One of the best ways to maximize a payout when betting on sports is to combine single game selections into one bet, called a parlay. Players who use a parlay betting strategy correctly can risk a small amount of money to yield a huge return. But, sports betting is hard, picking multiple winners can be extremely challenging and one incorrect selection will cause the entire parlay bet to lose.
What is a Parlay?
A parlay bet is a single sports bet that involves two or more legs, or teams, winning. Players pick at least two different single wagers, combine them into one parlay bet and get a higher payout than each bet would have paid individually. Because of the higher payouts, parlays are the most popular bets around the world, outside of straight wagers. But, it takes just one leg to lose for bettors to lose their entire stake. They are one of the most profitable sports bets bettors can make, but unless some kind of parlay strategy is used, it can also be one of the toughest bets to actually cash-in on. Sportsbooks offer parlays on multi-games, across sports, single game parlays, props and some U.S. sportsbooks even offer parlays on future bets. Read on for some parley betting strategies and how you can take advantage of them to win more.
Parlay Betting Strategies
Stick with two-leg or three leg parlays max!
As we mentioned above, the odds of hitting a parlay with more than three teams increases exponentially, but the payouts do not. Bettors who create an eight-leg parlay or 10 teamer are essentially putting together lottery tickets with the probability of hitting at less than 1%.
Moneyline betting: Use a parlay to lower odds
Creating a two team parlay using one higher juice, ‘can’t miss’ pick and one with longer odds, a harder pick to hit. Taking a selection that has an enormous chance of hitting like a -300 pick and pair it with a play at -150, bringing the odds on the lock selection way down. After all who wants to pay $300 to win $100, even if it is Tom Brady vs. the Cleveland Browns.
In our example, betting $100 on each pick, investing $200, would yield a profit of less than $100, if both picks win. Utilizing a two-team parlay, just $100 investment would yield a profit of $12 and change.
Pointspread Betting: Use parlays to offset the cost of buying points
Especially when betting NFL football, two and three team parlays are a good way to offset buying points. Football betting has key pointspread numbers like 3 and 7 and to buy off or onto those numbers is quite expensive. The cost of buying points, specifically on those key number gets absorbed by the parlay payout odds and is one way to take a losing bet to a winning 0one at the lowest overall price.
For example, you have the Steelers at +6.5 points and the Eagles at -3.5, both at -110 juice. If the Steelers lose by a touchdown and extra point and the Eagles kick a late field goal to win, both of your bets lose. But if you bought the extra point to get the Steelers to +7.5 and the Eagles down to -2.5, both bets win, but at a huge cost. Using a parlay for these two games basically eliminates the cost of buying the points to achieve the winning bets. In our example, betting the Steelers all the way to +7.5 will increase the juice to -150 and the same hold true for the Eagles wager. Winning both bets at $100 for each game will yield a total profit of about $130. Parlaying the tow bets, with buying the points, will produce a profit of over $175.
Parlay Betting Tips
Do not bet parlays with more than three legs.
Use parlay betting strategies to maximize profits at the lowest possible risk.
Use more legs like a lottery ticket with a very small investment for a huge reward.