College Football Teasers

College Football Betting: Teasers Explained

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper,

Teasers are like parlays, in a sense. You play multiple teams on the same bet and they all have to win. But there is one important distinction. With teasers, you are able to move the point-spread in your favor. The more popular teasers are of the 6, 6.5, and 7-point variety. Here’s how it works. You pick 2 or more teams. Let’s say these are the games you are wanting to bet:

Boise State (-17) vs. Fresno State (+17)

LSU (-8.5) vs. Georgia (+8.5)

These are the point-spreads. You want to “tease” Boise State and LSU. On a 6-point teaser, Boise State would go from -17 to -11, while LSU would go from -8.5 to -2.5. And of course, you would need to win both games. Here are the payouts for 6-point teasers.

Two-Team Teaser: 10/11
Three-Team Teaser: 9/5
Four-Team Teaser: 3/1
Five-Team Teaser: 9/2
Six-Team Teaser: 6/1
Seven-Team Teaser: 10/1
Eight-Team Teaser: 15/1
Nine-Team Teaser: 20/1
Ten-Team Teaser: 25/1

Then you have the 6.5-point teasers. Boise State would go from -17 to -10.5, while LSU would go from -8.5 to -2. Here are the payouts for a 6.5-point teaser.

Two-Team Teaser: 10/12
Three-Team Teaser: 8/5
Four-Team Teaser: 5/2
Five-Team Teaser: 4/1
Six-Team Teaser: 11/2
Seven-Team Teaser: 9/1
Eight-Team Teaser: 12/1
Nine-Team Teaser: 15/1
Ten-Team Teaser: 20/1


Now if you make a 7-point teaser, Boise State would go from -17 to -10, with LSU going from -8.5 to -1.5. This is what you get for 7-point teasers.

Two-Team Teaser: 10/13
Three-Team Teaser: 7/5
Four-Team Teaser: 2/1
Five-Team Teaser: 7/2
Six-Team Teaser: 5/1
Seven-Team Teaser: 8/1
Eight-Team Teaser: 10/1
Nine-Team Teaser: 12/1
Ten-Team Teaser: 15/1

Keep in mind that you can do the same thing with totals in NCAA football. It works the same way as it does when picking sides. Some bookies also allow 10 and 20-point teasers, but the 6, 6.5, and 7-point teasers are the most commonly played.

On one hand, low-team teasers, especially of the two-team variety, are fairly conservative bets. They don’t even pay even-money. Normally, the critique of exotic bets is that we are being lured by attractive payouts. With two-team teasers, that’s not the case. A well-timed 2-team teaser on a pair of favorites, for example, can actually be a strong play.

We see how often point-spreads are close to the truth and it makes a teaser seem more reasonable. But how often are the spreads not even close? Happens all the time, right? Now when you’re picking a handful of games, it’s very unlikely that all of them will go according to script. Don’t forget–there can be quite a variance in the form of college football players. These are very young men. Make a 6-team teaser and now you’re trying to predict how hundreds of young amateurs are going to play. Good luck.

And think about the payouts. Are they that great? If you make a $100 9-team/7-point teaser, you stand to win $1200. Let’s say you were to parlay two underdogs on the money line. One underdog is +300 and the other is +270–not exactly gigantic underdogs. A $100 parlay would pay $1380. Which is harder? I’m not sure. But do both and see what happens first. My guess is you would be able to pick two 3-1 or less underdogs before hitting a 9-team teaser. Nine teams?!

There is nothing set in stone. Most pros think that teasers, by in large, are sucker bets. But there are certain situations where a teaser can be used intelligently. It’s more iffy when featured too heavily in your wagers. But as far as a fun type of bet to make, a teaser isn’t so crazy. It’s just that being 6-7 points away from the spread in a series of games isn’t as easy as it looks. And when you do win a teaser, you will have paid a fairly steep price for having received those extra points.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also be interested in reading Loot’s piece on Teasing College Football Favorites.