How Does a Parlay Work In Sports Betting?
You can create a parlay out of a series of two or more sports bets. The wagers can be straight bets, totals, moneylines, and prop bets. You can combine wagers from more than one sport into the same parlay.
So let’s say you want to parlay bet the New York Giants +7.5 vs the Dallas Cowboys, Under 48.5 on the Kansas City Chiefs vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Boston Celtics Moneyline at +180 vs. the Milwaukee Bucks, and Jacob deGrom to strike out over 8 batters vs the Yankees. As complicated as that all sounds, it's a perfectly legal parlay.
Highest Ranked Ontario Parlay Betting Sites
The Ins and Outs of Winning A Parlay
In order to win a parlay bet, every individual wager in the parlay must win. In the example above, that’s four legs. Three of the legs in the parlay are even money and the Celtics money line is a little greater than even money, so your odds of winning that parlay are only about 4%.
On the flip side, the payout would be quite large if you do actually hit on a 4-leg parlay. If even one bet within your parlay loses, however, the entire bet loses.
Understanding Parlay Odds
The final payout on a parlay bet depends on the number of legs in the parlay and the odds on each individual bet. Books price parlays in line with the single bets.
So, for example, books price straight bets at -110, which means you need to win the bet 52.3% of the time (110/(100+110)) in order to profit.
For a two-legged parlay where each individual sports bet is -110, most books payout +264, which implies you have a 27.5% chance of winning (.523 x .523).
Add more legs or use legs that are not -110 individual bets and the parlay odds change, but the concept will remain the same. The book will price is based on the individual bets in the parlay.
How Parlay Payouts Work
Parlay bets are risky in that the attraction of big payouts belies the fact that the odds are quite long on hitting. The more legs in a parlay, the greater the payout, and thus the greater the attraction. Throw in some moneyline underdogs and you will really get a nice windfall when it cashes.
The flip side is that it's quite difficult to win on every leg, and the more legs in the parlay, the more advantage goes to the bookmaker. That is because the payout on the parlay compounds the juice from each individual bet. It is a thrill to turn a small stake into a big parlay payout, but it is very difficult to pull off so it's always wise not to play parlays too aggressively.
Ontario-based sports betting sites, like BetMGM Ontario offer a variety of markets available for parlay bets.
Types of Parlays
There are many types of parlay combinations. Here are some of the most common types.
Round Robin parlays are actually a series of smaller parlays carved out of a larger parlay. Take the parlay above where we went with the New York Giants +7.5, Under 48.5 on the Kansas City Chiefs game, the Boston Celtics Money line, and the Jacob DeGrom prop.
A round-robin parlay would subdivide it into 4 separate three-team parlays, 6 separate two-team parlays, or a combination of all the 3-leg and 2-leg parlays on top of the initial 4-leg parlay bet.
The plus side is that the multiple parlays give you many more chances to have more bets win. And you will get a nice potential payout if at least three of the legs do cash. The downside is that you need to put money down for each separate parlay, so in the example above that’s 11 separate bets
A teaser is generally a combo of between 2 and 5 bets where you are allowed to move the lines in your favor on each leg. In order to win the teaser, you must hit every leg.
A typical two-team parlay teaser lets you move a football spread 6 points on each game and a basketball teaser 4 points each game.
You can also tease Totals with similar point moves. A larger teaser lets you move spreads/totals more, but that requires more sides to hit so there’s no real advantage to expanding beyond two legs.
Teasers ideally price at -110, meaning you need to risk $110 in order to win $100. It's called a “teaser” for a reason as moving the spreads tilts each individual leg in your favor, but it's still quite difficult to win every leg even with the spread advantage.
A same-game parlay involves multiple bets from a single game or match. The first bet is typically on who will win the game, either spread or moneyline. The next bet often includes various player props, team props, over/under totals, or others.
For example, if the Toronto Raptors were playing, a bettor could parlay multiple individual wagers, such as the Raptors moneyline, Fred VanVleet to score at least 22.5 points, and Pascal Siakam to record more than 9.5 rebounds. If all three of the bets hit, you win big. If only two bets of the three selections win, the parlay loses.
