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Teasers? Smart Bet or Sucker Bet?

Teasers are a staple of NFL betting, as bettors look to find value while betting on football each week. But are teaser bets a smart bet or something to avoid when getting set for the upcoming NFL action? There are a few items to consider when placing teaser bets that can help bettors avoid placing bad bets and increase their chances of winning.

Common Problems with Teasers

The biggest issue with teaser bets is that bettors use them at inopportune times, most commonly by teasing a small favorite into a small underdog. Teasing a three-point favorite into a three-point underdog might make a bettor feel safe, but the tight margins on each side of zero make that a bad idea. Placing a teaser with a slight favorite rarely makes an impact on the outcome of the bet compared to just betting that team against the spread.

Another way that teasers are misused is when a bettor teases two teams who are close to touchdown favorites to close to a pick ‘em. In that scenario, they are essentially building a moneyline parlay. Of course, moneyline parlays are not always a good bet, and bettors have to remember that they are anything but a sure thing in the teaser that they have built for themselves.

Better Ways to Use Teasers

There are a couple of ways to use teaser bets that are smarter than the scenarios listed above. The first of those methods is to tease underdogs from their original point spread value to a bigger number. Underdogs often carry value in the NFL, and tacking additional points onto their point spread amount can increase that value in some instances.

Another way to use teasers more intelligently is to tease multi-possession favorites down to smaller numbers. There is a huge difference between a team having to cover a 10-point spread and a team having to cover a four-point spread. On instances where bettors can find value by teasing teams to smaller numbers, there are ones where teasers are actually warranted and potentially profitable.

What to Remember About Teasers

It is important to remember that there isn’t always a good spot to place a teaser bet every week. As is the case with virtually all football betting, it is possible that the right move over the course of a week is to just wait for another week where there is more value in the betting markets. Even when the value-added scenarios listed above are possible, bettors still have to make sure that they are worth backing with those specific teams involved.

Bettors should also keep in mind that teasers are always going to be more difficult to win than straight bets. Teasers require bettors to have multiple outcomes go their way, even if those outcomes have odds that are stacked in their favor more than the multiple legs of a parlay. It is imperative that bettors consider the math behind their multi-leg bets no matter how much easier they look than placing straight wagers at their preferred sportsbook.