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A ‘Parlay Bet’ which is also known as an ‘Accumulator’ or ‘Combo Bet’ is a series of single bets that are combined into one wager. You only have to combine 2+ bets in one wager to make it a Parlay Bet. If any of the single bets lose in the wager then the parlay loses.
Parlays & Picks
If you want expert parlays and picks then you are in the right place. We have them all for you and have you covered for all the major sports. There may even be a few parlays thrown in from leagues across the world, you can find value in many sports so it’s important not to stick to obvious bets.
Parlay Betting On Sport
Sports betting has evolved by leaps and bounds over the past century. What was once an activity that was often associated with criminals and degenerates is now socially acceptable and has blossomed into a huge industry that happens to make billions of dollars every year. The internet age has certainly had an impact on the rise of sports betting and gambling in general because it is now so easily accessible. No longer do punters need to meet their local bookies in a back alley to place their bets. They just have to turn on their computers or mobile devices and they can place their wagers in a matter of seconds.
One of the benefits that the internet age and the subsequent proliferation of online sportsbooks have given to sports bettors is a drastically increased number of betting options. Punters can bet on almost any sporting event no matter when or where it takes place. Hockey bettors are no longer limited to betting on NHL games. They can now bet on games that are being played in some of the lower-tier and lesser-known leagues. It’s the same with almost any other sport. Having so many betting options makes it a lot easier for sports bettors to find action. This is also a good thing for those who like to bet sports parlays which are also known as accumulators.
There are a number of reasons why parlay betting has long been so popular among sports bettors. Perhaps the biggest reason is that sports parlay bets have the potential to pay out a lot more than standard single bets do. A small bet on a multi-legged accumulator can result in a very nice payday if everything goes right. Winning a single bet can be exciting but it’s nowhere near as exciting as winning a parlay.
What is a Parlay Bet?
Simply put, a parlay bet is a series of two or more single wagers that are placed on the same ticket. In order to win a parlay bet, each prediction on the ticket must be correct. If you miss just one then you lose. An example would be a two-team parlay consisting of the Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings to win their respective games. If both teams win their games, then you win your parlay. If either team loses, then so does your parlay bet. It would be the same with a three-teamer or a four-teamer. It doesn’t matter how many selections you have parlayed; you need to sweep the board in order to cash in your ticket.
One nice thing about parlays is that you can add all sorts of wager types to a ticket. You can have a parlay that consists of an NHL game, an NBA game, and an NFL game. Furthermore, you aren’t limited to just betting on those teams to win. You could parlay bet the Vancouver Canucks on the +1.5 puck line along with the Sacramento Kings to beat the 7-point spread and the Over 47.5 in the Patriots–Steelers game. Heck, you could even throw in a prop bet like Ohio State Buckeyes’ running back J.K. Dobbins to rush more than 75.5 yards against Northwestern. The payout on such a parlay would be very good but you must remember that all predictions must be correct to win your parlay bet.
Types Of Bets That Can Be Parlayed
Before getting too far into parlay betting, it is crucial that you are familiar with the kinds of sports bets that a punter can make on a given sport. You might be surprised with how many different bet types are offered at online sports betting sites. It can actually be a little overwhelming but some sports accumulator bettors see this as an advantage because they have a lot more options to choose from. Let’s take a look at a few of the more common bet types that you can use to build a winning parlay bet:
Moneyline Bets: Moneyline bets are one of the most popular bet types especially when betting on hockey, baseball, and basketball. All a bettor needs to do is choose a team to win.
Over/Under: Also referred to as betting totals, bettors simply wager that the total combined score of a given game either goes over the posted total or under it. An example would be betting on the total score of a hockey game that has a posted total of 6. You would either bet that the two teams will combine for more than six goals or fewer than six goals. In this case, if exactly six goals were scored then the bet would result in a push. You can also bet on individual team totals.
Point Spreads: Spread betting is most commonly associated with football and basketball although it also applies to most other sports. Point spreads essentially give points to the underdog and take points away from the favorite. The spreads are displayed in terms of “+” and “-” with the “+” being given to the underdog and the “-” being given to the favorite. An example would be an NFL game in which the heavily-favored New Orleans Saints are assigned a spread of -9 while the underdog Dallas Cowboys are assigned a spread of +9. This means that if you bet on the Saints to beat the spread then New Orleans would need to win by more than 9 points. An outright loss or a win by less than 9 points results in a lost bet. Likewise, a bet on Dallas to beat the +9 spread means that they need to either win or lose by fewer than 9 points. A Saints win by exactly 9 points would result in a push.
Prop Bets: There are literally too many types of prop bets to list here but some of the more common prop bets include predicting exact scores, alternate spreads, team to score first, and winning margins. You can also bet on individual player achievements such as scoring points or being penalized. It isn’t uncommon to see over 100 different prop bets being offered on certain sporting events at many online sportsbooks.
