What is a parlay bet

In the simplest language, a parlay bet is a single wager that involves two or more athletes or teams involved in a sporting event. Although the definition of these bets is simple, successfully placing these wagers can be difficult. These bets can be attractive because of the increased payouts involved if you win. At the same time, however, the degree of difficulty goes up exponentially with each “leg” you add to your parlay wager. Winning these bets also requires more research on your part.

How to place a parlay bet at TN legal online sportsbooks

Sportsbook apps will be accommodating to your desire to place parlay bets. 

After all, the odds of several events all happening are much higher than the outcome of a single bet. So, the odds of these bets winning are long. The sportsbooks entice you to put your money down on these markets by offering exponentially higher payouts as well. It’s all about risk versus reward. The greater the amount of risk you’re willing to take with your money, the better your payout will be if you’re successful.

There are two ways to put together and place a parlay bet. The first is essentially you composing your own parlay. You tell the sportsbook which contests you want to wager on, which athletes/teams you favor in those contests, and how much you want to bet. Then, the bookmaker will respond with a betting line on your wager. You then have a choice of whether to complete the transaction, modify your bet, or start over from scratch. 

The other method is to fill out a pre-made parlay card.

What is a parlay card, and how do I fill one out?

If you visit a brick-and-mortar sportsbook in another state, you would see bettors filling out long, narrow cards. Since they are so popular at retail sportsbooks, online sportsbooks have their versions.

With this method, the sportsbook presents you with a few preselected parameters like individual contests you can parlay together. The advantages of this method are that it requires a lot less work on your part to get the ball rolling. You know the odds from the get-go.

To fill out a card, you choose which of the options the sportsbook presented you want to include in your wager. For example, a parlay card may feature the point spread on several different football games.

To complete your wager, you then let the sports betting app know how much you want to bet. It’s up to each online sportsbook to decide if they want to book your action at a given amount.

Some sportsbooks will even offer what is called parlay insurance as a further incentive. Essentially, it’s a guarantee against losing your wager on certain conditions.

How does parlay insurance work?

Typically, sportsbooks will put at least one condition on this “insurance” policy. Examples may include the number of “legs” in your parlay, a specific sport, or team that each “leg” must be in your bet. A “leg” in this case is a single contest that is part of your parlay wager. That is, if you put down a parlay wager on five different college football games, each game within that bet would be considered a “leg.”

If your wager meets the conditions, the sportsbook will “cover your loss” should your bet fail. Most of the time, instead of refunding your wager in cash, the sportsbook will give you credit in the amount of your wager. Of course, bettors are more interested in their parlays winning than losing. Again, the method is simple, but pulling that off can be complicated. It is one of the most difficult challenges you will encounter in sports betting.

How to win a parlay wager

Legal TN online sportsbooks consider your parlay wager a win if none of the selected moneylines, sides, or totals is a loser. If one of your “legs” is a push or an event gets canceled, the sportsbook may still consider your wager a winner.

However, the sportsbook will likely reduce your payout in that instance. After all, the odds of winning a parlay with one fewer “leg” are much higher. As long as you don’t get one of your picks wrong, you will win relative to how many “legs” your bet included and the amount of risk you took. You can parlay several different types of bets together. The construction of a parlay will heavily influence your payout, which is easily inferred from the odds.

Understanding parlay odds and payouts

Some new bettors can get confused when they see different potential payouts for the same contests. It’s important to remember that the number of “legs” in your parlay wager will affect the odds. It’s also important to be familiar with the house rules of the sportsbook from which you are betting.

It pays to ask questions before you place your wager. An example is the operator’s policy on how it treats the situation when the lines move before the events taking place. 

If the lines on a “leg” of your parlay move in the book’s favor before the cut-off time for your parlay, the sportsbook will usually let you cancel your wager and refund your bet. That isn’t always the case, however. The sportsbook won’t always let you know when there has been movement. You should also understand precisely when that cut-off time is as well. 

For the most part, your parlay will lock when the first “leg” of your contest goes live. At that point, the odds will lock, and the outcomes of the “legs” you chose will determine your payout. Even if the lines move on a subsequent “leg” in the book’s favor, the odds and potential payout will remain the same. Your odds and payout will swing somewhat based on what type of parlay you choose. There are two common types, and all TN legal online sportsbook apps will enable you to place one or both types as you wish.

Round robin parlay bets

A round robin parlay bet is kind of like a parlay of parlays. Bettors who wish to place multiple parlay wagers at one time use this method to simplify the process.

To complete this type of bet, select how many sides of a moneyline, point spreads, or point totals you want to include in your wager. Then decide which of those sides, spreads and/or totals you would like to tie together for your round robin. How you combine your sides, spreads and/or totals determines the number of parlays you have active at one time. Suppose the number of spreads and totals you decided to use added up to eight.

Let’s say you those eight spreads and totals to as many three-leg parlays as possible. That would give you 56 different parlays in your round robin. The sportsbook will divide your wager up equally among your parlays on a round robin bet. Sticking with our example, if you wanted to put down $10 on each parlay, you would have to wager $560. The payout for each winning parlay bet is the same as if you had placed each of them by themselves. There isn’t an advantage to lacing a round robin bet in terms of your profit. It just makes the process of placing a volume of parlay wagers easier for both parties.

The other popular type of parlay wager is called a teaser. If you do it well, the payout you can expect from your teaser bet is anything but a tease.

What is a teaser bet, and why is it so popular?

Teasers are parlays composed of multiple point spreads and/or point totals. In these types of parlays, you cannot pick sides of a moneyline bet. You can still get creative within these parameters, however. Bettors can move these point spreads/totals for each “leg” of the wager to their liking as long as each “leg” uses the same number of points as the lines that the sportsbook set. The “legs” of the teaser can go in different directions, however.

Suppose you want to use the spread on a Tennessee Titans game in your teaser, and the standard line on the spread for the game is Titans -7. Also, for the sake of this example, assume the spread on the Titans’ opponent in the game is +4. If you wanted to move the spread on the Titans side up to -1, you would have to increase the line on their opponent to +10. You could also move the Titans’ line down further to -10; you would correspondingly have to decrease their opponents’ line to +1.

Most sportsbooks will only let you move spreads and/or totals from 6 to 10 points. Again, check with your operator of choice to determine their house rules on teasers. While adjusting the spreads or totals to your liking may make teaser wagers easier to win, that affects the payout. If you decrease your risk, it always decreases your potential profit accordingly. Like round robin betting, the number of “legs” in a teaser parlay will increase the payout. Therefore, a way to keep your potential profit high when you adjust the points in a teaser is to increase the number of “legs” in your parlay.

Parlay wagers are not only a great strategy to maximize the potential profit on your sports betting dollar but can keep you “glued to the tube” as well since whether or not your bet wins depends on several outcomes. 

For these reasons, they’re among the more popular options at TN online sportsbooks.