Sports Betting and the NFL Parlay

How to Bet the Parlay

The parlay in sports betting attracts a lot of gamblers. There are various sorts of parlays available, with the single sport one being the most popular. In the single sport parlay a bettor puts money on anywhere from two to ten (or sometimes even more) games all of which are of the same sport such as NFL football.

If it’s a three-team parlay, then you’re deciding the outcome of three specific games, which are all usually played with the point spread intact. For you to win, you have to make the correct choice on all three games.

Parlay Payouts

The thing that makes the parlay so attractive to so many sports bettors is the payouts. As an example, the payout on a three-team parlay is 6-1. If you beat each team individually, you’re going to get 1-1.10. Win the parlay and your three-team wager pays $60 on an $11 bet as opposed to if you wager on each team individually and win all three, earning a $30 payout. Of course, if you lose any of the three bets on the parlay ticket, you lose your cash, whereas if you win two of three single bets, you’re up about $10.

Here is a table of parlays and their payouts.

As you can see, the more picks you make on one ticket the more generous your award. However, whatever parlay you pick, you have to be perfect to realize a profit.

NFL Sports Betting and Parlay Problems

Parlays are extremely difficult to hit.  Even the three-team parlay, which may appear to be easy, is a tough one to master. That is the inherent problem with the parlay and sports betting—it is an all of nothing wager.

Another problem concerning parlays is often associated directly with the sports bettor. Some gamblers have a tendency to use the parlay to try to makeup quickly for earlier loses. Desperation wagers are never a good idea and the parlay should never be used in this manner.

The other major problem is the fact that parlays usually include the point spread, which greatly complicates even the savviest bettor’s abilities to pick three, four, five or more winners in a row.

Best Bets on the NFL Parlay

If you are going to play NFL parlays, here are some guidelines that we recommend you follow.

  • Only play parlays when you are winning. Preferably after you have doubled your bankroll.
  • Never bet more than 5% of your bankroll on a parlay.
  • Play three- or two-team parlays. More teams are simply too tough to hit.
  • Play only single sport parlays. Combing sports on tickets makes the parlay much harder to hit.
  • Only play parlays where you pick the winner of each game. Don’t include over/unders or any exotics.
  • Try to bet on games that offer the best spreads.
  • It’s impossible to know everything about every NFL game each week. So go with games on which you have done your homework.
  • If you lose, let it go and get back to single-game wagering. If you win, celebrate a little and then let it go and get back to single-game wagering.

When you play parlays, you have to be extra smart, diligent and disciplined in your wagering.

The Nature of NFL Sports Betting

The nature of NFL scheduling seems to induce people to bet parlays. Unlike baseball, hockey and basketball, when there are games to wager on just about every day, NFL football is limited to two or three days per week and the games are clumped together primarily on one day—Sunday. That makes bettors want to make the most of their chances and that often means reverting to the parlay. Be patient, don’t over extend yourself. With the NFL preseason, regular season and playoffs, there are well over 20 weeks of sports betting opportunities. Bet in a reasonable manner and use the parlay as a well-earned bonus and not as your primary wagering tool.