Teasers are very similar to parlays in the sense that both combine multiple wagers into one. In either case, if one leg fails, the entire parlay or teaser is considered a loss. Where the two differ is in customizability. If you are about to place a parlay bet, what you see is what you get. That is, the spread and the odds are reliant on the sportsbook alone. Teasers, however, allow you to change the spread margins or over/under number in order to increase your chances of winning.

As one can imagine, this means that they can be very appealing to bettors, but they do introduce some peculiarities to wagering. The main caveat here is that your odds will be lowered to compensate, making the entire bet less profitable overall.

The risk involved is reliant on the type of teaser you are working with, which can be a Vegas teaser or a super teaser. In addition, sweetheart teasers are also an occasional option for bettors who wish to tease the numbers even further. Like all wager types, the various teaser options all have their pros and cons.

How NBA Teasers Work

Teasers are a pretty interesting option punters can come across. They give bettors far more freedom than most other bet types out there, which makes them quite tempting. To give an example, we will examine a potential way you could tease a combination of the following two legs:

Teaser bet example:
Orlando Magic (+9.5) vs Brooklyn Nets
New spread: +13.5 (the spread was teased by 4 points)

Indiana Pacers vs Memphis Grizzlies (-7)
New spread: -3 (the spread was teased by 4 points)

The hypothetical results of this game show that the Orlando Magic team lost by 9 points, while the Memphis Grizzlies won by 4 points. With the original spreads, your first selection would have won anyway, but your second leg would not have covered the spread, costing the entire bet. Hare, however, the teased point spread saved your wager, which means you managed to win back your stake and make a profit.

It sounds great, but it is also potentially dangerous. We need to once again emphasize that changing your spread comes at a cost. If you are familiar with moneyline bets, you are most likely aware of the reason behind the favorite and underdog concept and how sportsbooks lower or increase the odds in response to which team has better chances of winning. The same principle applies to teasers. Since you are more likely to win by manipulating the spread or the total number, the bookie gives you less lucrative odds in order to balance things out.

At Bovada, these are the typical odds of teaser bets based on the number of legs:

Bovada NBA Teaser Odds
Selections Number4 Points4.5 Points5 Points6 Points

The odds will not always behave like this, however, and it varies from sportsbook to sportsbook. Each time, you will need to strike a balance between a better spread and odds that are still worth the hassle. This makes deciding which bets are worth teasing somewhat of an arduous task. The difficulty involved in being able to do so is why many seasoned bettors advise novices to avoid pleaser bets early on.

NBA Teaser Bet Types

Due to their nature of combining multiple bets into one, there are several ways to distinguish between different teaser bets. The first such category is the so-called Vegas teaser. This wager is the easiest to comprehend and use since it comprises only two selections.

The second type will be more suitable for those who prefer to take greater risks when it comes to NBA betting, and that is the super teaser. This wager type is known by many names, including big teaser, monster teaser, and special teaser. Super teasers are bets that include between 3 and 10 individual selections. On some occasions, the number can be even higher. It all depends on the individual sportsbook.

The last broad category is not based on the number of selections you are able to pick. Instead, it determines how many points you can tease. This type of bet is the so-called sweetheart teaser, and it leaves punters with more points at their disposal. The typical teaser points you are provided with are between 4 and 5. With sweethearts, however, those numbers go up to 8 and 10. This lets you make some pretty significant changes, which, while powerful, also has the major drawback of making the decision to place the teaser or not all the more difficult.

Reverse Teasers

Also known as pleasers, this type of wager is the teaser’s more daring counterpart. We have so far established that teasers are a way for you to, in a way, buy points from a bookie to tilt the spread in your favor at the cost of your odds. Well, instead of teasing the spread and ending up with a technically safer bet that also offers worse profit, pleasers allow you to do the exact opposite. In other words, you are provided with the opportunity to change the odds and make them far more potentially lucrative should you win, but the spread will be adjusted accordingly by the sportsbook and will thus be far more difficult to cover.

As one would expect, deciding when to place a reverse teaser is no simple task. It involves complex math to determine the exact value of a wager since there is a lot at stake. Like parlays and teasers, pleasers are fairly difficult to pull off since it involves wagering on multiple bets while hoping that all of them will win. This will always be riskier than single betting. What is more, your chances of winning are even lower with pleasers since, as we mentioned earlier, the spread is changed for the worse.

You will often find yourself in situations where placing a regular parlay is the better option, especially if you are planning on combining over 2 selections. You will also find that, more often than not, singles will be even better. As for one last drawback, reverse teasers are seldom found at bookies nowadays since the added risk makes them fairly unpopular.

This is not to say that pleasers are never a good option, far from it, but you will need to be quite patient, determined, and thorough to find any opportunities. It is a lot of work, but it can be worth it if the difficulty factor sounds appealing to you.

The Significance of NBA Key Numbers

Since teaser bets revolve around victory margins, you will often run into the concept of key numbers when you look for information regarding this type of bet. Certain punters would argue that NBA basketball lacks true key numbers, and while it is true that they do not have a strong significance here, they are still worth acknowledging.

As for which numbers are seen as key in NBA basketball, that would be the number 7 primarily. The reasoning behind this is that a 7 is a margin that, when reached, creates a three-possession game. This entails that both teams will avoid fouls until the end of the game, as it is assumed that the losing team will not be able to gain an advantage by the time the game is over. In addition, 2 is another potentially significant number to take note of when you are considering teaser selections.

Either way, remember that these numbers should not be the main thing that influences your wagering decisions. The state of the teams and the players, for instance, is far more important.

Are NBA Teaser Bets Worth It?

NBA teasers are somewhat controversial within the sports wagering sphere, yet another trait they share with parlay betting. Whether they are worth placing is a topic that sometimes leads to heated debates. Some punters are of the opinion that teasers are nothing but “sucker” bets that are inferior to more straightforward wager types, especially when it comes to NBA basketball. They argue that attempting to win multiple selections with none having the room to fail is far too dangerous, even with the added freedom of being able to tinker with the spread. Others disagree with this notion, and they believe that teasers have a lot of potential and that the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.

The truth lies somewhere in the middle. The fact that teasers are still fairly risky while also offering lower odds than parlays is indisputable, but this does not take away from how lucrative the right opportunities can be when they pop up.

All in all, being informed is very important in determining whether teasers are for you, and there are lots of things you should be mindful of. How pushes are handled, for instance, is one such aspect. Typically, a push will simply result in your wager including one less leg and the odds lowering, provided you won, of course. On the flip side, a push in a teaser with losing selections will not have an affect on the result as it will be a loss anyway. Not all sportsbooks operate like this, however, so make sure to always read through sportsbook’s help or FAQ section so that you can avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Other types of information like whether players have sustained injury and each team’s schedules, for instance, will also help you decide which teasers to choose.


At the end of the day, it is important to keep in mind that teasers are not for everyone. If you are new to sports betting and are in the process of trying out different bets to see what you find enjoyable, it will be better for you to stay away from teasers. Even with the ability to manipulate the spread, they are still pretty risky thanks to requiring all selections to win. Getting used to single bets first is the superior option.

As for those with quite a lot of experience in wagering, teasers can provide a nice change of pace provided you are prepared for the difficulties involved. They can prove to be an interesting challenge to conquer, so if you are fond of doing lots of research and calculating how potentially profitable a listing could be, teasers are certainly worth the try.

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