There is no doubt that parlays are by far the most popular of the sports wagers that are considered exotic. The fact that they offer such a potentially large payout at such a small risk is what entices bettors. Everyone likes to play the lottery for a chance to win big.
In essence, a parlay is a collection of two or more sports betting picks on the same ticket. All selections have to win order for it to be considered a winning ticket. Therefore, if you place a four-team parlay then all four teams have to win in order for the parlay to be considered a winner.
When it comes down to it, getting three of the four selections right is no better than getting none of the selections right because it takes being a perfect 4-for-4 in order to collect on the potential payout.
Money Line Parlays
Moneyline parlays are very straightforward as they are simply a collection of individual plays strung together as part of the same ticket. However, the potential payout can vary widely depending on the prices of the selections that you make. For example, if you were to tie in four substantial favorites on the same moneyline parlay, the potential payout wouldn’t be as big as if you strung together four substantial underdogs.
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To put it in the simplest possible terms, the money line parlays take the amount of money that you wager and place all of that money on one team. If that teams wins, it recalculates your bet amount on the next team. Then it again places the entire wager on that team. The majority of sportsbooks will accept money line parlays for anywhere from two to 13 teams. Double-check the limits, though, as they can vary across the board.
Point Spread Parlays
The point spread parlay is similar to the money line parlay in that it is a string of anywhere from two to 13 individual wagers on the same ticket in order to increase the potential payout. However, unlike the money line parlays the potential payout for the point spread parlays is usually a set amount.
The point spread is a way for sportsbooks to attempt to even the two sides of the betting equation. In that case, there really isn’t a need to follow the same formula as the money line parlay. The point spread parlays odds could vary but the typical odds look something like this:
2 Teams 13-5
3 Teams 6-1
4 Teams 10-1
5 Teams 25-1
6 Teams 40-1
7 Teams 75-1
8 Teams 150-1
9 Teams 300-1
10 Teams 600-1
The potential payout for the point spread parlays are calculated based on the amount of money wagered with the odds depending on the amount of teams involved. For example, somebody betting $100 on a 3-team parlay would get 6-to-1 odds so the potential payout would be $600.
Parlay wagers are one of the more popular exotic wagers but there is a risk versus reward every time that you make one. The potential payout is a lot bigger and that is a good thing. The challenge is the more teams that are on the parlay, the greater the risk and the less likely it is that you will win.
Moneyline parlays are calculated based on the individual odds of the game. That's why it isn’t necessarily that much better of an idea to bet a money line parlay over simply taking teams straight up. However, a 10-team parlay in which you risk $100 could pay out $60,000. It’s easy to understand why the temptation is there. Parlays can be an intriguing option in the right scenario. However, it’s important to be careful when measuring the risk versus reward.