Why are Parlays so Popular?
One of the most commonly used forms of sports betting is the parlay wager. A bet that allows bettors to combine multiple selections into one wager, the parlay is almost unavoidable in discussions about sports gambling. But why are parlays so popular, and is it a good idea to place parlay bets at all?
Low Risk, Potentially Huge Reward
The biggest reason that parlays are popular is that they offer the chance for bettors to win a lot of money without risking a lot of money. Just like a lottery ticket can lead to huge winnings from a small investment, a lot of bettors see parlays as a way to get rich quickly in sports betting. And sometimes, that is exactly what happens.
In parlay bets, the odds of each selection are compounded to where the more legs in the parlay, the more money a bettor stands to win if the entire bet hits. Of course, with more legs in a parlay, there are also more hurdles at which the parlay can fall apart. It is that risk/reward continuum that makes parlay betting so intriguing to some.
Another reason that parlay betting is as popular as it has to be the fact that sportsbooks advertise them so heavily. Bettors in and around states with legal sports gambling likely have trouble watching a sporting event without seeing an advertisement for a same game parlay or parlay insurance at a major sportsbook.
Of course, bettors should remember that the goal of sportsbooks is to make money off of bettors. Just like the goal of a car company is to make money by selling cars, or the goal of a restaurant is to make money by selling food to its customers. It is important for bettors not to let advertising completely distort a sustainably profitable betting strategy.
Advertising encourages people to make a lot of choices that they may not make otherwise, such as buying an expensive car or eating a meal that isn’t healthy. And while there are questions about the morality of such advertising, as long as the consumer remembers to do those activities in moderation, they should be okay in the long run.
The Reality of Parlays
In reality, parlays are typically not great for bettors in the long run. While some of them do hit some of the time, parlays statistically provide sportsbooks with the greatest hold percentage of any type of wager. This is a product of bettors needing multiple outcomes to occur in order for these types of wagers to be successful.
There is certainly nothing wrong with parlay betting for fun in the hopes that a small investment turns into a big profit. Bettors should simply remember that the odds are more challenging when making a parlay bet when compared to a single wager. As long as bettors look at things through the proper lens, they can still integrate the parlay into their overall betting strategy without sacrificing their profits entirely.
Types of Parlay Bets: Parlays, Teasers, and More
Parlays are one of the most popular types of sports wagers. Their potential to provide a huge payout for a small investment is appealing to bettors who play high and low stakes alike. But there are several different types of bets under the parlay umbrella that offer different payout potentials and are worth understanding individually.
The traditional parlay bet consists simply of bettors combining multiple selections into the same wager. Those bets are not altered in any way but are instead combined to increase the potential payout of each selection. Parlays consist of anywhere from two legs to a large number of legs, with limits to how many legs varying depending on each sportsbook’s rules.
Parlays can include bets across most markets, though there are some limits to what bettors are allowed to combine. For example, some sportsbooks do not allow prop bets to be parlayed or for bets within the same game to be parlayed. This is also something that can vary from sportsbook to sportsbook, with each site listing its own rules that can be read before a parlay is assembled.
Teasers are another variation of the parlay bet, but there is a crucial difference between a teaser and a parlay. Teasers typically only allow for the combination of spread and total wagers. And each leg of the teaser bet sees the spread or total moved a pre-selected number of points in the bettor’s favor.
With the betting lines moved in the bettor’s favor, the odds for teasers are not nearly as favorable as they are for traditional parlays. In sports like the NFL, where each point is at a premium, teasers tend to be a feasible option. In sports like basketball, where there are a higher number of points and possessions, teasers may not be as good a bet.
A round-robin is a type of bet that, in reality, is a combination of multiple parlays. Bettors select several legs, and those legs are broken into a series of smaller parlays. The number of legs that are selected is what determines how many combinations of smaller parlays are possible for bettors to utilize.
The most important factor that separates round robins from other types of parlays is the fact that a bettor does not need to win every leg of a parlay in order to come out ahead. Since the round-robin breaks things down into a series of smaller parlays, bettors can still make a profit if they win all but one of their picks. This eliminates the all-or-nothing nature of parlay betting.
No matter what type of parlay a bettor uses, they should remember that parlay betting is not a strategy that is conducive to long-term profits. When used in moderation, they can be an excellent addition to a winning betting strategy. But bettors have a superior win probability when placing single bets, which should be used more often by bettors whose goal is to turn a profit.
