Mastering Teaser Bets: How to Bet Teasers for Big Wins

Learn more about how to bet teasers.

Key Points

  • A teaser is a form of a parlay bet that allows bettors to adjust a point spread or total.
  • In learning how to bet teasers, bettors will learn there are many different types of teasers.

How to Bet Teasers

Teaser Betting

Sports betting is a popular way to add an extra level of excitement to your favorite games. Most bettors are familiar with straight bets like wagering on an NFL point spread, for example.

There are many other types of bets. One popular type of bet is the teaser, which is a form of parlay bet that allows the bettor to adjust the point spread in his favor. While this can be a great way to increase your chances of winning, it’s important to understand how teasers work before placing a bet. It’s important not to overthink how to bet teasers.

Generally speaking, you will need to pick at least two games and correctly predict the outcome of each one in order to win your bet. The point spread – or total – will be adjusted in your favor, but the catch is that the odds of winning are lower than if you had just bet on one game itself. 

As a result, it’s important to do your homework before placing a teaser bet. But if you’re looking for a way to add a little extra excitement to your sports betting and the potential to win big, then teasers may be worth considering.

Teaser Definition

A teaser defined is really just a parlay bet where the bettor can buy points to adjust a point spread or total in his favor. Remember that a parlay is a single bet made up of multiple bets. Like a parlay, a teaser can consist of many bets all tied together into a single wager.

Also like parlays, when one leg of a teaser bet fails, the entire bet is a loss. What makes a teaser a teaser is the ability to adjust a point spread or total. Teasers can consist of only point spread and/or totals bets

The most common teaser bet in sports betting is the two-team, six-point NFL teaser. Bettors can take two games and bet them as one. Plus, they get the ability to adjust the point spread (or total) to their favor. 

Sportsbooks, of course, don’t allow bettors to change point spreads for free. Bettors will pay a premium for the points they purchase and sportsbooks adjust the payout on teaser bets. The two-team, six-point NFL teaser, for example, pays out at roughly the same odds as a standard bet, which is -110. 

If you bet on two NFL teams on the point spread and each is given -110 odds, betting the two teams as part of a teaser will payout roughly the same as if you had bet the games individually. The difference, of course, is you get to manipulate the point spread.

The best way to gain an understanding of a teaser bet is to look at an example.

Bet Teasers Examples

Since the two-team, six-point NFL teaser is the most common, we will use it as an example. Let’s take two games from an NFL season. The first is a game between the New York Jets and the Minnesota Vikings. 

The Vikings are favored by 2.5 points over the Jets. After doing your research, you like the Jets but not at +2.5. If you adjust the point spread by six points, you can take the Jets +8.5. That’s a huge difference.

Now, to create the NFL two-team, six-point teaser, you need another game. The second game is New England and Houston. The Patriots are a seven-point favorite over the Texans. You like the Patriots to win and by adjusting the point spread down to -1, you really like them to cover the spread now.

Now you have a two-team, six-point NFL teaser. If the Jets lose 27-20, you win that leg of the teaser. With the adjustment to +8.5, the Jets covered the new point spread. Let’s say the Patriots win 24-21. They would not have covered the original spread, but the tease of six points gives New England the cover.

The teaser bet is a winner. At odds of -120, a $120 bet would payout $100. If either leg of the teaser loses, then the whole teaser is a bust. 

The NBA two-team, five-point teaser is another popular teaser bet. It works exactly the same as the NFL teaser. Say you have Atlanta as a 2-point underdog and Milwaukee as a 6-point favorite. With the tease, you get the Hawks at +7 and the Bucks at -1. Milwaukee winning by a single basket is a strong bet and the Hawks losing by six points or less, you have determined, is also a good decision. Like the NFL teaser, this bet pays out at around -110. 

Teaser Bet Odds

NFL games are the most popular to be part of teaser bets. We’ll talk more about that later. As mentioned, the typical two-team, six-point NFL teaser pays out roughly the same odds as a standard individual point spread bet. When learning how to bet teasers, the payouts are important to know.

There are also 6.5-point and 7-point NFL teasers. Again, sportsbooks are not giving you those points for free. The two-team, 6.5-point NFL teaser pays out at -120 and the 7-point version is given odds of -135. These odds can vary from sportsbook to sportsbook, but it does make sense. The more you are allowed to adjust the point spread, the less a sportsbook is willing to pay out for a win.

