Betting Parlays at Online Sportsbooks
The basic premise behind a parlay is grouping two or more individual game picks together in one single bet. The main benefit is a higher return on a winning ticket. The main downside is the lower probability of actually cashing in.
In order to win a parlay, all the combined picks must be correct. The first loss ends the action on the entire parlay bet. Most online sportsbooks like Vice will not count a PUSH (tie) as a loss. The parlay is simply reduced by one team.
A parlay bets starts at two combined plays. It can go as high as 15 teams at most online sportsbooks. The standard parlay payout odds at online books are as follows:
As a general rule, you should also check the actual Fixed Odds Parlay Table at the online book where the bet will be placed. These payout odds are based on pointspreads and total line plays.
You should also keep in mind that the more teams added to a parlay play, the bigger the edge for the house. The return on a five-team parlay is 24.25/1. The probability of picking all five winners is actually 31/1.
If you are betting a moneyline parlay, you will need to refer to a Parlay Calculator. The actual return is tied to the actual moneyline odds of the games you use.
Parlay Bets: Tips and Strategies
The main attraction of betting parlays is the higher return on investment but that does not mean this is always a practical play. As long as you understand true odds vs. parlay payouts and keep things in check, they can be an extremely fun way to bet a group of games.
The first basic rule is to bet accordingly. If you normally bet $50 a game, you might want to bet $25 on a two-team parlay. You will still come out ahead as long as you win both games.
The next rule is to match your bet with the total teams played. A $50 bet on a two-team parlay should be lowered with each additional team you add. One strategy would be to lover the bet in $10 increments for each additional team you add. Three teams would be $40, four at $30 and so on.
The natural sweet spot for parlays is two or three teams max. Professional gamblers tend to stay away from parlay plays. They understand the risk/return involved so they stick to betting individual games. A pro’s goal is to gain a positive result. As long as two of three picks hit, they are making money.
A avid recreational bettor is looking for the big score. Anything more than three teams becomes a flip-of-the-coin guess as opposed to an educated play.
Start building your parlay with the two plays you have the most confidence in. Do not reach for a third play unless your confidence level is just as high. Cap the parlay bet at three and hope for the best.
Another viable betting option is called a Parlay Booster. The online book will group together specific teams and offer a slightly higher return. A two-team boost might return 2.75/1. Moving to three teams, the payout might be increased to 6.5/1. Most parlay boosts have themes. For example, a NFL Florida Special would include Tampa Bay, Miami and Jacksonville.