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    If you’ve ever looked at a line at a sportsbook and wished that you were getting just a couple of extra points, then you need to consider teaser bets. Many sports bettors use teaser bets as a way to turn a tough decision into a sure thing. While you sacrifice some of your total payout by placing a teaser bet, you also have the chance to greatly increase your odds of winning.

    Teaser bets are played in conjunction with parlays of two or more teams. What you are essentially doing is getting an improved point spread in exchange for receiving a reduced payout if you win. With teaser bets, you typically receive an extra six points to seven points for football games and four to five points for a basketball game.  The payouts are less if you make a seven-point teaser than a six-point teaser in football, just as they are if you elect to bet a five-point teaser in basketball instead of a four-point teaser.

    Some sportsbooks allow you to choose 4.5-point football teasers for an increased payout compared to the six-point teasers and others will let you choose 7.5-point teasers in football, which naturally, carry lower payouts than a six-point teaser.

    Take this football game as an example: Team A is favored by -3.5 over Team B. On a six-point teaser bet, you would get +2.5 points to take Team A or +9.5 points to take Team B. If you elected to take a seven-point teaser, you would get Team A +3.5 points or Team B +10.5 points. The point spread of the games you wish to play will often determine if you choose a six-point or seven-point teaser. In the example above a bettor is more likely to take the seven-point teaser, as Team A +3.5 is much better than Team A +2.5, just as Team B +10.5 is certainly better than Team B +9.5 points.

    The drawback to teaser bets is that you will get paid significantly less for winning than you would on a straight parlay. Vegas sportsbooks typically pay 2-to-1 for a three-team teaser versus 6-to-1 for a straight three-team parlay.