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 25% profit boost on NFL same-game parlays with odds of +200 or longer. 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. Damien Harris 55+ Rushing Yards
Related Straight Bet: Damien Harris o52.5 Rushing Yards (-110 at DK Sportsbook)
Straight Bet Size: .5u
The Patriots have embraced their running game this year. They attempt the 10th-most runs per game (28), and Harris has carried the bulk of the work on the ground when healthy. He has accumulated 547 rushing yards this year, good for 60.8 yards per game.
To Harris’ credit, his worst games have come against solid defensive lines. Those performances came against the Saints (who rank first in adjusted line yards), the Buccaneers (who rank sixth), and the Panthers (who rank 10th). Outside of those games, Harris has cashed this prop every time. And since the Falcons rank just 18th in adjusted line yards, Harris is a strong play for this one.
Some believe Rhamondre Stevenson’s strong showing last week will lead him to play a featured role tonight, thus displacing Harris. I don’t share that concern. Bill Belichick referred to Stevenson as a great depth who “stepped in for Damien.” That does not a backfield controversy make. Lastly, the argument cuts against itself. Stevenson just carried the ball 20 times on Sunday — doesn’t that make Harris the fresher option?
Leg #2. Damien Harris Anytime Touchdown
Related Straight Bet: Damien Harris (-115 at DK Sportsbook)
Straight Bet Size: .5u
Before his concussion, Harris had scored a rushing touchdown in five-straight games. The only teams that he has failed to score against this season? The Saints and Buccaneers (whose defensive lines I discussed above) along with the Miami Dolphins. To say this another way, Harris has found the end zone in every game against a bottom-24 defensive line since Mac Jones’ first start. You’re getting a bit of value here because the books aren’t sure whether New England will feature Harris or Stevenson (their lines both sit at -115). Play this one with confidence.
Leg #3. Matt Ryan 1+ Interception
Related Straight Bet: N/A
Matt Ryan isn’t washed up or anything, but the Falcons are bad, which means he has to throw the ball a bunch. One of those passes will probably end up in the wrong hands. Ryan has thrown eight interceptions this year, and he has tossed at least one pick in three of his last four games.
Enter the Patriots. Bill Belichick’s defense has been solid at forcing turnovers. They’ve nabbed at least one interception in their last five games, and they played against some decent quarterbacks in the process, like Dak Prescott and Justin Herbert. While their full-season total (14) is inflated by two games (and six picks) against the Jets, the Patriots have picked all but three of their opposing quarterbacks this year. Don’t expect Matt Ryan to become the fourth exception tonight.
Total Odds: +400 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Parlay Bet Size: .75u
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