NFL Parlay Betting

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Imagine approaching a bookie before the Super Bowlgame, wanting to place two Super Bowl bets. The bookie takes your bets and asks if you’d like to combine them, meaning they need to both win for you to win. The payout is more than double what you’d earn placing them individually. That’s a parlay in action.



What are NFL Parlays?


A parlay is a combination of bets that must all come through in order to earn the payout. Betting on NFL parlays is popular because you win more from a parlay than what you’d get from making all the same single bets. That’s the beauty of compound winnings.



How do NFL Parlays Work?


At Bodog Sportsbook, you can group 2 to 12 NFL lines into a single parlay. The more lines that are included in the parlay, the bigger the potential payout. But the risk also goes up, since all the bets must come through for the parlay to win. If you’re new to parlay betting, starting with a two or three-team parlay is a good way to go. Keep in mind, just because the term for the multiple lines in a parlay is a “team”, doesn’t mean that you can only include football teams. For example, a common two-team parlay is betting the point spread and the total. We’ll use that as our first example.


Houston Texans         +5.5 (—110)                O 42.5 (—110)

Seattle Seahawks       —5.5 (—110)              U 42.5 (—110)


The Houston Texans are 5.5-point underdogs on the spread, as indicated by the positive (+) symbol. The Seattle Seahawks are 5.5-point favourites, as indicated by the negative (—) symbol. The total is set at 42.5 points. All bets in this example are offered at —110 standard odds. If you want to start small with a two-team parlay, you can include two of these lines. There are four ways to create a two-team parlay from this example:


     1) Houston +5.5     O 42.5

     2) Houston +5.5     U 42.5

     3) Seattle —5.5      O 42.5

     4) Seattle —5.5      U 42.5


After adding the lines onto your bet slip, the option to "Parlay" your two picks will appear. Put the amount of money you want to risk in the 'RISK' box, and the 'WI'N box will show you how much you’ll get if your bets come through.



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What Can You Parlay?


Even though the “spread and total” combination is the most popular parlay bet, there are plenty of other NFL betting types that allow you to combine bets. Moneyline odds, NFL futures odds, and some props are eligible to be parlayed. Futures and prop bets will prolong the bet because it won’t be settled until the wagers are completed.



How are Parlays Calculated?


We’ve mentioned that the payouts awarded to parlays are bigger than those earned by single bets, but by how much? A two-team parlay pays 2.6446X your wager, and a three-team parlay pays 5.9579X your wager—these ratios are based on standard —110 lines. Let’s calculate a parlay based on standard odds to give you an idea of what to expect. With the Houston-Seattle example, we’ll go with option No. 2; however, since all the lines are —110, the payout would be the same regardless of which option you pick.


Houston +6.5 (—110)
U 42.5 (—110)


In this case, staking $100 on each line individually nets you $90.91 (total of $181.82 for both bets). However, if you parlay them together, staking a total of $200, the payout is calculated by multiplying the bet by 2.6446.


$200 X 2.6446 = $528.92.


Let’s see what happens if we add a third line to the parlay.

Houston +6.5 (—110)
U 42.5 (—110)
New England Patriots —7 (—110)


Keeping our stake at $200, the addition of the New England Patriots spread changes the payout multiplier to 5.9579.


$200 X 5.9579 = $1,191.58.


This is all assuming that the bets win. Every so often, your parlay is going to encounter a push in one or more of the lines. This is when a bet results in a tie. When this happens, your parlay gets reduced by the number of pushed lines. For example, if your four-team parlay has one push, it becomes a three-team parlay. If a two-team parlay has one push, it turns into a single bet. Most of the time, your parlay won’t undergo these reductions, and you’ll be free to enjoy the power of parlayed payouts.

For additional infomation, you can check our guide about NFL betting.


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