Where bettors can earn some higher payouts on teasers is by adding teams to the mix. The three-team, six-point teaser, for example, pays out at +160. At 6.5 points, the three-team teaser pays +140 and at 7 points, the payout is +120.

You get the idea. The more teams you add, the higher the payout since the bet is harder to win.The more points you can use to adjust a point spread or total, the lower your potential payout. 

Here are some examples of teaser payouts from a well-known sportsbook. Keep in mind that some sportsbooks will adjust prices based on the point spreads that you are changing. For example, it is more advantageous for a bettor to go from +2.5 to +8.5 than from +10 to +16.


What happens in the case of a push? If you had a three-team teaser and one of the games ended in a push, the three-team teaser would then be graded as a two-team teaser at -110 odds.

A two-team teaser with one leg that pushes then reverts back to a single bet at market odds. However, if any legs of a teaser lose – regardless if another leg is a push – the teaser is graded as a loss. Some rules will vary depending upon the sportsbook.

Essential NFL Strategies to Bet Teasers

NFL Strategies to Bet Teasers

The reason why NFL teasers are so popular is because of the way the game is scored. In football, a field goal is always worth three points, a touchdown is always six points, and a kicked extra point is always worth one point. As a result, games end in certain scoring margins that are more predictable than some other sports.

In the NFL, we have what are called “key numbers.” These key numbers are 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, and 14. They are key numbers because almost one-half of all NFL games end with a scoring margin of one of those numbers.

Most NFL games end with a margin of 3. A 24-21, 27-24, or any other three-point game happens about 15 percent of the time in the NFL. Seven-point games are next at 9.39 percent and 10-point games (5.68) are third.

Knowing that NFL games end with these final scores is part of a strong NFL teaser strategy. Bettors can use the extra six points to cross as many of these key numbers as possible. If you go back to Jets as an 2.5-point underdog, you can see that a six-point tease crosses the key numbers of 3, 4, 6, and 7. Over one-quarter of all NFL games end with one of these final scoring margins that is why it makes sense to tease across as many key numbers as possible.

Always Watch Key Numbers on Your Teaser Bet

There are some differing opinions on whether or not a tease should cross zero. For example, you could take a short favorite, say at 2.5 points, and tease them to become an underdog. Some argue that since most NFL games do not end in a tie, the scoring margin of zero is a dead number. There is, however, some data out there that suggests bettors can actually have success teasing a short favorite to a short underdog.

It is possible to tease college football games as well, though with less success. College football has more teams which creates a lot of variance between the best teams and the worst teams. Point spreads are a lot higher and final scoring margins are not as consistent as they are in the NFL. That’s why NFL teasers are more popular than others. 

It’s also possible to tease totals. Again, NFL games are the most popular choice because of another set of key numbers. More NFL games end with a final total of 37, 41, 44, 47, or 51 than any other numbers. Because of that, teaser bettors can use the additional points to tease a total. The most success in teasing NFL totals comes when lowering an already low spread and then betting the Over. 

For example, a total closes at 41. With a six-point tease, the new total is 35. That crosses all of the key numbers that account for a large portion of all NFL games. This is another basic NFL teaser strategy.

The Wong Teaser

Stanford Wong, the pen name of John Ferguson, has written numerous books on gambling. In 2001, he wrote a book called Sharp Sports Betting in which he revealed what has become known as the “Wong Teaser.”

Wong did a lot of research on the NFL and its key numbers. Because more games end with scoring margins of 3 and 7, Wong believed there was a way to exploit the NFL’s key numbers.

Remember, that the scoring margins of 3 and 7 account for almost 30 percent of all NFL games. Knowing this, the Wong Teaser looks for favorites between -7.5 and -8.5 and underdogs between +1.5 and +2.5.

This should all make sense if we recall our basic NFL teaser strategy. The idea is to tease a point spread so that it crosses as many NFL key numbers as possible. Let’s look at an example. We’ll use a three-team, six-point teaser since we can get plus-money odds (+160 at the sportsbook above). 

We like Pittsburgh, Denver, and Seattle. The teams and their point spreads are listed below.

  • Pittsburgh +2.5
  • Denver +1.5
  • Seattle -8

Tying these three teams together in a Wong teaser, we get the following.

