Parlay bets are a fun way to build your bankroll fast. However, the extra rewards come with extra risk — if you aren’t careful, parlays will burn through your bankroll faster than you can break even.
After offering a risk-free play earlier in the year, DraftKings Sportsbook is now offering users a 100% profit boost on Thursday Night Football same-game parlays with at least three legs. So with the extra money on the line, how should you attack Thursday night’s action? For starters, expect to see me feature quite a few overs in this column. Since 2017, the over has hit in 60% of games played on Thursday; in 2020, it hit 57.1% of the time. I suspect that’s due to a lack of adequate rest and preparation, both of which make life hard for defensive players.
I advise that you approach this column as a strong parlay that features a handful of smart straight bets. I’ll include recommended unit sizes for each play, along with a recommended parlay size. NOTE: DraftKings Sportsbook’s same-game parlay feature uses lines that are not available as single-wager markets.
Leg #1. Tony Pollard 2+ Receptions and 20+ Receiving Yards
We’re betting on Pollard for tonight’s edition of Thursday Night Football. Even though Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has forecasted a “serious load” for Elliott on Thursday, he is not the coach, and not even the NFL’s worst coach can justify overloading a banged-up Zeke at Pollard’s expense.
We’re targeting Pollard’s receiving lines because the Saints have one of the NFL’s stingiest rushing defenses. They permit the third-fewest rushing yards per game to opposing running backs (66) and rank second-best in adjusted line yards (3.29). However, opposing rushers have been able to generate some production through the air — the Saints allow the 12th-most receiving yards per game to the position (41.9).
Pollard averages 2.6 catches and 23.3 receiving yards per game. He went for 29 receiving yards on four catches against the similarly-constructed Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who allow fewer rushing yards per game to the position and rank sixth in adjusted line yards. I expect a similar stat line from him here.
Leg #3. Ezekiel Elliott 2+ Receptions
Related Straight Bet: N/A
Since I’m expecting the Cowboys to get their running backs involved in the passing game, we’re also targeting Zeke’s receptions total. We’re getting kind of a deal here — Elliott has caught at least six balls in his last two games (and two in all but one game this year), so I’m surprised this play added as much value to the parlay as it did.
Elliott finished with two catches for six yards against the Buccaneers in Week 1. Since I’m expecting the Cowboys to deploy a similar game plan, we’re staying away from his yardage and instead betting on him to catch a pair of dump-offs or screens at some point in the game.
Leg #4. Dak Prescott 300+ Passing Yards
Related Straight Bet: Dak Prescott o287.5 Passing Yards (-115 at DK Sportsbook)
Straight Bet Size: .5u
This play follows from the two above. If the Cowboys can’t get going on the ground, they’ll have to emphasize the passing game, which means plenty of yards for Dak Prescott. Prescott has gone for at least 300 yards four times this season, including a 403-yard performance against the Buccaneers in Week 1.
Although Prescott averages only 293.3 yards per game, we’re still teasing this total up to 300-plus because of how efficient the Saints have been against opposing rushers — and because of how inefficient they’ve been against opposing passers. New Orleans allows the ninth-most passing yards to opposing quarterbacks (266.5). Four quarterbacks have reached the 300-yard mark against New Orleans this year: Sam Darnold, Daniel Jones, Tom Brady, and Matt Ryan. I expect Prescott to join that list following Thursday’s action.
Leg #5. New Orleans Saints 1+ Sack Made
Related Straight Bet: N/A
If Prescott has to pass a lot, he’s at risk of taking at least one sack. The Saints’ defensive front has recorded at least one sack every game this year. The Cowboys’ offensive line may rank sixth-best in adjusted sack rate, but the Saints still racked up three sacks against the league leader in the metric, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They also finished with a pair of sacks against the fifth-best Buffalo Bills. This play feels extremely safe for the amount of correlated juice it adds to our parlay.
Total Odds: +450 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Parlay Bet Size: .5u
Whether you’re new to sports betting or a betting pro, our How To Bet and Sports Betting Strategy and Advice pages are for you. You can get started with our Sports Betting 101 Section — including 10 Sports Betting Tips for Beginners — or head to more advanced sports betting strategy — like Key Numbers When Betting Against the Spread — to learn more.