|Teasers and Sweetheart Teasers
It's one of the basic principles of sports betting: There are winners, and there are
losers. But what if everybody who placed a bet on a game came out a winner?
Not only can it happen, it does - on a regular basis, too. And we're not afraid to let you
know about it. There's a category of exotic bets out there called teasers where it is
possible for the book to get stuck paying out everyone. Good thing there's enough action
coming in on other bets to prevent overexposure, or else we'd be forced to shut our doors
pretty quickly after giving away all that money.
Here's how it works. A teaser is a variation of the parlay bet, where you pick between two
and 10 outcomes and you get paid out only if all your picks are correct. Those outcomes
have to be on pointspreads and/or totals, and with a standard parlay, all the picks have
to be used on either football or basketball games. You can also do a cross-sport parlay
that mixes the two pastimes which happen to be the two biggest draws in online
With a teaser, you lower the risk by moving the spreads and totals in your favor. You also
lower your potential payout by doing so. For example, the Pittsburgh Steelers is a 3-point
road favorites over the Miami Dolphins with a total of 40.5 points. With a football
teaser, you have the option of buying six, 6.5 or seven points, and applying them to
either side of the bet. If you were teasing a typical pointspread-total parlay on the
Steelers-Dolphins by six points, here were your four options:
Steelers +3, UNDER 46.5
Steelers +3, OVER 34.5
Dolphins +9, UNDER 46.5
Dolphins +9, OVER 34.5
The Steelers win 23-22. Everyone who bet the teaser got paid. They got paid out at 10-11
instead of the standard 13-5 for a two-team parlay, but they all got paid nonetheless.
This kind of game happens all the time.
Before you go slap a teaser on every single NFL game this Sunday, let's remind you about
risk and reward. There is still risk involved with teasers; not every game is going to
produce a winner for you, even if you buy seven points. And the reward is less than half
the payday you would have received if you had played the standard two-team parlay. Some
sharps prefer to avoid these exotic bets altogether, but there is a time and a place for
teasers. First and foremost, there has to be a reason to buy the points maybe you
didn't trust a team at +3 and figured they'd lose by a touchdown. Moving the spread past a
magic number like three or seven is also a positive value play.
If seven points aren't enough for you, then perhaps you'll prefer a sweetheart teaser. Now
you can tease a football game by 10 points, but you have to parlay three teams to do it,
and your payout would be the same 10-11 as a regular two-team, 6-point teaser. Or you can
tease by 13 points with four teams involved at a potential 5-6 payout. Sweetheart teasers
will produce more winning situations, but in addition to lower payouts, there's an
additional risk of having a push come up. A standard teaser reduces in the
event of a push, which means you still get paid for your winning picks as long as there
are no losses among your selections. On the other hand, a push in a sweetheart teaser is
as good as a loss.
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