Parlay betting is considered to be exotic or “specialty wagers” wherein you bet on a series of games. A parlay is a minimum of 2 games and it can go up to 12 games – depending on the online basketball sportbook and the actual sport and category being bet on. Usually all of the games have to end the way you predicted for you to win the whole parlay. Thus, if you are betting on a 4-team parlay, all 4 bets have to win. If even one of the bets is unsuccessful/lost, then the whole parlay is a loss. Why bet on them then? Well, the bigger the parlays the bigger the payout, although is also comes with a lot more risk associated with it.
Calculating Basketball Parlay Bets
* Please see illustration below to help understand parlay bets, text explanation follows.
You can parlay money lines, over/under bets, as well as spreads. We will use a money line example to demonstrate how parlays are calculated. Let us say you want to bet on two NBA games: San Antonio Spurs versus Memphis Grizzlies, and Dallas Mavericks versus Los Angeles Lakers. The odds are listed as:
- San Antonio Spurs (+130)
- Memphis Grizzlies (-150)
- Dallas Mavericks (+230)
- Los Angeles Lakers (-280)
Let us say you want to bet on the underdogs, San Antonio and Dallas. You are parlaying the bet, betting $100 total. If the Spurs win, then that $100 will get you a total of $230 ($130 won plus $100 bet). Then, that $230 goes into the Mavericks bet at (+230) line, getting you a total of $759 ($529 won plus $230 bet) if they win. Thus, a single bet of $100 gets you total winnings equal to $759. For that to happen in regular money lines there would have to be a huge underdog with (+659) money line, and that will actually win, which is rare to find.
You can boost your returns even more by betting on even more team-parlays, where the winnings will be accrued in the same manner as above.
Sometimes sportsbooks can allow bettors to construct multiple parlay combos with different money lines, over/under bets, proposition bets and even with different sports. For example, you can bet on which team is going to win the NBA championship, which team is going to win in a baseball match and what will be the spread in a hockey match. However, there is a condition that the bets must not be connected with each other. For instance, if one bet is for LA Lakers beating Chicago Bulls, then you cannot also bet in a parlay if Lakers are going to become champions. To say the least, these multiple parlay bets can get very complicated. The more complicated they are, the more risky they are, and the less of a chance for you to win.
Basketball Parlay Betting Tips and Strategies
Every March, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) holds its playoffs to determine national college basketball champions. 68 games are played out over a course of three weeks. Many seasoned bettors like to parlay their bets on these NCAA playoffs. There are many games to choose from in a single game, where you can look for the best possible odds for yourselves – making it an absolutely exciting time for bettors. There are also a lot of upsets during these games, with various smaller teams beating many favorites; thus, the underdogs actually have a good chance to win. You can bet on some of them, trying to receive a larger payoff. You can also offset your underdog bets by parlaying them against a couple of strong favorites; for example, you can bet on a 4-team parlay, on two underdogs and two favorites.
Do not go Overboard With Parlays
The more parlays you bet on, the less likely you are to win. Sure, you might get high returns, however, after about 5-team parlays it gets statistically very improbable of winning a parlay. For this reason more seasoned bettors stick to 3-team parlays. In a 3-team parlay you are getting good returns and you can still get big profits. The difference is that your risks are much more manageable and you can actually win some money.