How Do Parlay Bets Work? How Are Payouts Calculated?
Parlay bets usually have a higher payout than single bets because your chances of winning decrease with every added game. Naturally, this also means that every game that you add to a parlay increases the potential payout. Let’s illustrate this point by creating a fictitious ticket. It all starts with the first selection which will be a moneyline bet on the Baltimore Ravens at -150. After careful deliberation, we decide to add the New Jersey Devils to cover the +1.5 puck line at -190. We will stop right here to explain what is going on.
We have two selections so far and their individual odds are -150 and -190. We need to multiply the two together to come up with the odds of our parlay. To make things easier, we will convert the American-style odds into decimal odds. The -150 turns into 1.667 and the -190 is converted to 1.526. When multiplied together, we get 2.5438. This means that betting $100 on this particular parlay would yield a payout of $254.38 if it won. Take away the original bet amount and we would have made $154.38 on our accumulator.
As nice as the $154.38 in potential profit is, we want to go for a bigger payout so we add the Lakers +5 at -110. Now our ticket looks something like this:
Baltimore Ravens moneyline @ -150
New Jersey Devils +1.5 @ -190
Los Angeles Lakers +5 @ -110
To calculate the updated odds of the ticket, we just need to convert the American odds of -110 to the decimal odds of 1.909 and then multiply it by the previous odds of 2.5438 and we get 4.8562. That means that a $100 bet would pay out $485.62 if all predictions were correct.
As you can see, parlay odds are calculated by multiplying the individual odds together. To figure out the potential payout, all you need to do is multiply the bet amount with the product of the multiplied odds. In the above example, we multiply 1.667×1.526×1.909 and we end up with 4.8562. We then multiply that number with the bet amount of $100 and that gives us a potential payout of $485.62.
Fortunately, you won’t have to do your own math when you place a sports parlay bet with an online bookmaker. The odds and potential payouts are automatically calculated when you place each selection on your bet slip. Every time you add a bet to the parlay, you will see the updated odds. You will also see the potential payout once you enter a bet amount.
What Happens If A Selection On A Parlay Bet Results In A Push?
Occasionally, you might run into a situation where one or more of your parlay selections results in a push. Using the above example of a parlay consisting of the Ravens moneyline, the Devils +1.5, and the Los Angeles Lakers +5, let’s assume that the Ravens and Devils both won. So far so good. But what happens to the parlay bet if the Lakers lose by exactly five points? Well, that is a push. It is neither a loss nor a win.
Don’t worry, your parlay is still a winner but the payout will be less. The push essentially takes the Lakers bet out of the equation. The payout would be calculated by multiplying the odds of winning Ravens bet and the winning Devils bet together and then multiplying that number by the original bet amount. In this case, the combined odds equal 2.5438 which is multiplied by the $100 wager amount to give you a $254.38 payout. Sure, it’s not as good as the $485.62 that we would have come away with if the Lakers could have scored just one more point but it sure beats losing it all.
Now, let’s complicate things a little more and introduce a scenario in which the New Jersey Devils +1.5 puck line bet won but the Baltimore Ravens game ended in a tie and the Lakers lost by exactly five points. What now? Well, it’s actually quite simple. We now know that the Lakers +5 game is a push and is basically neutralized. The same thing would happen to the Ravens bet. It’s a push. That leaves us with the winning New Jersey Devils puck line bet with odds of 1.526. That means that the $100 parlay bet would pay $152.60.
It is extremely rare that all selections on a parlay bet result in a push but if this happens to you then you can at least rest in peace knowing that you would get the original stake amount returned to you.
Are There Limits On Parlays?
You should now know the basic concept of parlays. All you need to do is pick the individual plays that you want to bet on and enter them on a parlay ticket. You can parlay pretty much anything that a bookmaker has to offer but there are some limitations that many sportsbooks place on parlays. Although it differs from sportsbook to sportsbook, most bookies generally have a cap on the potential payout or the parlay’s total odds. Make sure you find out what limits exist on parlays at your sportsbook. Most bookmakers will also place a cap on the number of selections that they will allow on a single parlay.
Another thing that the majority of bookies will not allow are correlated parlays. Correlated parlays are accumulator bets that involve two outcomes that are directly linked. An example would be parlaying the Golden State Warriors to win the first half as well as the game. However, most bookies will allow you to parlay outcomes that are semi-correlated. An example of a semi-correlated bet would be parlaying the Golden State Warriors with an over or under bet on the game total.
What Are The Odds Of Winning A Parlay Bet?