  • Pittsburgh +8.5
  • Denver +7.5
  • Seattle -2

Both the Steelers and Broncos now cover 3, 4, 6, and 7, which are four of the top final scoring margins in NFL games. If either team loses by 7 or less or wins outright, their legs of the teaser will win.

Teasing the Seahawks down to -2 crosses 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, and 14. Those are the six most common final scoring margins in NFL games. If Seattle wins by 3 or more – which is highly likely – that leg of the teaser wins as well.

To be successful at teaser bets, you need to surpass the break-even point of winning 72.5 percent of the time. Wong teasers regularly hit above that number, hitting the 75 to 76 percent mark frequently.

Wong teasers have been so successful that sportsbooks have changed their rules regarding teasers. When first introduced, Wong teasers were killing sportsbooks. That prompted changes at sportsbooks. Bettors will not see as many NFL point spreads between 1.5 and 2.5 and 7.5 and 8.5.

The Sweetheart Teaser

There are different types of teasers, but they all have a few things in common. They are a single bet made up of multiple bets and they allow the bettor to adjust the point spread (or total). The sweetheart teaser is one of those types of teasers.

Also known as the monster teaser by some, the sweetheart teaser allows bettors to sweeten their deal by adjusting a point spread by a full ten points. The most common sweetheart teaser is a three-team, 10-point NFL bet. 

It’s important to remember what we have learned about teasers and adjusting point spreads. The more points we are able to adjust a spread, the lower the payout. Go back to the table above and you will see the last entry. It’s the three-team, 10-point sweetheart teaser and it pays out at -120. Bettors will find the sweetheart priced around -110 to -130 depending upon the sportsbook.

In betting sweetheart teasers, there are a few simple tips for bettors to follow. The first is in the choice of a sportsbook. Here’s why. At most sportsbooks, a push in any of the legs of the teaser is a loss. There are some, however, where bets are refunded or the three-team teaser becomes a two-team teaser. It’s in a bettor’s best interest to find sportsbooks where a push is not a loss.

Another consideration is betting limits. Because you can move a point spread by ten points, most sportsbooks set a max bet on a sweetheart teaser of $500. If you want to wager more, you have to find a sportsbook with a higher max bet. Ideally, you would also like a sportsbook that offers odds on a three-team, 10-point teaser that are closer to -110.

Winning sweetheart teaser bets is really no different than the standard NFL teaser, though there is a twist. Remember, at -110 odds, bettors must win 52.38 percent of the time to break even. With a three-team teaser, bettors need each leg to win 80.61 percent of the time. 

That number seems high, but bettors have the ability to adjust the point spread by 10 points. In the case of a sweetheart teaser, bettors look for favorites of 10.5 to 12.5 points and underdogs of 7.5 to 9.5 points. After the tease, bettors cross all of the top NFL key numbers. A -10.5 favorite becomes a -0.5 favorite. A 7.5-point underdog becomes a 17.5-point underdog and covers the top 10 scoring margins in NFL games. 

Between 2006 and 2020, underdogs of 4.5 to 5.5 points that were teased by 10 points recorded a record of 96-24. That’s a winning percentage of 80 percent and makes the sweetheart teaser a bet worth considering.

The Pleaser

By now, you should understand the teaser bet. Now, we will introduce the pleaser. The pleaser bet is the exact opposite of the teaser, which is why it is also called a reverse teaser. Teasers are parlays that allow the bettor to buy points and adjust a point spread (or total). 

A pleaser is a parlay that allows the bettor to sell points and adjust the point spread in favor of the house. In a normal two-team, six-point teaser, let’s say you had the Jets at +1.5 and the Colts at -8.5. With the tease, you end up with the Jets +7.5 and the Colts -2.5. The payout is usually around -110. You bet $110 and you win $100 if both legs are successful.

The pleaser is different. Using the same two teams with the same lines, you like the Jets to win  and the Colts to win big. You sell six points on both teams and end up with the Jets at -4.5 and the Colts at -14.5. 

Where the pleaser is different, of course, is in the payout. Because you are giving the house the advantage, the sportsbook is willing to offer a larger payout. It’s a high risk situation and the odds reflect that. Most sportsbooks that offer pleasers payout a two-team, six-point pleaser at about 6-1, or +600. 

