Teasers

It's amazing how difficult the spread can make football betting sometimes. Looking at the spread can make even what looks to the biggest blowout tough to call sometimes.

If you're betting the spread on a weekly basis during the entire NFL season you're bound to run into a few spreads that you think could use a few more points. Maybe you'd be more comfortable betting if the favorite wasn't such a big favorite, or if the underdog had more points to work with. An easy way to fix that is with teasers.

Depending on what sportsbooks you use teasers can come in a wide variety of sizes. However, when it comes to football betting most books will offer two or three teams teasers that allow you to tease the line by 6, 6.5 or 7 points.

So, how does teasing the lines work? Here's an example of a two-team teaser. This weekend you like Baltimore at -4.5 and Seattle at +6.5, but you worried about the Ravens possibly wining by a field goal and the Seahawks secondary getting burned and them possibly losing by a touchdown or more. A easy solution is to put the two games together in a 7-point teaser. This would tease the line and give you Baltimore at +3.5 and Seattle at +13.5. Now the Ravens winning by any amount is covered as well as a loss by anything less than four points. In the Seahawks game you're covered by any Seattle loss of nearly two touchdowns.

Teasers move the line very favorably in whatever way you choose, but it does cost you in your potential winnings. At most books a two-team, 7-point teasers pays -130. When compared to a two-team parlay (where most books pay +260) this may seem quite low. But it's seem appropriate when you think about what you're really getting.

With a teaser the book is allowing you to make the spread in a game more favorable and supposedly easier to win. If there is less risk involved then clearly the payout will be lower. Also, teasers can possibly allow a bettor to win no matter which way he teases the line.

Here's an example. Say the Ravens are -3 versus the Steelers. You use a 6-point teaser on the game which would allow you to get Baltimore -6 or Pittsburgh +9. If the Ravens were to win by seven or eight points anyone who teased the game either way would be a winner. Since the book is risking more by offering teaser they have to offer a lower payout.

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