In the introductory section, parlays, prop bets, and other exotics were discussed. Discussion included whether or not such wagers were wise to make. Most sports bettors salivate when thinking about winning a bet that offers 6 -1, 12 – 1 or 25 – 1 odds. If you are attracted to the parlay for this reason, take a breath and remember how flawless you have to be to win even a three-team parlay. Then remind yourself that bookmakers offer such high odds because you will rarely cash in on your bet.
Point Spread Versus Parlay
Statistically (in terms of winning cash), which is the better path: wagering on three separate point spreads or taking the three team parlay? If you choose wagering on the parlay, you’re wrong. To win cash on a three team parlay, you have be correct on all three games. However, to win money wagering on three separate spreads, you have to get only two out of three right.
Place $30 on the parlay and you’ll either end up losing it all or winning $180, minus the vig. Now place the same amount on three point spreads – if you win two, you’re up by $10, minus the juice. The problem is most people don’t want to do the work needed to win consistently. They’d rather toss some cash on a long shot bet with a fast payout than take the time to carefully assess each game, winning or losing a little at a time.
Think about this fact: Even if you lose two of three spreads, you’re still out a lot less than if you lose the three-team parlay.
How Do You Make Money?
As mentioned above, the professional sports bettor makes cash a little at a time, and they also lose cash a little at a time. They allow themselves the opportunity to recover from a bad week of betting by maintaining a viable bankroll. They don’t engage in panic betting and attempt to make up for losses in one six-team parlay. They lower their risk in order to ride out tough times when no matter what they do, they lose their bets. Part of sports betting is making money, and the other part is not losing a lot of money.
Some Bettors Love the Parlay
With all that’s been said about the parlay, it should be noted that some bettors love to play it – and some are very good at smashing it. Often, however, it’s the two or three-team parlay that they hit. If you want to utilize the parlay as your primary method of wagering, try to protect yourself by betting only one unit at a time while making some smart money spread wagers. Smart bettors lower their risk by hedging their bets.
The World of Exotics and Other Sucker Bets
Although there’s nothing wrong with wagering on an exotic, which may be defined as anything that’s not a spread, line, or totals bet, if you’re going to make such wagers, engage in them sparingly. Some people will wager on an exotic after they’ve reached a certain milestone in terms of their winnings or if they’ve had a lucrative weekend. Be wary of wagering a lot on any bet that involves pure chance (as most exotics do) or that offers great odds, which means that the wager is very hard to hit.
Try a Test Run
If you really want to play the parlay, then take three or four weeks and mock bet a few every week. Track yourself, including how much you would have won or lost, what types of parlays worked best for you, and the effect your bets would have had on your bankroll. If you prove to be an amazing parlay bettor, then try it with caution.
Increased Risk All Around
Parlays look sexy because they seem to provide the sports bettor with a big return on a small investment. The reason parlays pay so well is that they are very hard to get right. Always remember that the higher the payout, the tougher the wager is to win. Be a smart sports bettor and utilize wagers that offer lower odds, less risk, and a decent opportunity to cash in.