An Introduction to Parlay Betting

// Published by Luke

In sports betting, parlay wagers are quite tempting to the bettor. After all, there is little risk for a high reward. In reality, parlays are a little bit like playing the lottery. Both of these types of bets are difficult to win based on the reality of the outcomes that are needed for success. Once a bettor understands the difficulty of winning a parlay wager, he will be able to focus on some more attainable sports bets.

Parlay betting

What is a Parlay Bet?

A parlay bet involves selecting two or more games successfully on a sports betting ticket without getting any of the picks wrong. Each individual leg of a parlay is just like a regular point spread or over/under wager. While individual point spread and total wagers are the most common among sports bettors, parlay bets aren’t too far behind. Parley bet is available on all popular betting sites.

With a point spread or over/under wager, the bettor must lay the juice or vigorish on the play. Depending on the sport and/or situation, the vigorish can be anywhere from 5 to 12 percent. Once the juice is factored in, bettors must win at least 53 percent of the time on straight wagers just to turn a modest profit. Over a high volume of point spread and over/under wagers, it is rare for any sports bettor to win more than 55-57 percent of the time. These numbers indicate how difficult it is to pick a single sports betting winner.

A Look at Parlay Odds

At first glance, parlays seem to bring some value to the bettor. There is no direct juice on the wagers. For most straight wagers, the bettor must put up $110 to win $100. In contrast, a bettor has to wager $100 to win $260 in a two-team parlay. While there is no actual vigorish on a parlay bet, the odds of actually winning such a wager are higher than the payout. The general payout on a two-team parlay is 2.6/1. In reality, the odds of winning a two-team parlay are 4/1. So, the bettor isn’t getting the true value on his wager.

On a three-team parlay, the payout is 6/1 while the true odds of success are 8/1. On four-team parlays and above, the difference between the payout and true odds start to become significant. While a four-teamer pays 10/1, the true odds of winning such a wager are 16/1. In a way, the difference between the payout and true odds acts as a kind of vigorish for the bookmaker.

NFL bets

Types of Parlay Bets

There are a variety of parlay bets that are quite common. The most popular parlay wager involves a point spread and total bet from the same game. For these kind of wagers, the most common parlay bet involves the favorite to the over. Casual bettors are more inclined to wager on favorites. Many fans assume that the better or favored team should win. Along these lines, casual bettors will favor the over in a total. Fans tend to equate scoring with a good and exciting game. For a Sunday or Monday night NFL game, bookmakers will take a huge volume of favorite to the over parlays.

The Difference Between Fans and Professional Sports Bettors

Fans that are just getting introduced to sports wagering tend to have some trouble understanding the subtle aspects of betting. Professional sports bettors aren’t really fans of a particular team. Savvy bettors study and handicap to turn a profit over the long haul. Most serious sports bettors do enjoy watching the games. However, they do not get wrapped up in a specific team the way a fan does. The professional sports bettor has a sound understanding of the odds. Because of this, savvy sports bettors will focus on straight wagers as opposed to parlays.

Many fans will lack the patience to grind away a profit on straight wagers. The casual bettor will look for the quick strike on a parlay bet. In reality, sports betting is a marathon as opposed to a sprint. There is one kind of parlay bet that can be worth a look. In Las Vegas sportsbooks, football parlay cards are extremely popular during the season. While a sportsbook will have a hold of about 35 percent on all parlay card bets, some pro bettors have won some big on these kind of bets.

For a football weekend, the odds are printed on the cards early in the week. By the weekend, there can be some big line moves on the wagering board but the odds are locked in on the cards. At times, bettors have been able to take advantage of these line moves to gain an edge on parlay cards. In the end, the bettor should be very careful before getting too deeply invested in parlay wagers.