In our example with the Jets and Colts, if New York wins by a touchdown and Indianapolis wins by 15 or more, a $100 pleaser bet would payout $600.

Pleasers are not as popular as regular teaser bets. There are many sportsbooks that do not even offer pleaser bets. The great thing about the pleaser is that each leg only has to win about 38 percent of the time and the payouts are higher. The problem is finding advantageous point spreads as they are working against you after selling points to the house.

Pros & Cons of Betting Teasers

Betting Teasers Pros and Cons

The biggest advantage of betting teasers is the ability to adjust the point spread in your favor. If you like at least two teams to cover at their listed point spread, what’s not to like about those two teams covering at a point spread adjusted in your favor?

With the rigidity of scoring in the NFL, final scoring margins are more predictable. Bettors can take advantage of the NFL key numbers by using teasers and adjusting point spreads to cross those numbers. Of course, that’s why NFL teasers are the most popular of all teaser bets.

Teasers are also fun for the individual bettor. It’s especially fun when you win a teaser on a game you would have otherwise lost as an individual bet. The ability to move the point spread gives you an advantage against the house.

The advantage the bettor gains against the house leads to the biggest drawback of betting teasers. The payouts are not nearly as high as on a regular parlay bet. The standard odds on an individual point spread bet are -110. When you wager on a two-team, six-point NFL teaser, you get roughly the same odds. Some sportsbooks will even price it at -120. That makes it difficult to make significant gains with your bankroll.

Odds vs. Winning

Adding more teams to your teaser can sweeten the pot. The average three-team, six-point NFL teaser will payout at +160 odds. The problem, of course, is that it is much harder to win three bets. Consider the following.

On a standard one-game bet at -110 odds, the house has an advantage of 4.5 percent. As you add teams to a teaser bet, the house’s advantage increases. In a three-team, six-point teaser, the house has an advantage of over 20 percent. Adding five teams gives the house a 35 percent advantage. 

Don’t forget, a teaser bet is all or nothing. If you lose a single leg of a teaser, the whole bet is a loss. There is also some research that shows that the points don’t matter as much as a bettor might think. In a given week of NFL games, there are usually just a few games that would be impacted by a six-point adjustment. Teaser bettors have to be extremely good at picking those games. 

More Tips & Strategies for Betting Teasers

Throughout this post, we have offered numerous tips and strategies for betting teasers. The NFL teaser is the most popular option for betting teasers. The Wong teaser where bettors take favorites of -7.5 to -8.5 and underdogs of +1.5 to +2.5 continues to be the most popular option for teaser bettors. 

There are many bettors who swear by the idea of never crossing zero when putting together an NFL teaser. There are times when it might look like a good idea to take a -3 favorite to a +3 underdog. There are some arguments against doing so. One is that relatively few NFL games end in a tie, meaning “0” is not an option. 

The other is that 90 percent of NFL games end with a scoring margin of 3 points or more. That means there is little value in teasing from -3 to +3. This is extremely important when looking at how to bet teasers.

There is value in some NBA teasers as well. The most popular NBA teasers are 4.5-, 5-, and 5.5-point teasers. They work the same as the NFL teaser and payout at about the same odds. A two-team, five-point NBA teaser will offer -110 odds. 

The NBA lends itself to teaser betting because certain thresholds can make really good picks into great ones. Consider the following. During the 2018-19 NBA season, only three teams had an average scoring margin of greater than five points – Milwaukee (+8.9), Toronto (+5.9), and Golden State (+5.8).

With an understanding of how to bet teasers now, you should recognize that you could put together a solid two-team, five-point NBA teaser using any of these three teams. Say Milwaukee and Toronto are both 7-point favorites on the same night. A two-team teaser makes them both 2-point favorites in games they are supposed to win by seven. Plus, both teams win games by nine and six points, respectively.

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Joe Berra
Joe Berra
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Joe takes care of the bits and pieces that sometimes slip through the cracks of the sports world. Efficiency and consistency is what makes different. JB helps keep Sports Hub’s content fresh and exciting, managing its many authors. From the New York area, Joe knew he had a knack for sports betting when his uncle was always asking him which side he was on as a young boy. His meticulous approach to the numbers formed his career path as a professional handicapper. Joe is sometimes called Jimmy Bagpipes, JB or Mr. B.