine football and basketball lines in the same teaser, the number of points that you adjust point spreads and/or totals by must remain in the same category, as follows: 

Football 6 points / Basketball 4 points

Football 6.5 points / Basketball 4.5 points

Football 7 points / Basketball 5 points

Payouts on these cross sport bets will differ based upon the league selected in the picks. The payout for mixed league teasers will come from the league payout table with the lowest value. These odds and payouts can differ from sportsbook to sportsbook, so you may want to shop around before placing your teaser wager.

Sweetheart Teasers

A sweetheart teaser combines either 3-10 picks for football wagers, or 3-4 picks in the case of basketball wagers. The number of points that you adjust the point spreads or totals by depends on the sport and the number of teams in the teaser. There are catches with sweetheart teasers that are not present when other types of teaser bets are played.

On three-team, 10-points or four-team, 13-points teaser bets, should any of the games played result in a no action outcome, the entire wager will be settled as no action and your stake returned, assuming that all of your other plays on the ticket were winners. A push on any sweetheart teaser bet will result in the entire wager being declared a loser.

In the case of cross-sport sweetheart teasers, the payout will be determined by the table with the lower value. For example, if a player has five NCAA selections and one NFL selection, then the NFL payout will be used.

Is The Teaser A Good Bet?

That's a valid question, and one that there seems to be serious debate about within the sports betting industry. The teaser is a popular wager with a growing number of bettors who believe that the scenario offers them a better cushion than a regular wager, although it is still a difficult wager to hit on, because like a parlay, you have to be right on all aspects of the ticket in order to cash in a winner. 

That's why sharps tend to look down their noses at teaser players. They see at almost as betting scared, trying to soften the landing on the risk you take when playing a wager, and by doing so at a cost of reduced winnings on what is still a very difficult bet to hit on, many wonder what's the point of the bet in the first place? 

Regardless, the teaser is growing in popularity with bettors and accounts for approximately 15 percent of all wagers placed on NFL games at sportsbooks each season. Teaser cards are generally put out on the Wednesday morning of each week of the NFL season by sportsbooks. The lines on these cards tend to be fixed, although sportsbooks will maintain the right to take any games listed off the board.