Learn how NBA teasers work, how to bet them, tips and strategies for making the best NBA picks, and how NBA odds for teasers work.
As online NBA betting has gotten more popular in recent years, various forms of non-traditional NBA bets have increased in popularity. One of those types of wagers that is becoming increasingly common is people betting NBA teasers. A teaser is a bet where you lower the spread for two or more teams you are betting on, usually by 4, 4.5, or 5 points each in your favor. A five point teaser on the Jazz -9 and on the Nuggets -7 would become Jazz -4 and Nuggets -2.
How Do Basketball Teasers Work?
A teaser moves the spread 4, 4.5, or 5 points in your direction. So, you will generally be teasing large favorites into becoming much smaller favorites. You can tease a favorite into an underdog, say; taking a -2 Spurs line against the Thunder and moving it to +3. However, the teaser where you turn favorites into underdogs is far less common in basketball betting, because you aren’t getting enough value around the 0 number.
The most common type of NBA teaser would look like this:
Regular spreads: Celtics (-8.5) vs. the Timberwolves Kings (-7.5) vs. the Pistons
And you would tease them down 4 points each to: Celtics (-4.5) vs. the Timberwolves Kings (-3.5) vs. the Pistons
If you want to tease underdogs, you would generally tease small underdogs into larger underdogs. So, you might take a pair of +3 underdogs and turn them into +7 underdogs. With a plus-three line, you are basically hoping for an outright win or a last possession loss, but teasing the line higher will give you a chance for a cover even if the team you bet on loses.
How Do You Bet NBA Teasers?
These days it is extremely simple to find NBA teaser odds and place a teaser bet. Go to your preferred betting site and pick the lines you would like to bet on. Then, on most sites, instead of just placing a standard bet, click on the Teaser option and your bets should automatically be changed to teasers. At that point, you will be asked to choose whether you want to choose a 4 point tease, a 4.5 point tease, or a 5 point tease.
How do NBA teaser odds work? A 4 point tease will generally get you +125 odds on your bet, a 4.5 point tease should have +110 odds, and a 5 point tease will have +100 odds. Those odds work for a two-team tease, a three team 4 point tease should have odds starting at +230.
Betting Teasers Versus Betting the Spread
Spread betting is a crucial part of betting NBA teasers. To understand how teasers work, you need to first fully understand how points spread betting works.
You can utilize spread betting strategies to your favor when it comes to betting teasers. For instance, if you are certain about a bet, you probably do not need to tease that bet. Teasers are best used for bets where you prefer one side, but wish the spread was smaller for the favorite you want to bet on, or bigger for the underdogs you want to bet on.
With spread betting your odds might be +110 for betting on one team. With a 4.5 point teaser, you would need both teams you picked to be victorious in order to win your overall bet at +110 odds.
These days you can also bet custom odds and essentially create your own teasers. You will often see odds that go ten points in both directions, so if a team is a -5 favorite, you can find lines for them all the way up to -15 and lines all the way down to +5.
What Are Sweetheart Teasers?
Sweetheart teasers are a version of teasers where you actually get more points against the spread for the team you are betting on. Different sites have different names for this type of tease, including monster teasers. In a sweetheart teaser you will generally pick three teams and their spreads will each move ten points in your favor. So, if you bet on three teams at -5, -11, and +3, your new spreads with a sweetheart teaser would become +5, -1, and +13. Your odds for winning the bet would generally be around -110 or -120.
Teasers are often compared to a relatively similar form of betting, the parlay. Parlays are bets where you pick two or more teams, and you win your bet if every end of your bet is successful. Parlay betting, however, does not rely on changing spreads, or moneylines, in your favor like teaser bets do. Parlays also generally involve moneyline bets, while teasers use the spread.
In a parlay bet, you might want to bet on the Portland Trail Blazers to beat the Sacramento Kings as a -295 favorite and on the Denver Nuggets to beat the Atlanta Hawks as a -255 favorite. Instead of placing both of those bets together. Instead of betting both of those games as strictly separate bets, if you parlay them together, you can increase the amount of money you can potentially win.
