Traditional straight bets on the point spread, moneyline and total are most commonly used in betting circles, but parlays are the most common form of exotic bets. The reason for this is because parlays offer the potential for a bigger payday on a smaller wager. Parlaying NFL moneylines can provide not only great payouts, but potentially can help you win more bets.
A moneyline bets involve picking a side to win, it is as simple as that. Every game will have a favorite and an underdog, and each will be represented by a – or a +, with the – representing the favorite and the + representing the underdog. Typical moneyline odds will look like this:
New York Jets +130 (underdog)
Miami Dolphins -125 (favorite)
In this example, a winning $100 wager on the Jets will win you $130, while you have to wager $125 to win $100 on the Dolphins to win.
A parlay is a single bet that includes a collection of 2 to 15 individual sides. In order to win a parlay, you must correctly predict every part of the parlay, so if you get one side wrong, no matter how many sides you choose, the parlay is a loser. Parlays can include a point spread, moneyline or total.
Parlay odds can change from sportsbook to sportsbook, but they usually will be:
2 teams – 13-5
3 teams – 6-1
4 teams – 10-1
5 teams – 25-1
6 teams – 40-1
7 teams – 75-1
8 teams – 150-1
9 teams – 300-1
10 teams – 600-1
That means that a win on a 4 team parlay will pay $10 to every $1 wagered and $600 to every $1 wagered on a 10 team parlay. However, these are odds for your typical point spread wagers, with a -110 return. This is where it can get a little confusing when parlaying moneylines.
Depending whether you choose to bet on the favorite or underdog, your odds will dramatically change. This is where the value of parlays really comes into play, especially if there are a few underdogs you like to win outright.
Let’s use these 4 games as an example that includes moneyline odds for 2 favorites and 2 underdogs.
Tennessee Titans +223 (1st side)
Los Angeles Chargers -283
New England Patriots -150 (2nd side)
Chicago Bears +130
Carolina Panthers +197 (3rd side)
Philadelphia Eagles -245
New Orleans Saints +130
Baltimore Ravens -150 (4th side)
A winning $100 wager on: Titans +223
Will win you $2415. That’s better than 24-1 because the underdog odds calculated will offer much greater odds than a typical parlay wager on point spreads.
To show you the difference in payout on a $100 parlay choosing the same 4 sides on the point spread, it would look like this:
A winning $100 wager will win you $1006. Essentially the 10-1 I outlined above.
Although at times it is difficult to predict an underdog to win outright, the potential earning power of wagering on underdogs to win is exponential. Oddsmakers do not get every line correct, and if you can find the weak lines, choosing the underdog to win on a parlay, you can win a lot of money on a small wager.
Lets take NFL Week 2 as an example where six underdogs won straight up. Parlaying those 6 teams together on a $100 wager would have profited you over $10,000. There is no doubt that parlays can be difficult to win, but by identifying weak lines and putting them together will give you a chance to only have to win 1 of every 3 parlays to net a profit.
For these reasons, underdog moneyline parlays are growing in popularity. A common moneyline parlay strategy includes matching multiple heavy favorites with one, two or three underdogs in order to get the odds calculated to where it is worth your while. If you hit on one of these, your payout will be enough to place 5 or 6 more of the same type bets without dipping into your betting budget.
The most important thing is to identify the underdogs with the greatest chance to win outright. It may take a little more work to uncover these treasures, but if you can do it with some consistency, you will be well on your way to winning a lot more money wagering on sports.
I hope this helped you get on your way to winning more money betting on sports. Remember that parlays can be difficult, so take your time, handicap your games properly and find the weak lines and exploit them by wagering underdogs when betting football using moneyline parlays.