You've most likely heard of teasers, but it may be time for a refresher course as we prepare for the start of the new NFL season. How can we best exploit the betting odds each week?
Teasers: A Basic Overview
Ever feel like you wanted more control over the wagers you place? That's the beauty of options like teasers, parlays, and the like; they afford you the chance to manipulate bets to your liking, with a lower payout as the ultimate "price" to pay.
Before we get there though, let's give those new to the handicapping world a brief introduction into the world of teasers and how they work. This could also serve as a refresher course for those of you that have experience but need to brush up before the start of the new NFL season.
In short, a teaser is a combination of two or more (up to 10) wagers, in which you adjust the point spreads however you like in exchange for receiving a lower payout, which is also scalable depending on your selections.
Say, for example, you see these two matchups on the NFL odds board.
Green Bay Packers -5.5
Chicago Bears +5.5
New Orleans Saints +2.5
Arizona Cardinals -2.5
The Packers are road favorites here and the Saints are the underdogs. You like both teams and have thought about taking both against the spread. Unfortunately, you don't love the numbers that are showing and want a way around it. Well, good news! Depending on your level of confidence and comfort, you can scale the spreads and come up with a combination that suits your preferences and appropariate level of risk.
To help you out get more familiar with how it all works, let's break down a possible teaser example from Week 1 of the coming season.
We'll be doing a simple two-team teaser, and we'll be focusing on Chicago/Green Bay and New Orleans/Arizona. For the purpose of this exercise, let's assume you really think the Packers and Saints are going to do well in their respective games, but you're not sure you feel all that confident in the ATS numbers you see on the NFL odds board. As a reminder, the Packers are 5.5-point favorites but will be on the road in the Windy City, while the Saints are 2.5-point dogs in Arizona in Week 1.
Teasers allow you the ability to customize as you wish, and that's exactly what you can do in order to side with both Green Bay and New Orleans with your NFL picks at numbers you like. Since you're pretty confident in both teams' chances of success, and after thinking about how you want to approach this situation, you ultimately decide on a three-point teaser.
Based on the current numbers available, that would mean you now have Green Bay at -2.5 and New Orleans at +5.5, instead of at -5.5 and +2.5 respectively. That means you'll now cash if the Packers win by at least a field goal and the Saints find a way to stay within five points. You can see why that would be more appealing to a casual observer, as you get a little more of a cushion for the picks you like most.
Like parlays though, both of your wagers have to hit in order for you to get the payout. If Green Bay blows the Bears out but New Orleans ends up losing by six, you still lose. Still, you can play it as safe as you like (within reasonable limits) and get more and more points in your favor, but just know that in doing so you're going to be getting a lower payout in the process.
The Bottom Line
To sum it up, teasers offer the public an alternate avenue to approach handicapping and can be very profitable if done in the right manner. Be sure to look through all of SBR's wonderful tools and content to get a better idea of how you can use teasers to your advantage.