Parlays provide sports fans with the tantalizing opportunity to earn large payouts from relatively small risk amounts. You can combine a variety of selections within a single bet, and the profit from each successful prediction rolls onto the next, resulting in large cumulative odds.
However, if just one of your selections lets you down, your parlay fails. For this reason, sportsbooks make large margins from parlays.
Yet there are some ways of improving your chances of long-term success when placing parlay bets. Most sports betting sites now offer parlay promotions, which improve your expected value (EV) on these wagers.
This promotion ensures you get a refund if just one leg of your parlay lets you down.
For example, let’s say you bet on the Giants, the Eagles, the Dolphins and the Broncos all to cover the spread on the same Sunday. If the Giants, the Eagles and the Dolphins all cover, but the Broncos fail to do so, you get your money back.
However, it is not quite as straightforward as that. Your refund will generally be paid in the form of free bet credit. You must then play this bonus credit through once.
If you win, your profit will be paid in cash, but your risk amount will not be returned. For example, let’s say you place a $20 parlay, and you get a $20 free bet after one team lets you down. If you place a successful wager with your free bet at odds of +150, you will receive $30 in profit, but the $20 stake is not returned.
It means you need to place a successful bet at odds of at least +100 with your free bet just to break even. However, it is certainly a lot better than simply watching your parlay fall apart because one team flopped.
There will also be restrictions on which bets qualify. For example, you normally have to add a certain number of selections – known as legs – to the parlay, such as three or four legs.
There are odds requirements too. For example, each leg might need to have odds of at least -250, while the cumulative odds of the parlay might need to be greater than +150.
Parlay Payout Boosts
Lots of sportsbooks provide boosted payouts on winning parlays. Caesars Sportsbook often provides a flat 50% boost or 33% boost on all winning parlays, while BetMGM provides a 40% boost on successful parlays with 4-7 legs, but most sportsbooks stagger the profit boost depending upon the number of legs you add.
For example, Unibet will give you an extra 4% if you secure a winning parlay with 3 legs, 8% on a 4-leg parlay, 12% on a 5-leg parlay, and so on, all the way up to a 50% boost on a 12-team parlay.
As always, you only qualify for these offers if the odds on each leg are sufficiently high.
Most sportsbooks payout the boosted profits as cash, but occasionally you will find that an operator pays out the boosted profits in the form of a free bet, so it is always worth checking the terms and conditions just to make sure.
Parlay Odds Boosts
Some sportsbooks choose specific parlays and promote boosted cumulative odds on them.
For example, BetMGM might decide to offer boosted odds of +500 on the Colorado Avalanche, the Chicago Blackhawks and the Washington Capitals all to win their NHL games on a particular evening.
You may also find boosted cumulative odds on same-game parlays. Your bet slip will tell you if there is a maximum amount you can wager at the boosted odds.