There is a misconception around teasers that they are sucker bets to be avoided at all costs. Anyone actively involved in bookmaking, however, will have seen players make hundreds of thousands of dollars in teaser plays.
An NFL teaser is commonly a two team parlay where your chosen team gets six extra points added in your favour to its handicap. So if Dallas were +2 and Pittsburgh were -7.5, your teaser would be a parlay on Dallas +8 and Pittsburgh -1.5. If you are betting at 2.10 (betting $110 to win $100), you need to win at least 47.6% of your teasers to break even. This is the same win percentage needed for to break even on normal sides bets when you lay 2.10 at a traditional bookmaker.
Since both of your selections need to win so that you can cash out. Each individual teaser team needs to cover 72.5% for you to break even (69.0% X 69.0% = 47.6%). So in exchange for those six extra points in your favour, when you buy a teaser you are raising your breakeven point from 47.6% to 69.0% on that one team. If you don’t win that individual leg at least 20% more with those six points, don’t bother teasing – you are buying something you don’t need.
A common mistake I see with teasers is teasing a total. There is no total in the NFL or College that when teased six points, raises your win rate 20%. In general, teasing any total is a bad play. Fortunately one of the best ways to play a teaser is to play a handicap that when teased, moves through the key numbers of 3 and 7. Teasing Dallas from +2 to +8 or Pittsburgh from -7.5 to -1.5 are two examples.
Alternate High & Alternate Low
Another tool you can use in conjunction with teasers is Pinnacle’ “NFL Alternate High” and “NFL Alternate Low” lines. Due to our reduced juice pricing, these potentially allow you to guarantee a profit and hedge out of your position if you win the first leg of your teaser but have perhaps had a change of heart.
For instance, if you bet $100 on Dallas +8/Pittsburgh -1.5 and Dallas had already won, you could possibly bet $50 on Pittsburgh’s opponent at +1.5 at 3.50. With these lines unique to Pinnacle, you can lock in a profit after the first leg of a teaser is played. You might even find situations where you can guarantee a profit no matter what the result – even before the first game kicks off – with a little line shopping.
Although there is a lot more to study when it comes to teasers, armed with these basics you can find a smarter way to bet courtesy of Pinnacle.