Placing a single bet adds a touch of spice to the weekend’s big game. But placing a parlay bet can be a way to win a lot of money.
Parlay bets give you the chance to claim a big payout with a small outlay. Depending on the number of events you’ve included in your parlay, your lazy $10 parlay bet can yield thousands of dollars.
Calculate your betting odds with this downloadable tool to see what you'll win.
In this article, we will discuss parlay betting and the best ways to improve your chances of walking away from the weekend’s or the evening’s games a winner.
How does a parlay bet work?
A parlay bet is a bet consisting of a number of individual bets. Each bet within the parlay is known as a “leg” or a “fold”.
For your parlay bet to win, each leg within your parlay must win. If you lose one leg, you lose your parlay bet.
Let’s consider the following example. We place 5 bets on an evening’s sport. We have bet:
|NY Giants to win vs Dallas Odds:||+140|
|Boston Celtics to win vs LA Lakers Odds:||-200|
|Chicago Bulls to win vs Detroit Pistons Odds:||+180|
|Pittsburgh Penguins to win vs St.Louis Blues:||-150|
|New Jersey Devils to win vs Washington Capitals:||+110|
We combine these bets into a single parlay bet. Our parlay has five selections. We have bet $10 on our parlay with the parlay odds at +3435.
If each of our five selections wins, we win our parlay bet and claim a profit of $343.50. Not bad for picking five winners. However, if one or more of our selections lose, we lose our parlay bet and our $10 stake.
Parlay Calculator – How to calculate parlay odds?
In order to calculate parlays bets, we must first convert odds to the decimal odds format. This is easy to do (especially with our betting calculator).
American odds come in two formats. Either plus odds or minus odds.
To convert plus odds to decimal format, we use the following formula:
|(plus odds + 100) / 100|
So if our plus odds are +140, the decimal odds are calculated as:
|Decimal odds = (140 + 100) / 100|
|Decimal odds = 240 / 100|
|Decimal odds = 2.40|
What about minus odds? To convert negative odds to decimal format, we use the following formula:
|(minus odds + 100) / minus odds|
So if our minus odds are -200, the decimal odds are calculated as:
|Decimal odds = (200 +100) / 200|
|Decimal odds = 300/200|
|Decimal odds = 1.50|
Once we have converted our American plus or minus odds to decimal odds, we can calculate the odds for our parlay.
Let’s use our previous example. In this case we have converted our odds to decimal odds.
|NY Giants to win vs Dallas Odds:||2.40|
|Boston Celtics to win vs LA Lakers Odds:||1.50|
|Chicago Bulls to win vs Detroit Pistons Odds:||2.80|
|Pittsburgh Penguins to win vs St.Louis Blues Odds:||1.67|
|New Jersey Devils to win Washington Capitals Odds:||2.10|
So how do we calculate our parlay odds? We simply multiply each of our selections odds into the next. For our example this would mean the following:
|2.40 x 1.50 x 2.80 x 1.67 x 2.10 = 35.35|
To convert these odds back to American odds, we simply multiply them by 100 and then subtract 100. So, in this case, our odds would be:
|American odds = (35.35 x 100) – 100|
|American odds = 3535 – 100|
|American odds = 3435|
Our American odds for our parlay is +3435
With our $10 stake, should each of our selections win, we will claim our profit of $343.50.
Should I bet parlays? Only when there is value
Betting only when there is value is the fundamental law of successful betting. But value betting is even more crucial when betting parlays. Why? Because bookmakers such as bet365, BetMGM or Pointsbet do not offer full market odds. For example, offering moneylines of -110 rather than fair odds of +100 on a 50-50 bet. If you place a parlay of 5 selections that are not value bets, this margin will be calculated into each selection reducing the value of your bet to nothing.
For example, we place a five selection parlay each at odds of -110. Our odds for this parlay will be +2436. However if the bookmaker offered us fair odds of +100 for each selection, our odds would be +3100. As you can see, betting parlays reduces the fair value of your bet.
Not only is betting when there is value fundamental to successful sports betting, but it is also what makes betting parlays truly worth your while. Why? Because with each value bet you add to your parlay, this value is calculated into each selection.
For example, we place a five selection parlay at odds of -110 but believe the fair odds for each of our selections should be -120. As we are receiving better odds than we believe we should, we are placing value bets. Our five selection parlay gives us odds of +2436. However given that we believe the fair odds for each selection is -120, the fair odds for our parlay is +2071. As we can see, the odds we are being offered are greater than what we believe the fair odds should be. This is a great value bet.
Parlay betting strategy
Only including value bets in your parlay is the key to successful parlay betting. There is no guaranteed winning parlay system. Like all successful betting, parlay betting requires the discipline and a considered staking strategy.
With that being said, many casual bettors enjoy playing a parlay bet on the weekend much like playing the lottery. Placing a 15 game NFL or XFL parlay for the upcoming Sunday’s games can add a touch of spice to the day’s events, especially if you go 10 for 10 in the early games. However, we recommend keeping your stakes small. If you place a 15 selection NFL parlay exclusive to game lines each at odds of -110, your 15 team parlay odds will be around +1,642,382.
Placing a small stake of $10 will give you a return of over $165,000. Over the course of a full NFL regular season, you’ll spend just $170 with a chance to win life changing money while enjoying a Sunday’s football. Not a bad outlay for a bit of fun on a Sunday.
Picks And Parlays
You might be wondering what the best parlays bets this week are. Finding value picks from handicappers can be an efficient way to place value parlays. While there are many handicappers (tipsters) on the internet promoting their picks, the reality is that very few of these so-called experts are profitable with most demanding steep subscription fees just to receive their losing tips.
NFL Picks And Parlays
Placing a parlay bet on a Sunday’s NFL action is a great way to enhance your football viewing. There are a number of bet types to include in your NFL parlay bets including popular bet types such as spread betting, over unders and moneylines.
NBA Picks And Parlays
You can bet on NBA picks most nights from November through June and an NBA parlay is a great way to engage with an evening of pro hoops. There are numerous ways of betting on the NBA including the ever-popular NBA spread bets, over unders and NBA moneylines.
MLB Picks And Parlays
There’s baseball each night of the week from March through October giving bettors a chance to place parlays on MLB picks. You can include a number of bet types in your MLB parlay including moneylines, run lines, and run totals.
NCAAB Picks And Parlays
If there was ever sport made for parlays it’s NCAA basketball. Place NCAAB parlays from the commencement of the season in November through to the March Madness tournament in March. Include bet types such as moneylines, spread bets and over unders.
NCAAF Picks And Parlays
How to parlay bet in college football? Parlays are a great way to enhance your Saturday watching NCAA football. Each Saturday there are dozens of games providing a number of value bets to include in your NCAAF parlay including spread bets, moneylines and over unders.
Parlay betting conclusion
Placing a parlay bet can certainly spice up an evening’s sports viewing. While only including value bets in your parlay can make parlay betting a profitable venture, for the casual weekend bettor parlay bets provide the opportunity to win truly big money with a small outlay. If you exercise discipline and only bet what you can afford to lose, parlay betting can be a great way to enhance your weekend of sport.