Sports betting knowledge continues to grow at a rapid rate as more states legalize and regulate betting. Sports fans and the general public have a better understanding of what the point spread, point total and moneyline are right now than ever before.
And people who have a deeper understanding of sports betting may know the basics of a parlay, which requires multiple outcomes to be correct in order to secure a winning bet. One step further is a teaser, which is similar to a parlay, though easier to win. In this guide, we will explore what a teaser bet is with examples, pros and cons. We’ll also offer tips on when to use a teaser in betting. We will also explain the pleaser, which is a lesser-known bet but one that’s still good to understand as you grow your sports betting knowledge.
What is a teaser bet?
How does a teaser bet work? As we mentioned, teasers are similar to parlays in that multiple outcomes must be correct in order for the wager to win. Even if you correctly predict four of five outcomes, the bet is a loss. Everything must be correct to receive a payout with this type of bet. However, there is a twist that differentiates a teaser from a parlay. Instead of simply taking the lines that the sportsbooks assign, bettors can move the numbers in their favor for a greater chance at a winning bet.
Traditional parlays are difficult to win on a consistent basis due to the fact that it is hard enough to predict one outcome correctly, let alone multiples. By using a teaser, you will give yourself a greater chance of winning.
What is a pleaser bet?
If you are a sports bettor, you will hear the term “teaser” much more often than you’ll hear discussion of a pleaser, but there is room for both. Just like betting parlays and teasers, everything has to be correct for the pleaser to win. A pleaser acts just like a teaser, but in reverse. Instead of moving the betting lines in your favor, you would move them in the opposite direction.
You would only place a pleaser bet if you were extremely confident in which side was best. If it hits, though, you’re in for a significant payout.
What are the benefits of each?
Both teasers and pleasers have an obvious appeal. For a teaser, you are changing the numbers in your direction, which obviously makes it easier to predict a winner than a traditional parlay or pleaser would.
With a pleaser, the payout can be substantial if you still manage to get everything right. You would make significantly more money if you won a pleaser than you would with a traditional parlay or teaser, assuming you risked the same dollar amount on the same outcomes. The attraction is the idea of risking a very small amount to win big.
What are the downsides?
Of course, there will be cons to just about every type of bet. It’s why sports betting favors the sportsbooks and not the bettors. With teasers and pleasers, just as there are obvious attractions to both, there are clear reasons why many bettors will avoid them.
Since you are giving yourself a greater chance at winning in a teaser by moving the numbers in your favor, the payout will be considerably less. Many bettors may question whether the smaller amount of money for a winning bet is worth it considering you need to get multiple outcomes correct.
With a pleaser, the obvious downside is how tough it is to win, especially on a consistent basis. Betting on a single game is difficult. Betting on a traditional parlay is very difficult. And cashing in on a pleaser is even tougher. It’s why many bettors will stay away from wagers like these. Occasionally a bet like this could hit, but most of the time you’ll be throwing money away.
When do bettors use teasers and pleasers?
Teasers and pleasers are almost exclusive to sports that feature a high number of points like football and basketball, and the individual bets will be on the point spread and total. The most common teasers and pleasers are six points in football and four points in basketball.
Now that we’ve gone through the basics of what teasers and pleasers are, let’s put them into action with some simple examples involving Ohio teams.
In our first example, we will go through a teaser in the NFL. After scrolling through the NFL section on your DraftKings sportsbook app, you’ve identified two outcomes you’d like to combine as a teaser. You want to bet on the Cincinnati Bengals and New York Jets.
- Cincinnati Bengals -2.5 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
- New York Jets +4.5 vs. New England Patriots
Since you’re going with a teaser, you will add six points to both bets in your favor. Here is what the new NFL bets would look like with the teaser in place.
- Cincinnati Bengals +3.5 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
- New York Jets +10.5 vs. New England Patriots
Now instead of Cincinnati needing to win by more than 2.5 points, all the Bengals have to do is win the game by any score or lose by less than 3.5 points. Meanwhile, the Jets went from 4.5-point underdogs to 10.5-point underdogs, so there is a greater chance they will cover their spread, as well. Both outcomes are more likely to cash after we changed the lines, but the payout is going to be less substantial because of it.
