Parlays vs. Straight Bets

OK now it gets more complicated. Once you know all the ins and outs of how to bet you will have a tremendous urge to bet as many teams as you can, because the more teams you bet the more money you win. Don’t forget though, bet smart.

A parlay is a wager placed on a series of bets on one ticket (betting receipt). The rules on these types of tickets require the bettor to win every bet on the ticket in order to win money overall. As more teams get added on one ticket, your odds of winning that ticket go down, which increase the overall payout. For example, a parlay card at the Cal-Neva sportsbooks breaks down the odds as shown:

3 for 3 teams ….. pays 6.75 to 1

4 for 4 teams ….. pays 13 to 1

5 for 5 teams ….. pays 26 to 1

6 for 6 teams ….. pays 52 to 1

7 for 7 teams ….. pays 104 to 1

8 for 8 teams ….. pays 208 to 1

9 for 9 teams ….. pays 425 to 1

10 for 10 teams ….. pays 850 to 1

11 for 11 teams ….. pays 1,600 to 1

12 for 12 teams ….. pays 3,000 to 1

So with these type of odds you can see how enticing it is to want to go after that almighty 12-teamer. From my experience large parlay tickets are extremely hard to win, as you can see by the odds. It is important to remember that if 1 team loses, the entire ticket is lost. Yes, even if you go 11 for 12 and lose the 12th game by ½ point. Parlays are a good way to win a lot of money if the bettor only wants to wager a little.

Straight bets are much easier to understand. It is one bet for one game and the bettor wins usually about as much as they wager. The amount of winnings depends on the odds set by the sportsbook. When you look at a money line or run line off of the board you will notice it will have something like +120 -180 next to the teams. The minus sign (-) denotes the favorite and the addition sign (+) denotes the underdog. This means if you bet $100 on the favorite, you will win $80. If you bet $100 on the underdog you will win $120. These odds fluctuate as the bets come into the sportsbook.

You should now feel somewhat comfortable betting, besides the whole “you could lose money thing.” The combinations of bets are endless:

  • straight bets on the money line
  • straight bets on the run line
  • parlays on the money line off the board
  • parlays on the run line off the board
  • parlays on the run line off of parlay cards



2 Responses to Parlays vs. Straight Bets

  1. Good post Blake. Being around casinos playing poker I hear a lot of talk about sports betting but I have never dabbled with it myself. This post did a great job of explaining the ins and outs of the different sports bets an individual can make. Thanks for the information.

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