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.
Fortunately, DraftKings offers users a $25 risk-free bet on NFL same-game parlays. So with nothing to lose (and bankroll to gain), 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. The over is currently 2-1 on the year, too. 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.
Parlay YTD: 2-2-0 (+1.66u)
Straight Bets YTD: 5-3-0 (+0.72u)
All NFL Bets YTD: 16-12-0 (+0.41u)
Leg #1. D.K. Metcalf u89.5 Receiving Yards
Related Straight Bet: D.K. Metcalf u73.5 Receiving Yards (-115)
Straight Bet Size: .5u
It is time for Jalen Ramsey to shut down D.K. Metcalf on national television again. In their two regular-season meetings last season, Metcalf recorded 28 and 59 receiving yards, respectively. Ramsey held Metcalf without a catch when lining up against him in the first game, too.
Metcalf did beat this total in the playoffs, however. He went for 96 yards in Seattle’s Wild Card loss to the Rams. Seattle was stuck from behind and playing a desperate brand of football that day. That much is apparent in Metcalf’s improved numbers — he recorded 36 of his 96 yards in the fourth quarter, and 21 of those came with less than five minutes to go. The Rams bent but didn’t break.
Metcalf and Ramsey faced off twice in 2019, and the wide receiver finished with 44 and 78 yards in those games.
To his credit, Metcalf admits that Ramsey is the most challenging corner he has ever faced. As Metcalf himself explains, “[it’s] his trash talk, he’s strong, he’s competitive. I mean, it’s just a battle every time we go up against each other.” Listen to a player when he tells you to fade him.
Leg #2. Russell Wilson 15+ Rushing Yards
Related Straight Bet: Russell Wilson o20.5 Rushing Yards (-120)
Straight Bet Size: .5u
So if Wilson can’t hit Metcalf deep downfield, what will he do instead? Run. That’s what happened last year —Wilson ran 15 times for 119 yards across these teams’ three meetings last year. He went for 60 in one game, nine in the next, and 50 in the Wild Card round.
Wilson has run the ball slightly less frequently this season. He averaged 4.5 attempts per game through the first four weeks of last year, and he finished with 5.2 attempts per game on the year. But he is averaging just 3.8 attempts per game this season.
However, the Rams have struggled to defend against quarterback runs this season. They have allowed the sixth-most rushing yards to the position (104) on 19 attempts, good for 5.5 YPC. And it’s not like they’ve faced elite mobile quarterbacks, either. Andy Dalton ran twice for 13 yards against them in Week 1. Carson Wentz ran five times for 37 yards in Week 2. Tom Brady led the Buccaneers in rushing with 14 yards and a touchdown in Week 3. Most recently, Kyler Murray compiled 39 rushing yards against them in Week 4.
If those guys can produce on the ground, Wilson should, too.
Leg #3. Matthew Stafford 30+ Passing Attempts
Related Straight Bet: N/A
Stafford is a gunslinger, and this should be a close game. He is averaging 33.8 attempts per game through four games, and that’s despite the Rams playing keep-away in three of those outings. He only stayed under this number in the Rams’ blowout win over the Chicago Bears, but I don’t expect this game to go like that one.
Let’s look back to last season. Sean McVay had Jared Goff throw the ball 40 times per game against Seattle in the regular season last year. He didn’t ask him to throw more than 19 passes in their subsequent Wild Card win, but Goff was also injured and came off the bench in relief of John Wolford. Also, McVay still had Cam Akers in that game. He won’t in this one.
Seattle’s opponents have attempted 39.25 passing plays per game against them this year. With Stafford’s standard total set at 39.5, you should feel confident about adding this parlay sweetener into the mix.
Total Odds: +135 at DraftKings
Parlay Bet Size: 1u
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