The odds of winning a parlay bet are strictly determined by the combined odds of the individual bets. To simplify things, we will use a coin toss as an example but we won’t factor in the juice. The odds of winning a coin toss is 50/50 which is 2.00 using decimal odds. If you bet $10 and win the coin toss, then you get $20 back. Let’s say that you want to parlay two coin tosses. Your chances of winning the first coin toss is 50/50 or 2.00 and it is the same for the second coin toss. By multiplying the odds of 2.00 and 2.00 together we get 4.00. This equates to a one in four chance of winning two consecutive coin tosses. Every coin toss that you add to your parlay bet increases the odds two-fold which increases potential win amounts but it also lowers your odds of winning.
Let’s put this to the test in practical sports betting terms and calculate the odds of winning a particular four-legged parlay. The first selection to go on our imaginary parlay ticket is Atlanta United FC to beat the LA Galaxy by half a goal and the decimal odds are 1.55. The probability of winning that bet, according to the odds, is somewhere around 64.5%. Now we add the Chicago Bears -6.5 which is priced at 1.95. As we have done in the past, multiply the two sets of odds together and we get 3.0225. This will obviously increase the potential payout but it will cut our chances of winning almost in half. The probability of winning is now slightly lower than 33.33%.
The next play to go on our parlay bet will be the over 5.5 goals in the hockey game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the San Jose Sharks with odds of 1.80. Again, we multiply the previous odds of 3.0225 with 1.80 and we now have a parlay with 5.4405 odds which brings our probability of winning down to about 18.5%. You should be able to see that the odds increase with every game that we add to our parlay bet and the probability of winning decreases. With every added risk comes added reward.
Odds Versus Probabilities
It is very important to keep in mind that the odds that you see posted at a sportsbook don’t reflect the true odds of winning. Remember the coin toss example? We know that the true probability of winning a coin toss is 50% or 2.00 in decimal odds. However, if you were to place a $100 prop bet with an online bookmaker on the Super Bowl coin toss, you would probably be offered decimal odds in the neighborhood of 1.91 because of the juice. This means that you would actually be risking $100 to win $91.
In reality, the odds of winning three consecutive coin tosses is 8-1. It would seem logical that placing a $10 parlay bet on three coin tosses would offer a return of $80. But, placing a parlay bet on three coin tosses at a sportsbook would be a little different because of the juice. You would likely be getting odds of about 1.91 so we take 1.91 and multiply it by 1.91 and then again by 1.91 and we arrive at 6.9679 or about 7-1. A winning $10 parlay on three coin flips would actually payout around $70. This illustrates how your bookie’s posted odds don’t reflect the true odds or probabilities of winning. It also highlights the importance of getting the best possible odds.
Different Parlays For Different Sports
Many sports parlay betting enthusiasts prefer to focus on a single sport. Hockey fans tend to bet on hockey games just as soccer fans are more likely to build their parlay bets around MLS or European soccer leagues. It is very well known that sports betting activity increases significantly when the NFL and NCAA football seasons get underway. The fall and winter months in North America are prime time for sports parlay bettors. Let’s take a look at major sports and the types of parlay bets that a punter can wager on.
NCAA and NFL Parlay Bets: American football brings an enormous number of sports bettors out of the woodwork and those numbers are increasing now that many American states have legalized or are in the process of legalizing sports gambling. Building an NCAA or NFL parlay bet can be done using moneylines, spreads, and totals. Most sportsbooks will also allow you to add first-half spreads and totals as well as other prop bets into the mix. Feel free to mix and match as you see fit but remember that correlated bets will likely not be accepted.
NCAA and NBA Parlay Bets: The NBA and NCAA both attract a lot of basketball parlay bets. This is especially true in March when the NCAA tournament starts. Basketball betting is quite similar to American football betting in that parlay bettors can use moneylines, spreads, totals, and various props to make their parlay tickets. The BParlay.com team provide NBA bets for today and up and coming fixtures too. For more information, please read our NBA Parlay Strategy Guide.
MLB Parlay Bets: The MLB baseball season is very long with each team playing 162 regular-season games. This gives parlay bettors a lot of opportunities to win big. The most common MLB parlay bets consist of moneylines and totals but there are plenty of other choices available. Punters frequently bet on first half lines and first half totals which are decided based on the scores after five innings. MLB parlay bettors can also add run line bets to their parlays. Run line bets are spread bets with a line of 1.5 runs. This means that you can bet on the favorite to win by two or more runs or you can bet on the underdog to either win outright or lose by no more than a single run. Of course, most bookies offer loads of baseball prop bets that can also be used MLB parlay bets.For more information, please read our MLB Parlay Strategy Guide.
NHL Parlay Bets: The NHL hockey season is a busy time for bookmakers who accept a great amount of NHL parlay bets throughout the season. NHL parlay bettors normally use moneylines and totals although puck lines are also popular because they pay out a lot better than moneylines when betting on the favorite. Puck lines are hockey’s version of run lines in baseball. If you bet on the favorite on the puck line then the favorite must win by at least two goals. Similarly, a puck line bet on an underdog means that the underdog can either win or lose as long as they don’t lose by more than a single goal. Punters can also bet on a variety of props such as individual team totals, first-period winners, and first-period goal totals among many others.For more information, please read our NHL Parlay Strategy Guide.
