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Parlay Sports Betting Strategy Guide

by July 9, 2019

Hated by most, loved by some, parlays have always had bookies and degenerates holding their breath and checking their blood pressure. Everybody is enticed by the possibility of that massive payday, that crazy 10-teamer that had no chance of hitting until it did. For the beginning or casual gamblers, parlays are when multiple individual bets are combined into a single wager. The parlay odds are the odds that all picks are correct, if just one of those 10 teams loses, you’ll learn what real degeneracy heartbreak feels like. Overall, parlays don’t bring back positive returns for gamblers on a consistent basis, so learning and understanding how to find edges are the key to creating value.

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Parlay Games Starting at Different Times
Spreading the games around within parlays is an easy tactic that every bettor should be adding to their arsenal immediately. If the first part of the parlay is correct, the later games can be hedged on to guarantee a profit, or at least cover losses. Even if the later games start while the earlier games are still going on, the bettor can just track the score live and place bets when needed. The ability to hedge live, or double down, should encourage viewers to attentively watch games and trends.

Towards the end of each respective sports season, pay attention to each team’s required path to the playoffs. Games can go from “do or die” to meaningless depending on other games from division or conference foes. For example, let’s say that the New Orleans Saints and the Los Angeles Rams are once again in a season-long battle for the number one seed in the NFC. The Saints play at 1 PM ET while the Rams have the later game at 4:25 PM ET. If you have the Panthers upsetting the Saints while battling for a Wild Card spot, then you can project the Rams to rest their starters and accept a loss to the young, hungry, and improving Cardinals roster.

In this case, predicting one reasonable upset can be the path towards predicting two upsets that offer incredible value when paired together. An educated estimation would have the Panthers as at least +150 underdogs, while the Cardinals would be +320 or greater. Those odds alone bring back nearly $1,000 on a $100 wager, on a bet that can realistically happen if your +150 underdog pulls through.

Big Favorite Money Lines
Predicting spreads are always going to be a toss-up, the only way to feel a rare sense of confidence in the world of gambling is by combining large money line favorites together in parlays. The best return generally comes from three to four-team parlays. Certain sports and situations offer a level of inevitability, like college football powerhouses, NBA Playoffs, and MLB games started by aces. College teams like Alabama who are favored by several scores against smaller schools might not always cover the spread, but they are rarely ever upset. Some books don’t offer money lines north of -300 out of fear of bettors flocking to combine their favorite locks together.

The college football playoffs only take four of 130 Division 1 teams, everyone knows that just one loss could ruin a team’s season. Trap games are less frequent for this reason. Plus the players are in college for a blink of an eye. They always go out and put everything on the line to win for their brothers next to them and showcase their talent for the next level. College games also are known for their unique atmosphere and high energy levels, so players don’t have excuses to come out lackadaisical.

With all the injuries suffered by the Warriors in the playoffs, a new champion was crowned in the Toronto Raptors. 2019 gave us our first surprise ending to a season since the 2011 Dallas Mavericks upset the Miami Heat. The Finals matchups in basketball feel predictable at times, and some of the reasons include the fact that basketball is a game with a high and equal number of possessions for both teams, very influential home-court advantages, and seven-game series. They also have a tendency to be settled by the star players, rather than special teams guys who were the 52nd or 53rd player on the roster. We may be past the most predictable seasons in NBA history, but it’s still the most chalk heavy major sport.

Baseball is arguably the least predictable sport, the best player in the world can go 0-for-5 with three Ks and nobody blinks. In basketball, you know LeBron James is giving you at least 20 points, in football, you know Ezekiel Elliot is rushing for at least 70 yards for the most part.

There is a small portion of baseball games with heavy favorites, and they’re aces against bad teams. A great pitcher with good run support may only lose a handful out of every 30 or so starts. The highest lines in baseball are typically around -300, which can be combined in two-game parlays for nearly even odds. If Justin Verlander and Hyun-Jin Ryu are pitching against subpar teams on the same day, might as well bank against the fluke that they get knocked around.

Teasers
A type of parlay that really deserves a whole article in its own right is teasers. Another controversial form of betting from a return on investment standpoint, teasers can be used by bettors who stay a step ahead to gain advantages. Teasers are when the better agrees to bet on decreased parlays odds, but at lines that are shifted by a set amount.

Teams that are TD favorites in football can be shifted to pick em’ bets, and teams that are favored to lose by two scores can essentially start the game with a 21-0 lead in a teaser. Practice on parlays and take note of what lines look tease-worthy, then track how they do. It’s smart to find out if you could possibly return a profit before you start your gambling career.

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James Esposito is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from James, check out his archive and follow him @PropZillaa.