A pleaser bet is extremely similar to NFL teasers. In fact, the bet is identical to a teaser, other than the fact that it allows bettors to subtract points instead of adding them. It’s the opposite of a traditional teaser wager.
The origins of pleasers came from sportsbooks in Las Vegas in the 90s, but the proliferation of Internet wagering has brought them to the mainstream. Not every sportsbook offer pleasers, but there are still plenty of options when it comes to these markets.
Pleasers, like teasers, can be for any of amount of points or teams; this is entirely up to the bookmakers offering the wager. These usually start at 5 points in basketball and 6 points for football and generally go up to about 10 points. They are usually only available for football and basketball, for both professional and collegiate leagues.
Here’s a basic example of a 3-team 6-point NFL pleaser. Below, is the spread of the three teams in our bet before we add in the pleaser.
Indianapolis Colts +7
Denver Broncos -10
Oakland Raiders +4.5
Now, after we add in our pleaser wager, the odds look like this:
We’ve simply subtracted 6 points from each side of the wager that is not in our favor.
Just like a teaser, all of these bets have to win for the pleaser to cash. In the event of a push, most sportsbooks will revert the pleaser to a lesser number of teams. For instance, if there’s a 3-team teaser where one leg pushes, it becomes a 2-team teaser. These rules may differ depending on the bookmaker, but this rule is somewhat standard.
Payouts for pleasers will be much higher than that of teasers because players are subtracting points, not adding them. Keep in mind, these odds can vary depending on the sportsbook. Some sites will also have different odds selections depending on if ties reduce the number of teams or ties win. The odds below are listed as ties pushing or reducing the number of teams.
2 teams: +600
3 teams: +1750
4 teams: +4800
5 teams: 10.5/1
6 teams: 27/1
It’s plain to see that these payouts are much larger than teasers, but remember, pleasers are much tougher to beat. The payoffs are huge, but are the pleasers profitable? The no-nonsense answer to that question is no.
Like teasers, the odds increase as the number of teams increases, along with the house’s edge. They’re not advisable due to other betting options that offer a better chance at a return. For instance, in many cases, wagering the money line on two separate games instead of pairing them together in a pleaser offers a lot more EV than betting both in a 2-team pleaser.
Since our 2-team 6-point teaser pays +600, we have a breakeven percentage of 14.29%. This means that the bet will win our pleaser or go undefeated 14.29% of the time. This is not a profitable long-term expectation, and we would be much better off betting a 2-team parlay with the same bets. While the immediate payoff will be substantially lower, it gives us a long-term chance of winning, instead of betting against a large bookmaker’s vigorish.
While we would most likely tell bettors to avoid pleasers, there are some areas where bettors can minimize their edge against the sportsbooks and maximize their chances to win. That being said, I can’t stress enough that opportunities to beat the bookies for sizable sums on pleasers are few and far between.
Pleaser bets that are wagered on double digit favorites improve your chances of winning in the NFL, but be sure to stay out of range of the 3 and 7. For instance, pleasing a team that was +3.5 to -3.5 is brutal for your chances of winning. 3 and 7 are far and away the most common margins of victory in the NFL, and getting on the wrong side of these will cost you.
Pleasers aren’t advisable wagers if you solely care about your bottom-line profits, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be a fun wager for recreational bettors. They offer some of the highest payouts around and are a fun and unique bet type where they’re offered.
So, while money line betting, parlays, and teasers are the much more profitable path, bettors who just want to have some fun and hit it big should have a good time sweating their pleaser bets for a large payoff. Just don’t expect to profit from it long term.