MLS Parlay Bet: Soccer is a sport on the rise in North America and, as it gains more fans, it draws a lot more betting action. You might be surprised at the number of bet types that you can combine on an MLS parlay ticket. You can bet on a team to win outright or you can bet on a tie. Draw No Bet wagers are 2-Way bets in which you pick the outright winner on the moneyline and if the game ends in a draw then the bet is a push. You can bet on the over/under, spreads, 1sthalf winners, correct scores, and winning margins. Most of the more established online sportsbooks can offer over 100 different bets on a single game that can be used to put a nice MLS parlay bet together.
Other Sports Parlay Bets: Fans of sports parlay betting aren’t limited to wagering on team sports when they place sports parlay bets. NASCAR, golf, MMA, tennis, and even snooker are just a few examples of other sporting events that can be used in accumulator bets. You can parlay pretty much any combination of sports and bet types that a bookie is offering action on.
Teaser Bet: A teaser bet is an American football or basketball parlay bet with an interesting twist. In basic terms, teasers allow a parlay bettor to alter the point spreads and totals which results in reduced risk. Generally speaking, teasers let you alter the spreads or totals by 6, 6.5, or 7 points although some teasers will let you move the spreads by 10 or more points.
The first thing that you should do is find a couple of point spreads or totals that you like. Let’s say that you like the Dallas Cowboys as a 7.5-point favorite over the New York Giants along with the Seattle Seahawks as a 9.5-point favorite to beat the San Francisco 49ers. On a regular 2-team parlay involving those two games, you would need the Cowboys to win by at least eight points as well as a Seahawks victory by at least 10 points.
With a 2-team 7-point teaser bet, you could tease the spreads down to Dallas -.5 and Seattle -2.5. You can see how much these changes affect your chances of winning. Instead of both teams needing to win by more than a touchdown, the Cowboys only need an outright win whereas the Seahawks just need to win by a field goal. Naturally, the potential winnings are significantly less than they would be in a regular parlay but your chances of winning and making a profit are much greater. As with any other parlay bet, pushes apply which means that they effectively become non-factors.
College Football Picks & Parlays
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Biggest Parlay Ever Won
If you want to know what kind of money can be won playing parlays then look no further than Tayla Poila’s massive parlay win. Tayla placed a $5 bet on an accumulator consisting of 14 NFL spread bets and one NFL game total. After nailing the last leg, Tayla was paid a whopping $100,005. As incredible as Tayla’s win was, it pales in comparison to a $5 NCAA and NBA mixed parlay bet that ended up paying out a staggering $305,000. Another huge sports parlay win happened in 2017 when one lucky punter overcame 2,500-1 odds. He bet a football parlay using a mix of NCAA and NFL spread bets and all 12 predictions were correct netting him a $62,500 payout. Those are some pretty impressive wins.
The Philadelphia Eagles might have overcome long odds when they won Super Bowl LII but the unnamed person who placed a $15 parlay bet on the big game at William Hill overcame even greater odds and walked away $5,985 richer. The parlay bettor created a 9-legged parlay ticket using a mix of spreads, totals, and game props. There are countless similar stories of punters winning huge sums of money after placing small bets.
Some Points To Ponder About Parlay Betting
One of the most important things to remember about parlays is that the gap between the odds that you are getting and the true odds becomes wider with each added selection. This is due to the vigorish that compounds with every additional selection. Just think back to the coin toss example. This is one of the biggest reasons why you should shop around for the best possible odds and bookmakers that have the lowest betting margins.
You want to make parlay bets in situations where you feel strongly about the individual plays. So many betting options are available these days that parlay bettors have a much better chance of finding real value and strong bets if they search hard enough. Remember, you can include several different sports and bet types on your ticket.
One myth that surrounds parlay betting is that putting a bunch of heavy favorites on an accumulator is a sure-fire way to win but that simply isn’t the case. With that said, playing a couple of heavy moneyline favorites on a parlay can lead to modest returns if done correctly. Be sure to do your research and don’t add a play to a parlay just because of the one-sided odds. Odds can vary between bookies though so its important to make sure you have the best parlay betting apps in your phone, it can make a huge difference.
Finally, most of us have probably been in a situation where we have won the first few legs of an accumulator and there is just one more game left to win. So, do you hedge your bet or do you let it ride? The answer really comes down to personal preferences. There are pros and cons on either side of the debate. Hedging can make it possible to guarantee a profit but it adversely affects the amount of money that can be won. Letting it ride opens up a distinct possibility that you will lose it all but you also stand to win the full potential payout. It can be a difficult decision but that’s why it’s called gambling. Here’s hoping that you come out ahead.