Parlay Bets



Parlay Bets Keep the Amount Risked Low

By Eduardo Solano

Parlay bets or accumulators are “exotic” or non-traditional single bets. You can place a bet on the results of two or more games, investing a minimal amount of money with the chance of receiving high payoffs because of the difficulty of correctly picking a certain number of teams to win. If one of the teams in the bet fails to cover the spread then you lose your parlay bet. If there´s a push in any of the games, the parlay will revert to a lower number of teams and the odds are going to be reduced accordingly.

For example, if the San Francisco 49ers were playing the Seattle Seahawks in one game and the Carolina Panters and New Orleans Saints were playing in another, you could make a 2-team parlay bet that the 49ers and Panters will be victorious. The parlay used in the previous example is one of the most basic. There’s a wide variety of parlay bet options offered by the sporstbooks.

Most sportsbooks allow you to bet on outcomes across multiple sports, days or seasons. You can place parlay bets on up to 12 teams and if you win you can make a lot of money with a minimum investment. For example, let’s imagine there’s a 12-team parlay advertised to pay $2,000 per $1 bet. This means that if you bet $100 you’d make $200,000 if you guess the results of the 12 games.

Types of Parlay Bets 

The basic types of parlay bets are point spread parlays and money line parlays. The payoff you will receive in case you win are very different between the two. In parlays wagered against the point spread, the payoff are fixed, while in those wagered against the money line, payoff are determined by the odds of each team.

Point Spread Parlays

The odds on point spread parlays are usually like this:

2 Team Parlay: 13-5 odds

3 Team Parlay: 6-1 odds

4 Team Parlay: 10-1 odds

5 Team Parlay: 25-1 odds

6 Team Parlay: 40-1 odds

7 Team Parlay: 75-1 odds

8 Team Parlay: 150-1 odds

9 Team Parlay: 300-1 odds

10 Team Parlay: 600-1 odds

This means that if you make a wager on a four-team parlay you stand to win $10 for every $1 if all of the games win. This is the reason why parlays are so popular in the sports betting industry.

Money Line Parlays

Fixed odds are not used on money line parlays because the odds of winning vary greatly from team to team. Point spread parlays assume each team has a 50-50 chance of winning while money line parlays don´t. For example, the chances of the Philadelphia Phillies defeating the Washington Nationals are greater than 50 percent, and as a result, money line parlays are figured differently.

A money line parlay takes the amount of your bet and places all the money on one team and if this team wins, your bet amount is recalculated on the next team, again placing the entire wager on that team. For example, let´s suppose you like the New York Yankees +160 and the Atlanta Braves -130. If you place a $10 wager, you will have a $10 bet on the Yankees +160, which will return $26 should the Yankees win, and then would have $26 on the Braves -130. If the Braves also win, you have turned a $10 wager into $46. If you win a $10 2-team point spread parlay you make a profit of $26. Contrast it with the $36 profit of the money line parlay. The difference in the payoff is because the Yankees were not given very good odds of winning.

Final Advice

In order to win a parlay bet, keep in mind the following recommendations:

– Keep your parlays to 2, 3 or 4 teams: If you bet on over 4 teams the sportsbook will have all the advantage. You will win more if you play 2, 3 or 4 team parlays.

– Select games with a ½ in the spread: Doing this guarantees you a win or a loss. Always check the rules of the parlay.

Most sportsbooks accept $1 parlay bets because they know they have the advantage. Start small and good luck!