The basics of a teaser bet

Aside from its entertainment and recreation value, gaming has also become big business. It is not unheard of for skilled (and lucky) players to take in winnings in the thousand and even millions. But this is still business after all, and thus the house will almost always have the advantage. In the interest of making wagering more exciting and admittedly getting more out of the business, different forms and variations of bets have sprung up and been formulated. One of these is the teaser bet.

The most basic question will obviously be, what is a teaser bet? Simply put, it is a variation of the parlay bet, the modification being in the point spreads used. To refresh your memory, a parlay bet is a wager on at least two and up to ten sporting events. Since point spreads are used, a teaser cannot be made on a money line parlay. As an example, the variation in football is usually six points. When making a teaser bet on three football teams therefore, you adjust the spread for each team by six points.

As with other betting odds, teaser odds will differ depending on the site or book you visit. In football teasers with the standard six points, the odds to look for are at least -110 for two teams, +180 for three teams and +300 for four teams.

In case any of the teams tie (or push), the rule depends on the result of all the games. For example, in a two-team bet, a result of a push-win (or any other result with a single win) invalidates the action and the wager is refunded, while a push-loss means a lost bet. With three or more teams, the push result is no longer considered. Thus, a win-push-win result means the three-team teaser becomes just two teams.

Unfortunately, when you get down to the math of it, most teaser bets (as with parlay bets in general) do not actually give you better odds than straight bets. In fact, in football, the formula to follow is to determine whether the six point differential will increase your probability of winning by 19.73%. Using historical statistics of the involved teams, you can then determine if you are better off sticking with straight bets instead. On the other hand, if you are able to accurately compute of all the teams in all your games, a teaser will actually pay off better, which is in fact the attraction of parlay over straight bets.

As with most betting strategies out there, a teaser bet can pay off very well, when your skills, data, and lady luck align.