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Sucker Bets in Sports Betting

If you're a new sports bettor, before betting any big parlays or teasers, you should read our writers' article on sucker bets in sports betting!

          In the sports betting industry there are many good quality or value bets, there is a great deal of unwise bets, and then there are a  “sucker bets”. Sucker bets can be an assortment of things which we will discuss later. Why are they sucker bets and what makes them sucker bet? That’s simple; Any bet you would be considered a sucker for betting is a 'sucker bet'. To put it in other terms for the sports betting novice, a sucker bet is a bet that overwhelming favors the bookmaker or the house, where the odds are stacked up against you.

          What are a few things that are sucker bets in the sports betting industry? First of all a parlay is always a good sucker bet. A parlay is where the bettor chooses a combination of games, and teams to win, which would give the bettor a high payout, only if all the games in the parlay wins. So, lets say for example, you like these plays:

  • St. Louis –110
  • Chicago +110
  • New York/Boston under 9.5
  • Toronto +120
  • Arizona –115

            So, you go and put $10.00 down, and now since your odds are less likely to win all five games, the amount of money you COULD win is higher. In this case the underdogs of +110 and +120 also raise the payout. However, the typical payout odds for parlays look like this:

  • 2 team (@ -110) parlay- 13/5 chance of winning
  • 3 team (@ -110) parlay- 6/1 chance of winning
  • 4 team (@ -110) parlay- 11/1 chance of winning
  • 5 team (@ -110) parlay- 20/1 chance of winning
  • 6 team (@ -110) parlay- 40/1 chance of winning
  • 7 team (@ -110) parlay- 75/1 chance of winning
  • 8 team (@ -110) parlay- 150/1 chance of winning
  • 9 team (@ -110) parlay- 300/1 chance of winning
  • 10 team (@ -110) parlay- 700/1 chance of winning

            What makes this a sucker bet? Well obviously, the average sports bettor loves looking at the chance to put just $10.00 down on five teams and winning $200 (or whatever the payout may be). But all and all, your chances of winning are beyond low. Say for example, in this scenario, the Cardinals, Cubs, Blue Jays, and Diamondbacks already won. The Yankees and Red Sox put up a combined 9 runs in the first two innings. This means that just one more run, and not only is that under bet finished, but the whole parlay is shot. Too many times this will happen. Sure, you are golden on three, or four, but one or two of the plays always seems to haunt you. If you had just bet all the games straight up, you would have been 4 for 5 on the day and up over 3-units. Sure, parlays can occasionally win. We have seen over $55,000 won in a single parlay, but good luck making this miracle happen for you. It doesn’t happen often. Bookies love hearing that a player wants to bet a parlay. Why? Because parlays may just be the biggest sucker bet of all sports betting options available!

            Teasers are very similar to parlays, and once again, are also sucker bets. Teasers are, most of the time, done in basketball and football betting. Teasers are similar to a parlay in that every team you select in the bet must win. If one loses, they all lose. In a teaser though, the person betting is able to adjust the point spread in any direction that he chooses. For example, if the Rams are 8 point favorites over the Lions, a bettor would have the option of adjusting the spread to anywhere from Rams –2, or Lions +14. When betting teasers in football, the bettors can move the spread anywhere from 6, 6.5, 7.0, or 10, where in basketball the lines can be changed from 4-5 points. In a teaser, the bettor can bet as many teams (up to 12), as he would like but must bet on at least 2. However, teasers do not payout as well as parlays, but the attraction is the opportunity to move the point spread, making it seem easy of ever likely to win these bets with some consistency.

          In football, when changing the line 7 points, the odds are lower, which in turn changes the payout. Here are the  typical odds for football teasers:

6-point teasers:
  • 2 teams: 10/1
  • 3 teams: 9/5
  • 4 teams: 3/1
  • 5 teams: 9/2

6.5 point teasers:

  • 2 teams: 10/12
  • 3 teams: 8/5
  • 4 teams: 5/2
  • 5 teams: 4/1

7.0 point teasers:

  • 2 teams: 10/13
  • 3 teams: 7/5
  • 4 teams: 2/1
  • 5 teams: 7/2

Obviously, in all the cases the odds can larger the more teams you add to the teaser.  When betting basketball teasers, the odds look fairly similar:

4-point teasers:

  • 2 teams: 10/11
  • 3 teams: 9/5
  • 4 teams: 3/1
  • 5 teams: 9/2

4.5 point teasers:

  • 2 teams: 10/12
  • 3 teams: 8/5
  • 4 teams: 5/2
  • 5 teams: 4/1

            Many of these odds may look very tempting, especially when you get to move the spreads. However, there is a reason these are called “teasers” is because they are there to tease bettors. Teasers are also big sucker bets. The books want you to fall for this trap and they want you to think that you have the chance of winning big money, without the big down payment. They want you to think that moving the spread a few points assures you a win. But, the fact of the matter is, one blowout and goodbye teaser…and goodbye money.

            The real suckers are the ones that make the 9 and 10 team teasers. It’s hard enough getting 2 or even 3 of your teams to cover (even with the additional points), but getting 9 or 10 games correct is just ridiculous and just doesn't happen. And yes, your 10 teams may win the games, sure, but, that 5.5 point spread on the Bengals, may turn to a 6 point game with no time on the clock. Suddenly your ten-team teaser bet doesn’t look so good, and once again you are out of money.

            Another sucker move is when you log on to whatever online sportsbook you use, and there is a line that sticks out that looks really, really good, and almost too good to be true. So, you instantly bet the game because of the extremely tempting line without looking over the game. What makes this a sucker bet? Never think that you can outsmart the bookies that offer to give you a “free advice on bets”. The truth is, if it looks too good to be true, it most likely is. There is obviously a reason that this line looks so tempting and you should find out what this reason is before betting the game. The books always want you to have the false hope that you can win this bet where in turn, it’s probably not a smart play. Stay away from the “too good to be true bets” especially without doing research. 

            Finally, betting huge moneyline favorites at -200 or more is one of the biggest sucker plays that an average bettor can make. If there is one thing that you should know as a sports fan, it’s that upsets do happen. That is exactly when bookmakers cash-in at the general betting public’s expense. Bookmakers also want you to see a moneyline and think to yourself “there is no way that team can lose!” Guess what? That team very well can lose and not only do you lose your bet, but you lose double (or sometimes more). Stick to betting spreads in basketball and football while betting low chalk (or vig) moneylines in baseball. Stay away from big favorites on the moneyline as they are also sucker bets.

            Good luck to all you future sports bettors out there. And remember, betting sports is not something that is easy. If it were easy to get rich from betting sports, then everyone would be millionaires. There is a reason that there are only a few certain sports bettors that win with any consistency. Stay away from the sucker bets. Start slow, and get a hang of what you are doing before diving in too deep with parlays, teasers, and other sucker bets. You may end up getting yourself into trouble. And as always, don’t bet what you can’t afford to lose. Always put your family and the important things in life before your wagers. Betting what you can’t afford doesn’t make it anymore exciting or make you any more of a man, it just makes you stupid and could eventually land you in a lot of trouble. Thanks for reading a visiting Bankroll Sports.


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