Let’s use the exact same scenario in our next example to show what a pleaser is. We will use the same point spread betting examples as earlier:
- Cincinnati Bengals -2.5 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
- New York Jets +4.5 vs. New England Patriots
Let’s say you are so confident in the Bengals and Jets in this week’s matchup that you decide to place a pleaser bet. Here is what the new bets look like, moving six points in the opposite direction:
- Cincinnati Bengals -8.5 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
- New York Jets -1.5 vs. New England Patriots
The Bengals went from 2.5-point favorites to 8.5-point favorites, and the Jets went from 4.5-point underdogs to 1.5-point favorites. There is a far lower chance of this being a winning wager, which means the payout is substantially higher if you end up winning.
In our NBA example, we will show what a teaser looks like when betting with totals. Say you have found some games you like on the FanDuel Sportsbook app. You’re taking the under in the first game and the over in the second. Here are the original lines and your selections:
- Cleveland Cavaliers/Miami Heat — under 210.5
- Los Angeles Lakers/Milwaukee Bucks — over 220.5
After placing a four-point teaser on both sides, the new wager looks like this:
- Cleveland Cavaliers/Miami Heat — under 214.5
- Los Angeles Lakers/Milwaukee Bucks — over 216.5
Because betting on basketball games is not as reliant on key numbers as betting on football, it doesn’t have the same effect even though your chances of winning still increase.
What happens with a push?
It is important to check with your sportsbook’s rules page. How each book handles a push can vary for these types of bets. A push occurs when the number hits exactly what you’re betting on. For example, if you bet on the Bengals to cover as three-point favorites and they win by exactly three points, that’s a push.
Many sportsbooks will simply cancel the individual bet that ended in a push. If you placed a three-leg teaser, for instance, that bet would become a two-leg teaser.
Are teasers/pleasers worth it?
Opinions are mixed on whether bettors should even attempt either of these wagers. On one side, the thinking is that you should stick to bets with roughly a 50% chance of winning. On the other side is the potential for increased payouts.
You should have an idea of what you are getting into sports betting for, and that could be the answer to this question. If you are in sports betting specifically to make money and add some extra income, it is probably best to stay away from bets that need multiple outcomes to hit and stick with single-outcome point spreads and totals. However, if you are in this strictly for extra entertainment, it could be fun to risk a small amount of money on a combination of teasers and pleasers and watch all the games unfold as they happen.
If we had to choose one or the other, a teaser is probably going to be the most efficient way to make money on a consistent basis than a pleaser. The payout is less, but the chances of winning are greater. Many bettors stay away from both bets, though.
Understanding key numbers
Teasers and pleasers are most popular with football because games are more likely to land on some specific point spreads or point totals. Some of the key numbers for point spreads are three, seven and 10. To better understand this, you’d much rather bet on a favorite that is favored by 2.5 points instead of three because a three-point win would result in a winning bet. Conversely, you’d like to take an underdog getting 3.5 points instead of three because even if it loses by a field goal, you still win the bet.
A popular key number for the point total is 44 because teams will combine to score that number of points a little more frequently than other totals. Therefore, it would be nice to get a number at 44.5 if you wanted to bet on the under, and you’d prefer to get a 43.5 if you wanted to bet on the over.
Line shopping with teasers and pleasers
This goes for any sort of bet, but it makes a lot of sense to participate in line shopping. This is especially true for teasers and pleasers with wagers that are close to key numbers. Doing so gives you the best chance to win.
You can even register for accounts at multiple books to help with the shopping process. For example, you may open accounts at DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM Sportsbook in Ohio. Then, for any teasers or pleasers you want to place, you can see which book has the best numbers for the games you want to include. If one sportsbook has the team you would like to bet on as a three-point favorite, you would much rather use the sportsbook that is offering that team as a 2.5-point favorite. It may seem like a small difference, but it could end up being the difference between winning your bet or ending with a push.