To use a round number, a $100 bet on a parlay of the Blazers and Nuggets, would net you $86 in profit if both teams win. Betting on both games separately, you would only be able to earn $36.56 in profit if both bets were winners, though you could still win something if one bet was a winner, and one bet was a loser.
Just like in a teaser bet, if one part of your parlay bet loses, the whole bet loses, even if you placed a ten-team parlay and nine of them were winners. A major difference is that in teasers, you are relying on teams to cover arbitrary spreads swung further in your favor, while in parlay betting you still need the teams you are betting on to win outright generally.
NBA Teaser Betting Strategies and Tips
Now that we have clearly established what teaser betting is, let’s go through a few of the more popular teaser betting strategies:
A. Avoid Teasing Home Favorites
Many teaser bettors are wary of betting on the home favorite. One primary reason for this is that home teams are doing worse in 2021 than they ever have before and there might be less value in betting on a home team. Another issue with the home favorite is that teasing a -3 favorite down to +2, essentially still means you are making a moneyline bet on this game, since you are now basically just betting on the home favorite to win outright.
B. Betting Home Underdogs
One interesting part of teasing a home underdog is that you are now presenting yourself with a massive spread, and for a home team. If the New York Knicks are +4 home underdogs to the Brooklyn Nets, a tease could push that spread to +8 or even +9. At that point, you just need to ask yourself- is there any chance the Knicks could be blown out? If the answer is “it’s unlikely” that might be a game you want to include in a teaser.
C. Avoiding Underdogs
Like the example of the home underdog above, your NBA betting strategy for choosing underdogs for teasers is to avoid teams that could potentially be blown out. The largest NBA spread is generally in the teens, but teams lose by 30+ points all the time in the NBA, so it’s crucial to realize that changing a +6 line to +11 doesn’t cover you from potential blowouts.
D. Play the Away Favorites
Many bettors feel that nowadays the best type of NBA teaser bet involves playing away favorites. The reason for this is that you are usually going to turn a favorite into an underdog with away favorites, since their spreads are generally lower than home favorites. So, you would be taking a -2 favorite and turning them into a +2.5 underdog, giving yourself room to maneuver in a close game, which is likely with a road favorite.
What are the Odds on NBA Betting Teasers?
The first thing to do when placing a teaser bet is looking through the NBA betting odds and finding multiple games that you would like to tease. Suppose you decide to bet on the New Orleans Pelicans who are a -7 favorite over the Cleveland Cavaliers and on the Dallas Mavericks who are a -6 favorite against the San Antonio Spurs. The NBA game betting odds don’t matter for a teaser; you will ultimately be able to win the same amount of money betting a four point tease on a +1 favorite as you would a -11 favorite.
Betting on both of those teams in a four team teaser would give you +125 odds. If you increase the teaser to 4.5, your odds are now +110. A five point tease, where the Pelicans would be a -2 favorite and the Mavericks a -1 favorite would give you even +100 odds. So, a $100 bet on a four point teaser would earn you $125 if both sides of the bet were winners. The same bet on a 4.5 point teaser would bring your potential winnings to $110, while a 5 point tease would see a $100 bet earn you double your money, or $100 if the bet was a winner.
Place Your Bet
One of the most important lessons to impart when it comes to betting NBA teasers is to always line shop at multiple sites to find the best teaser odds. There is tons of competition among different betting sites these days and there will usually be a site looking to offer a sweet deal on unique bets, like teasers.
As we’ve explained above, betting teasers promise smaller payouts than other similar bets, like a parlay, but if you know what you are doing there is a real opportunity to make money betting teasers. A good strategy for betting teasers for beginners is to go through an NBA slate for a few nights and decide which games would hypothetically like to tease. Track your bets in a spreadsheet and see how much you are winning (or losing.) If your strategy proves successful, then you are ready to start betting teasers, so go place your bet!
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