A teaser is when you have to win two different picks but are allowed to “tease” up the line, usually by 6, 6.5 or 7 points. Depending on which sportsbook you use, each point will be priced differently. At FanDuel, for example, a 6-point teaser will cost you -130, meaning you will need to bet $130 to win $100.
Teasers on NFL games rose in popularity in 2018 because they continually cashed week in and week out. This was most likely due in part to the competitiveness of the NFL in general, and bettors finding one or two positions each week that had a high probability of hitting.
Because of the increased popularity, and increasing losses, sportsbooks started charging higher rates of juice on teasers, and that should continue in 2019.
Have Multiple Outs
This is one of the primary reasons why it’s so important to have multiple sportsbooks to price shop. One book you may be offering the team you like -6 points, while another book may be offering the same team at -7 points.
It’s imperative if you want to win long-term at sports betting to always shop around for the best number, and in the case of a teaser, also for the best price.
A teaser on the surface may sound too good to be true. For example, in the NFL’s upcoming Wild Card Weekend the Chargers are +3, and with a teaser, you can take them at +10. The problem is you need to be able to hit both legs of the teaser to win, and if you do win you’ll need to be betting more than you typically would
How To Bet Teasers in the NFL
Normally in sports betting if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. However, in the case of teasers in the NFL, this has not been the case. Teasers were hitting at record rates in 2018 and have caused sportsbooks to re-evaluate how they set their initial lines.
Lesson 1: Always go through multiple key numbers
The great part about a teaser is that it allows you to bet through “key numbers.” In the NFL, the biggest key number is 3, because the final score of games will fall at 3 points more than any other number. The next key number, as you could imagine, is 7 since this is how many points a touchdown is worth. In recent years with the NFL moving back the extra point attempt, more games are falling on 6 points than they had in the past. The other key numbers to remember are 4 and 10.
Ideally, when teasing a game, you want to go through three different key numbers. If a team is getting +2.5 points, you can do a 6-point teaser to go through the 3, through the 4, and through the 6 and 7 to land at +8.5 points.
In the case of the Chargers who are getting +3 at Baltimore this weekend, you can get up from 3, through 4, 6, 7 and all the way up to 10 with a 7-point teaser.
Key numbers in the double digits are not as important as the single digits, but going through 13-14, and 16-17 can also be helpful. For the most part though, you want your teaser to be going through the two most key numbers of 3 and 7.
Lesson 2: Don’t tease the total
While you are allowed to use the total in your teaser, it is not advised. The reason for this is value.
While totals also have key numbers, such as 42, they are harder to predict and simply don’t offer as much value as going through key numbers on multiple games.
You are going to win a higher rate of teasers choosing two different teams and teasing them up through multiple key numbers than you are in having one team, and one total.
Lesson 3: Chose selectively
The great part about a teaser, and sports betting in general is that you get to chose when to bet, and when not to bet.
Some games will invariably have a higher variance than others. When you have a game you believe could be a high variance game, meaning you can see a possible blowout on either side, this is not the time to tease the game.
Games that appear to be the tightest, but aren’t bettable at their current number, say because you’re getting +2.5 instead of +3 are the perfect games to tease.
Bottom Line on Teasers
You can’t be right every time, but it is even more important to avoid a loss as it is to pick a winner. The fact that we as sports bettors are allowed to be selective with our bets is the only advantage we have over the sportsbook. As long as you choose wisely and go through multiple key numbers, and avoid teasing the total, you’ll win money successfully using the teaser strategy.