If you’re feeling a bit frisky, you might want to bet on parlays. Parlays are the quickest way to make a lot of money in sports betting, as a small stake can lead to an enormous reward. Of course, parlays aren’t easy to win. Losing one leg of a parlay means that you lose the whole bet, so each leg you add brings on more risk.
Positives of Betting Parlays
The biggest benefit of betting NFL parlays is the potential to win a lot of money off a small wager. Parlay payouts can be mouth-watering as you add additional legs to your bet, potentially adding an enormous boost to your bankroll.
Something to note before you place your parlay wager is whether your sportsbook uses fixed odds or true odds. There can be a big difference between parlay payouts depending on which one is used, and that difference becomes more pronounced as you add more legs to your parlay.
Two-team and three-team parlays at -110 odds are roughly the same between fixed odds and true odds payout structures. However, differences start to emerge when four teams are included in the parlay. A four-team parlay at -110 odds would pay out 12.28-1 with true odds, but it would only pay out 10-1 at fixed odds.
The gap is widened as you tack on each additional leg. A five-team parlay at -110 odds would pay out 24.35-1 with true odds and 20-1 with fixed odds. At six teams, the gap grows a bit larger as the payoff is 47.41-1 with true odds and 40-1 with fixed odds. When you make it seven teams, the payoff is 91.42-1 with true odds and 75-1 with fixed odds. Finally, an eight-team parlay would pay out at 175.44-1 with true odds and 150-1 with fixed odds.
Of course, not all parlays are made at -110 odds. One of the big draws of betting parlays is to increase your potential payout, so bettors love to throw underdog moneylines into their parlays. A +200 or +250 underdog packs some serious punch in a parlay, leading to dizzying payouts if it cashes.
Another benefit of parlays is that you can potentially lock in a hefty profit while your parlay is still active. For instance, if you have an eight-team NFL parlay that includes the Thursday Night Football game, five games on Sunday afternoon, and both the Sunday Night Football and Monday Night football games, you can hedge your bets and guarantee a nice profit if you hit the first six bets. Rather than sweat through the SNF and MNF games, you can bet the other sides in both games and guarantee yourself a nice win.
In recent years, sportsbooks have been more open to the idea of same game parlays too. These were downplayed for a while because of the possibility of correlated parlays, but there are very few games that have truly correlated spreads these days as the NFL has become more high scoring.
Negatives of Betting Parlays
There are some drawbacks of being a parlay bettor. The biggest negative is that one game loses everything. If you simply bet parlays and not the individual games, you can potentially miss out on a nice week. Hitting 8 of 10 or 9 of 10 legs in a parlay is still a losing bet, as one loss makes the whole parlay a loser. That can be particularly frustrating and tilting.
It’s important to check a sportsbook’s rules when it comes to pushes for parlays. Most sportsbooks will just take that leg of the parlay out of the wager, making it a seven-team parlay instead of an eight-team parlay. However, some sportsbooks will treat the push as a loss and thus count the whole parlay as a losing one.
Some bettors like to put heavy moneyline favorites into parlays in order to add a little extra profit to their other wagers. This can essentially put all of your wagers at +odds for the weekend, but if that heavy favorite loses, you are going to lose every parlay to which that team is attached. Any team can win on any given Sunday, so there is no such thing as a guaranteed winner.