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Teaser bets are a great way to make basketball or NFL point spread parlays a bit more forgiving, as bettors can modify the lines they are betting on in return for a slightly reduced payout if they win.

So if you’re looking down the barrel of two or more hardcourt or grid iron point spreads, read on: a teaser bet is just what you’re looking for.

How Teaser Bets Work

While teaser bets may seem a bit complicated at first, if you have an understanding of points spreads and parlays, teaser bets should be a walk in the park.

A teaser bet is a modified point spread parlay, so let’s start by reviewing what a point spreads and parlays are.

A point spread is the line that is set on a game between two uneven opponents, most often in a football or basketball game.

Take, for example, these NFL point spreads:

Dallas Cowboys (-3.5) at Cleveland Browns (+3.5)
Oakland Raiders (+10) at Seattle Seahawks (-10)

The favorite is expressed with a “-“ and the underdog is expressed with a “+”. In these games, the Cowboys and Seahawks are favorites. A point spread bet on the Cowboys would win if Dallas wins the game by four points or more. For a point spread bet on the underdog Raiders to win, Oakland would have to win OR lose by 9 points or less.

A point spread parlay bet is when two betting outcomes are wagered on at the same time. In this example, a bettor could parlay the Cowboys (-3.5) and the Raiders (+10). If both bets won, the bettor would win $26.00 on a $10 parlay. If the two games had been bet separately, they would pay out $18.08 on a total of $20 wagered, so the value is there…if the bets win.

Point spread parlays offer great value, but the risk of one of the games or spreads included in a the parlay busting the entire bet is significant. Let’s say that, in the example above, the Raiders keep their game within a touchdown by running the ball well and burning off the clock, and cover +10 in a 24-17 loss.

In the meantime, however, Tony Romo throws a classic fourth quarter pick to allow the Browns to run back a garbage time touchdown for a final score of 17-14, and preventing Dallas from covering -3.5. On a single play that didn’t affect the actual outcome of the game (a Dallas win), you’ve just lost your juicy parlay payout. It is because of frustrating situations like this that teaser bets are so appealing.

What is a Teaser Bet

A teaser bet is a point spread parlay that allows bettors to knock points off the spreads they are betting on so as to make the bet more likely to win, while reducing its possible payout.

The amount of points that can be teased depends on the sport. At TopBet, basketball bettors can lay 4-point, 4.5-point, 5-point or 7-point teaser. Football bettors will find 6-, 6.5-, 7-, or 10-point teasers available. A single teaser cannot include point spreads from two different sports.

Even a 6-point teaser on those same example NFL lines would produce a much more desirable pair of lines by moving the number that the two teams need to cover by six points:

Dallas +2.5  Oakland +17

If this teaser had been bet, it would be hard for even the Raiders to come close to busting this bet, and the Cowboys would easily cover +2.5 even if the Browns somehow produced a late defensive touchdown.

The trade off for the more achievable lines is a less lucrative payout. The two-team, 6-point teaser pays -110, while a parlay bet on the same two (more risky) point spreads pays out at +260.

When all is said in done, teaser betting is another useful option to incorporate into your sports betting arsenal. When the time is right, try knocking a handful of crucial points of your point spread parlay and dramatically increase your chances of boosting your bankroll.

NEXT > Betting Props

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