How to Place NFL Teaser Bets: Definition and Examples

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Deshaun Watson #4 celebrates a touchdown with Nick Martin #66 of the Houston Texans. Carmen Mandato/Getty Images/AFP

The football season will be here before you know it and those unfamiliar with teaser bets should read below because they can be another weapon in your betting arsenal when placing your NFL picks. If you are new to teasers then understand it is not very complicated so don’t be intimidated by the fact it is considered an exotic wager.

Let’s face it, anything other than a flat bet is deemed exotic so the threshold is quite low in that regard. Let’s explain what they are and provide some examples. A football teaser is two, three, or four selections wrapped into one bet. The most common is a two-team teaser in which the bettor is allowed to move the line six points in both “legs” of the teaser. Those six points in each leg can be used in a side, total, or combination of both.

Teaser Examples

Let’s assume we are perusing the NFL slate and we find two games that are turning our heads:

  • Texans vs. Browns (-4 ½)
  • Seahawks vs. LA Rams (-3)

In a teaser the bookmaker allows us to use six points any way we please in two legs of one bet. Therefore, in the example above, we can create a two-team teaser, five different ways, using strictly the sides (sides is a term referring to the teams as opposed to the totals) of these two games.

1) Texans (+4 ½ + 6 teaser points) = +10 ½ and Seahawks (+3 + 6 teaser points) = +9

  • Thus, we would have the Texans +10 ½ and the Seahawks +9 but BOTH teams need to cover, allowing the additional points, for a teaser to win. If only one or both fail to cover then the teaser loses.

2) Texans (+4 ½ + 6 teaser points) = +10 ½ and Rams (-3 + 6 teaser points) = +3

  • Thus, we would have the Texans +10 ½ and the Rams +3 but BOTH teams need to cover, allowing the additional points, for a teaser to win. If only one or both fail to cover then the teaser loses.

3) Texans (+4 ½ + 6 teaser points) = +10 ½ and Browns (-4 ½ + 6 teaser points) = +1 ½

  • Thus, we would have the Texans +10 ½ and the Browns +1 ½ but BOTH teams need to cover, allowing the additional points, for a teaser to win. If only one or both fail to cover then the teaser loses.

4) Seahawks (+3 + 6 teaser points) = +9 and Browns (-4 ½ + 6 teaser points) = +1 ½

  • Thus, we would have the Seahawks +9 and the Browns +1 ½ but BOTH teams need to cover, allowing the additional points, for a teaser to win. If only one or both fail to cover then the teaser loses.

5) Seahawks (+3 + 6 teaser points) = +9 and Rams (-3 + 6 teaser points) = +3

  • Thus, we would have the Seahawks +9 and the Rams +3 but BOTH teams need to cover, allowing the additional points, for a teaser to win. If only one or both fail to cover then the teaser loses.

Teaser Tidbits

You should know that most online sportsbooks charge the standard -110 for a teaser so if you bet a two-team teaser you would need to risk $110 to win $100. Also, in some cases, a push on one side and a cover on the other side will be considered a loss, while other books will consider the teaser to be a push in that instance, with no money changing hands.

In the old days, a three-team teaser would allow the bettor to use nine points for a three-team teaser and 12 points in a four-team teaser but we are seeing more and more books gravitating towards giving 6, 6 ½, and 7-point teasers with varying payouts according to the number of teams used.

You will find most of the best online sportsbooks will be quite similar in terms of their teaser payouts and rules, however, they won’t always be identical. Therefore, make sure to check out their teaser tables vis a vis their NFL odds to ensure you are aware of the policies in place for teasers, and make sure to get acquainted with them before you wager.