A parlay card was originally just a parlay that’s already crafted for you. It was literally a card on a table at a betting site with a pre-chosen parlay already on it.
You could just take the card and your money to the window and you could play the parlay. Parlay cards typically have 3 legs on them with all the individual legs even odds, and they pay out +550. It's important to remember that “fair” odds on a 3-leg parlay like that would be +700.
Now that betting has moved online, your betting site might create some virtual parlay cards at the beginning of a day or football week. There’s a possible edge for you out there thanks to varying odds. The lines on the parlay card are stale. Say that after the parlay card on a football game is posted, a QB gets injured, One of the individual bets on the card might be mispriced and the card as a whole might have some value.
What Bets Can Go In Parlays?
Virtually any type of single-game bet can go into a parlay. That includes straight bets, totals, money lines, and props. There are some limitations on correlated parlays.
If two or more bets in the parlay have some correlation to each other, the betting sites might not allow the parlay. Or alternatively, they will price the parlay with a lower payout. There is an edge when you find correlated bets and can parlay them at standard payouts, so always be on the hunt for plays like that.
Pros And Cons of Parlays
The big pro to parlay betting is definitely the potential payout. The con is you have to always remember that if one leg loses, the entire parlay bet loses. The potential payout looks very large because your chances of hitting a multi-leg parlay are quite small.
Should I Bet on Parlays in Ontario?
Parlay betting is certainly fun for casual bettors. So if you play small and don’t expect miracles, why not try? The odds of a winning parlay stack against you more so than on typical straight bets,An occasional parlay bet with a relatively low stake won’t cause much pain, but try to avoid playing these too frequently.
Key Takeaways of Parlay Betting Tips
One way to help make your parlay a good bet is to look for correlated parlays. For example, late in the NFL season, the results of an early game can impact the playoff standing of a team playing in a later game.
If you get a situation where the Dallas Cowboys losing early clinches home-field advantage in the playoffs for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before they even take the field, a parlay combining bets against these two teams has a hidden correlation.
Further, teaser bets in the NFL can have a positive expected value if you can “tease” two-point spreads through two key numbers. In the NFL, those key numbers are 3 and 7. So a 2.5 point underdog teased up 6 points gives you +8.5 on the point spread.
Conversely, an 8.5 point favorite teased down 6 points gives you a favorite -2.5 points. Look to tease NFL games like those and bookmakers that price teasers at -110.
Nevertheless, whether you make parlay bets or any other type of bet, be sure to do it with an Ontario mobile betting app that meets all of your sports betting needs.
Ontario Parlay Betting FAQ
A parlay is a combination of two or more bets or “legs”. In order to win, each leg of the parlay must hit, otherwise, the entire parlay bet loses.
A “+” money line is expressed as the amount you would win per $100 risk. So thus +200 money line means you would win $200 on a $100 bet.
A parlay bet pays out if every leg of the parlay hits. For example, a 2-leg parlay priced at +264 pays out $264 on a $100 bet if both individual bets in the parlay win.
This can depend on the betting site and specific terms of the parlay. But generally, the parlay reduces. That means that the leg of the parlay that pushed gets taken out and the rest of the parlay payout is priced as if the tie bet was never in the spread. A 4-leg parlay becomes a lower payout 3-leg parlay, a 2-leg parlay becomes a single bet, et al.
A 3 leg parlay or three-team parlay is a series of 3 individual bets. The parlay wins if all three legs win, otherwise, the entire parlay loses.
Adam Warner is an expert reviewer of sportsbooks and online casinos in Ontario for OntarioBets.com. Warner, the author of "Options Volatility Trading: Strategies for Profiting from Market Swings" former financial writer for Schaeffers Research, and a freelance writer for Minyanville.com and StreetInsight.com. Previously Adam was a Market Maker on the American Stock Exchange and a graduate of Johns Hopkins University.