Understanding How Parlay Odds Work

Image of a hand holding a phone with a number of matches to bet on.

Many sports bettors are familiar with parlay bets. Placing parlay bets is a good option for those who want the chance to win big in online sports betting — this is what makes the parlay so popular with bettors. Keep in mind that winning a parlay is more challenging than a straightforward bet. However, with thorough knowledge of the sports you’re betting on, you can conquer the parlay betting format.

What is a parlay?

A parlay is a combo bet. Instead of several individual bets, you can combine the bets and treat it as one big wager. The number of bets typically ranges from two to ten bets. For example, you can bet on the Ravens, the Patriots, and the Texans to all win their game on any given Sunday. If all of these teams win, you will receive a much greater payout than betting on each game individually. For a parlay to be successful, you need all teams selected to win or to correctly predict all the right outcomes. 

Why would you want to group bets together?

It’s quite simple, really. The sportsbook casino will pay out more money if you correctly pick multiple individual bets together. Since the bets are dependent on each other, there is more risk which results in a higher payout. The odds are much higher than individual bets, therefore the payout will be higher too. Remember, if any of your wagers is incorrect, the total bet will be lost. The parlay bet is ideal for people who like big payouts and aren’t bothered about the longer odds of winning.

Wondering how it actually works? Let’s look at betting on three games individually versus betting as a parlay. In this example, each game is -110 moneyline odds. Let’s make the bankroll for all of these games $300.

What happens if you picked all three games correctly?

Scenario 1: If you bet on the games individually, you would place $100 on each game. Each game would give you a profit of $90.91 if the odds are at -110. This means that your total profit would be $272.73.

Scenario 2: If you picked all three games as a parlay bet, you would place a single bet of $300. Your total payout would be $1787.40. This means you’d make a profit of $595.80. 

At Borgata Online, if your first bet wins, your bet will be rolled into the next game. If both bets win, the payout will be higher than if you had bet on each game separately.

But what happens if you pick incorrectly?

With the same example, if you bet $100 on three games (individually) but only pick two out of three games correctly, your total profit will be $81.82 for the individual bets. With parlay bets, your profit is negative $300. Losing the entire bet is the risk you take when placing a parlay bet.

Understanding how parlay odds are calculated

The reason parlay bets pay out so much more than individual bets is to do with how the odds are calculated. When you bet at an online casino like Borgata Online, your potential payout is calculated for you as you add games and bets to your parlay slip. Each line’s odds are multiplied one after the other. You’ll get to see exactly what profit you can possibly make on winning sports betting odds.

What happens if one of your bets pushes?

A push is the gambling term for a tie. The best thing to do is to find out how the sportsbook casino you’re betting at addresses pushes. In most cases, if one of the games on the parlay pushes, that wager will be removed from the parlay. The payout will be reduced to one less team in the parlay. For example, if you had a three-team parlay, and you got two picks correct and the other was a push, you will only be paid out for the two picks as if it were a two-team parlay.

Don’t confuse teaser bets with parlays

Houston Texans players celebrate in their game against Oakland Raiders.

You’ll find that teaser bets are common, especially in football. Teaser bets and parlays are not the same. With the teaser bet, you can move the point spread in your favor. It is similar to parlay bets in one way, as you are able to select the number of teams to tease. Your payout will be less with a teaser bet, but it can improve your winning odds. For example, if you would like to tease football games, you can tease the New York Giants (+6) over the Dallas Cowboys. With the NFL teasers changing the spread by six points, the new point spreads will be the New York Giants (+12) over the Dallas Cowboys. 

Parlay betting tips

With the parlay, you are forced to be perfect in order to receive a payout from the sportsbook casino. Before you place your bet, a good tip would be to handicap each game you would like to include in your parlay wager. It’s important to do your research on the teams you want to add to your parlay. Remember to be mindful of your bankroll. It is also advisable to keep an eye on team reports and online sports betting trends.

Place your parlay bets at Borgata Online

At Borgata Online, we offer a range of online sports betting markets. Stay up-to-date with the latest odds for your favorite sports. We also provide live betting on all popular sports, including baseball, football, golf, and tennis. For more information on how to place your bets with us, follow our sports betting guide. Register today and start placing your parlay bets with Borgata Online.