Parlay Betting Sites: Where to Find and How to Use Them
As new bettors get involved with sports gambling, many will want to get involved with parlay wagers. But picking a parlay betting site requires bettors to figure out where parlay betting is available and what makes the best site for betting on parlays. In this guide to parlay betting sites, we help bettors answer those questions.
Where to Bet Parlays
Fortunately for bettors, there aren’t many sites where parlay betting is not an option. Every major sports betting site that is legal in the United States offers parlay action. As long as sports betting is legal in the state a bettor is located in, they will be able to wager on parlays at their leisure.
Different states do have different laws regarding sports gambling. Some states allow both in-person and mobile sports betting; some only allow one of those two options, while others do not allow sports betting at all. Bettors should make themselves familiar with the sports gambling laws in their state to get an idea of what they can do legally.
How to Get Started
After a bettor has found out whether or not they are allowed to wager in their state, they can sign up for an account at the sportsbook of their choice. This is typically an easy process, as most sportsbooks have just a few steps separating bettors from creating their accounts. Bettors can also fund their accounts during this process, with the potential for a bonus at these sportsbooks for new players.
In general, sportsbook bonuses are a nice way to get some added value when signing up at a sports betting site. But that added value becomes even more important when looking for a site to place parlay bets with. With parlays being a bet with a lower expected return on investment than single bets, bonus funds can offset the additional risk taken on by the parlays themselves.
Things to Look For
When picking a parlay betting site, there are several criteria bettors should look for. The most important element bettors need to look into is the list of rules surrounding parlays at each site. Specifically, bettors need to know what they can combine into a parlay and what they are not allowed to combine into a parlay.
For example, some sportsbooks allow bettors to parlay the spread and total from the same game into a single parlay. Some sportsbooks allow bettors to combine player props into parlays, while others do not. Knowing what types of parlay bets can be made is vital so that bettors know if a sportsbook will meet their needs when it comes to parlays.
Another item that bettors should look for is the potential for parlay boosts at a sportsbook. Parlay boosts increase the odds of parlay bets, enhancing their potential payouts and making them more profitable. These aren’t offered by most sportsbooks, but finding one that could make a huge difference to parlay bettors as they look to make up for the reduced win probability of their parlays.
How to Calculate Parlay Odds
Parlay bets are extremely popular, as a single parlay can yield massive profits to bettors who are able to win them. But the way that parlays are constructed can be a mystery to some, specifically when it comes to calculating the payout amount. Fortunately, calculating the odds of a parlay bet is easy to do, as just a little bit of math can eliminate the mystery behind this popular wager.
Select Your Parlay Legs
The first thing that a bettor has to do when figuring out their parlay odds is to put their parlay together. That means picking multiple legs of a parlay bet, so the odds of each leg can be utilized to calculate the overall odds of the bet.
Parlays can feature bets from across multiple sports and multiple betting markets, with some sportsbooks even offering the ability to put parlays together from the same game.
When picking out the legs of a parlay, it is worth remembering that bets with longer odds payout more favorably than bets with shorter odds. This means that parlaying heavy moneyline favorites will pay out less than mixing some combination of spreads, moneylines, and totals with longer odds.
Do the Math
Now that you have selected your parlay legs, it is time to do the math to figure out the overall parlay odds. This is an easy process, though it does require some calculations. In this equation, the payout for bettors is equal to the amount wagered on the parlay, multiplied by the decimal odds of each leg of the parlay.
Most American sports bettors do not use decimal odds when wagering, instead opting to use the plus and minus American odds system. However, there are odds converters that bettors can use to get the comparable decimal odds for their selection.
Bettors will see that the more legs they place in their parlay, the more decimal odds there are to multiply by, which can greatly increase the potential payout of the overall wager.
For those who do not feel like doing the math of calculating the odds for their parlay, there are a couple of workarounds. The first workaround comes in the form of parlay calculators.
Parlay calculators exist on websites so that bettors can enter the odds of each leg of their parlay wager. The calculator then does all of the math for the bettor, showing them what they would stand to make on a parlay based on the wager amount they entered.
Alternatively, sportsbooks will show bettors what they stand to make from a parlay before they finish placing their bet. Instead of having to do the math manually or go to a different website to use a parlay calculator, bettors can instead just put the legs of their parlay into their preferred sportsbook.
That sportsbook may show bettors the odds they would get for their parlay. At the very least, bettors will be able to see what odds they get once they enter the amount they wish to risk on the parlay.