Are Teasers Still Terrible Bets?

Every piece of advice I've found about sports betting says the same thing about teasers.

Teasers are sucker bets and should be avoided at all costs.

I've read bookies claiming they love when players bet on teasers and wish more people would use them.

If you blindly accept this advice and aren't willing to consider a contrarian approach to possibly find a profitable edge, you don't have much reason to continue reading.

You'll need to decide for yourself if you can use this information to make teasers profitable enough to bet on a regular basis, but I'm convinced some sharp sports bettors already are turning profit using them.

If you're like me and realize most sports betting books are below average at best, keep reading to see why teasers are more profitable now than ever before.

What Is a Teaser Bet?

A teaser bet is when you bet on two or more games or matches and receive a number of points to add to each line that you bet on.

Here's an example:

The regular lines on three games are as follows:

Titans +7


Giants +4


Patriots -6


You decide to place a 7 point teaser bet including all three games and pick the Dolphins, Cowboys, and Bengals.

The line moves 7 points in your favor on a 7 point teaser on each game. So the Dolphins game moves to even, the Cowboys move to + 3, and the Bengals move to + 13.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Different sports books set up their teasers in different ways. Make sure you completely understand the process before placing your bets. Some books call a 7 point teaser one where you only have a total of 7 points to divide among the teams you pick instead of getting 7 points for each team.

You also need to know what happens on ties. Some teaser bets lose on ties, others win ties, and others reduce the number of games in the teaser on a tie. In other words, if one team ties on a three team teaser the teaser is reduced to a two team teaser.

You have to win all the games on the teaser in order to win.

Here's a sample pay out chart for a teaser wager:

Number of teams


2 -135
3 +135
4 +215
10 +1,725

This chart is for a 7 point teaser where each team chosen receives 7 points and ties reduce the number of teams in the teaser.

Here's a chart for a 5 ½ point teaser:

Number of teams


2 +100
3 +180
4 +300
10 +3,300

Notice that in a 7 point teaser with two games you have to bet 135 to win 100, but everything else on both charts is bet 100 to win the plus amount. On a 5 ½ point teaser with three teams you bet $100 to win $180.

Math Examples

Skip this section if you're allergic to math, but it's good to understand how the math works and what you need to become profitable betting teasers.

Normal bets with the spread require a bet of 110 to win 100. If you place two bets, one on each of two different games, and win one and lose one you end up losing $10. If you placed a 5 ½ point teaser bet on the same two games you'd bet $200 to win $200. If you lost one of your bets against the spread by fewer than 5 ½ points, in the teaser you'd have won.

Of course, sometimes you'll win both bets against the spread for a profit of $200 on a $220 wage. In those cases you'll also win $200 on the 5 ½ point teaser as well.

The downside is if you lose one game on the teaser, you lose the entire $200. But if you lose both games against the spread you lose $220.

Diversify your bets if you start making teaser wagers. Instead of betting the same $220 as you would on straight bets on one teaser, bet two different teasers for $100 each.

The 10 team teasers have nice looking pay outs, but they rarely hit. Focus on finding a few games that offer the best chance to win. Place two or three game teasers until you start winning consistently.

Current Betting Lines

Teasers are more profitable now than in the past because the sports books are better at setting lines than ever.

As the posted lines get closer to the true lines, any number of points you can move the line can be more profitable.

If you pay attention to NFL and NCAA football, you know the favorite doesn't always win and even huge underdogs can win from time to time.

Even a 7 point teaser isn't enough to overcome many of these upsets.

Just like you can't blindly follow the advice not to use teasers, you can't blindly bet teasers and hope to profit. Even if most of the lines are perfect, every week a few will beat you. In other words, you still need to handicap games to pick the games offering the best chance to win any teaser bet.

A Strategy

This is a simple strategy developed from a theory I have. It's not meant to be a final strategy you should blindly use. What you should do is develop your own theories and strategies derived from this one.

After I started thinking about how much better the sports books are at setting lines than in the past, I started considering whether or not you could find situations where you could just bet teasers and show a long term profit.

If the lines are close to true lines, teaser bets should win more often than in the past.

I started investigating the NFL by looking at home underdogs that were less than 7 point dogs over the past several seasons. I then compared the average number of points they lost by with the spread. I tried to find a sweet spot where a teaser at a set point amount could be profitable without further handicapping.

I still haven't found an exact magic spot, but the research has shown promise. I'm convinced I can find multiple areas where it can be profitable.

You don't need to do anything more than I just described to develop and test your own theories. Keep coming up with new ideas and test them. Eventually you'll find things that work.

All you have to do is develop a theory, figure out a way to test it, test it on previous results, track future results, and be willing to tweak the process repeatedly until you find something that works.

Here's an example:

You could look at NBA games where road teams were favored, or when the road team is playing the third straight road game.

Let your mind wander and write down any theory that comes to mind, even if it sounds silly. Most sports bettors consider betting teasers silly, but that doesn't mean they're right.

Until you compile the information about your theory and test it you don't know if it'll work or not.

The best thing about finding a series of profitable teaser bets is they should be profitable for years to come. The sport books will continue getting better at setting lines, so teasers stand a good chance to be even more profitable in the future.

If you do find a profitable teaser system, keep it to yourself. If the sports books figure out too many players are profiting from the teasers offered, they'll start adjusting the teaser payouts against the public. The sports books are good at figuring out what works and making corrections.

Going Against the Crowd

One reason I started investigating the possibility of using teasers profitably was because everyone says not to use them.

Sometimes advice like this is good, but many times something has been repeated and spoken as gospel for so long that no one bothers to consider if it's really true.

A friend of mine likes to play pocket aces in Texas Holdem differently than most experts suggest because no one will put him on such a strong hand. I don't know if the way he plays is more profitable in the long run, but he's right about his opponents not putting him on such a big hand.

When I asked him why he plays aces the way he does, he told me in many things the most accepted way to do something isn't the best way. In many studies if you just do the opposite of the general public you'll be better off.

I'm not talking about doing anything illegal or stupid, but don't blindly follow everyone else because it's the way it's always been done. At one point everyone was convinced the world was flat and that earth was the center of the universe.

Take the information covered here and start tracking the results for yourself. Explore the different point levels with other aspects of sports betting to see if you can develop a new formula.

Once you develop some theories back test them and keep track of them moving forward.


Teaser bets aren't for everyone, but don't ignore them just because an old book said to. Start testing your own ideas and see if you can develop a winning teaser strategy. Take advantage of the accurate lines and start winning more today.