When first you discover the notion of a teaser bet, it can be a revelation of sorts. The feeling of being powerless to change the odds of your chosen bet disappears, and a whole new world of possibilities opens up. Let the teasing begin!
Teasing is a pretty simple concept. You can “buy” or “sell” points. So for example, if a game is posted for the favorite at -10, you might “buy down” the line, called teasing the line, to -5. In other words you are not sure the favorite will win by 11, but you’re confident at -5.
However, as with anything related to sports betting, there is a cost associated with this benefit that you receive. Namely, you will receive less of a payout if you tease the line, as opposed to just betting the line that is posted. So you have to evaluate that cost and see if it’s worth it.
Teasing “Close Call” Lines
Strategically, teaser bets often make the most sense when you are buying or selling points based on certain key numbers that are inherent to the game in question, or even to the sport itself.
For instance, an NFL game where one team wins by 15 points is considered a dominant victory, whereas a 14 point victory might just mean that one team was up by 7 and then scored another touchdown, possibly through a “one off” event such as an interception return for a touchdown when the team that’s losing is pressing too hard and the quarterback throws a pick.
To stick with the NFL example, a -3.5 line is also quite different than a -2.5 line, because of the common occurrence of NFL games being won by a field goal worth 3 points.
So these are two instances where “buying” points through a teaser bet, taking a -15 line to -13 or taking a -3.5 line to -2.5, might make a lot of sense for the savvy sports bettor.
The same dynamic can take place for other sports, this idea is not just germane to NFL football. In basketball, for instance, a -12 point spread is much larger than a -10 point spread. So you may want to tease that line either way, to gain clarity on your “close call” bet.
The Cost of Teaser Bets
Having established that teasing lines is potentially profitable from the perspective of being able to win more bets, we now have to look at the other side of the equation which is the cost side. How much does it cost to buy points, and how much do you get paid for selling points?
There is no simple answer to this because it depends on a number of factors. Each online sportsbook may offer different payout odds for teaser bets. Also, the actual bet in question may have a different “price” attached to the teasing of the line based on action that’s on the bet.
In other words, you have to look at teaser cost on a case-by-case basis. If you are looking to sell points back to the book, for instance, you should have a strong feeling that your team is going to cover. And vice versa, if you’re buying points, you need to feel like those points are crucial.
You shouldn’t tease just to tease.
Teasing Parlay Bets
A final note on teaser bets would be that many sports bettors use teasers in conjunction with parlays. This can be appealing because as you’re lessening your payout percentage by using the teaser, you can simultaneously increase your payout percentage through the parlay.
So for instance, you may be looking at a three team parlay and there is one game that you’re just not quite sure of in terms of the point spread. You may feel confident that your team will cover, but you’re just not sure of the points.
One idea is to tease the line on that game downward. Your parlay will still pay out at the “leveraged odds” of a parlay, but instead of getting 6-1 you might be getting 4-1, depending on how severely you’ve teased that questionable line.
If it seems worth it to you, well then there you go: tease away.