What is a Teaser Bet?
Whether you bet on sports or not, most people have a general understanding of how spread betting works. Even the announcers sometimes do the classic "That might be a big deal to some" call when a team scores in a game that the winner is already deciding. Those announcers are of course talking about the spread of the game is won or lost by a late-game touchdown, basket, or a meaningless homer run with the final out of a baseball game. While such events, or backdoor covers, affect the consensus spread for a game, there is a way to beat that.
Bettors are able to buy and sell points on a sportsbook. One of the most popular ways this is done is with teaser bets. A type of bet that a bettor is able to pair alternative spreads or totals together with adjusted odds. If two teams have a -10 spread, a six-point teaser would allow one to pair them together at -4. Essentially, a bettor is buying points in exchange for more than one selection. The bet turns into a two or more-leg parlay with alternative lines. Teasers can parlay bets across multiple games, or same-game parlays involving the spread and total on a singular game.
Advantages of Typical Teasers
When thinking about a teaser bet, it is common to see the legs of the parlay consisting of a few different games. This is an excellent way for a bettor to get the spread or game total teased beyond key numbers. Football is the sport that holds most of these "key numbers" in reference to spread betting. This is because football is usually a sport that scores in 3 and 7 increments. The more uniform scoring setup with touchdowns (plus extra points) being 7 points and field goals being 3 points inherently adds value to teaser bets. A bettor can effectively tease two teams with a +1.5 spread by 6 points. Thus, both teams would have to keep the game within a full touchdown to cover the teased +7.5 spread.
While "key numbers" are more important for football bettors, teasers can be used for most sports. In the image above, an NBA bettor would be able to tease two underdogs from +6.5 to +10.5. This teaser effectively sets up a situation where both underdogs need to "not lose by 10" for this bet to win. Interestingly enough, this happened in this example. As the Oklahoma City Thunder lost to the Phoenix Suns by nine points.
Advantages of Same Game Teasers
In the example above, a bettor was able to tease two spreads for their bet. Obviously, when betting on the same game this is not possible. A bettor must tease the spread along with the game total. This can work in a bettor's favor depending on how they want to wager on the game. For instance, if one believes that a game will be lower scoring than the line suggests, they could see value in a teaser with the underdog paired with the game under.
If a bettor believes the game will be lower scoring, more often than not they find value in bigger underdogs. The fewer points a game, the less chance of a team covering a larger spread.
Should You Bet Teasers?
As with all things with betting, it depends on the individual. Teasers at the end of the day are parlays, which hurts the value of a bet. When needing multiple outcomes to happen in an "all or nothing" scenario is far less likely to yield a winning bet than needing a singular spread/game total to happen. However, they are extremely useful to help a bettor get spreads or game totals teased past those key numbers.