Gambling Classroom

The Truth About Parlays

The rush from hitting a parlay is unbeatable. This rush is so unbeatable, it is what causes many recreational gamblers fail before they even start. Everyone wants to get rich quick, and parlaying bets is the fast pass to increasing your balance. Unfortunately, sports gambling isn’t a get rich quick scheme. Throwing in that 5+leg parlay of spreads that pays out +1200 isn’t much different then buying a lottery ticket, and below I will show you why.

Lets say you are an above average gambler who hits 53% of spread bets. It is NFL Sunday and you fire up a 5 team parlay full of  spreads. Your odds of winning the wager if you place a single wager is 53%. The percent chance you win a 5 leg parlay is shown below.

Not sure about you, but placing a bet that has a 4.2% chance of winning doesn’t sound too appetizing. Sportsbooks make millions off the average gambler not understanding simple statistics. Ever wonder why they post screenshots each week of massive parlays they are paying out? They want you suckers to keep betting them. According to the UNLV Study For Gaming Research, sports books collect on average 38% profit from parlays, compared to 5% profit from straight bets. Lets see the math for straight betting the above scenario:

Using Binomial Distribution, we can see the percent chance of each of our potential outcomes. Your percent chance of being profitable on the 5 bets is 4.2% + 18.5% + 33%= 55.7% (sum of the probabilities of going 3-2, 4-1, or 5-0). Your percent chance of not being profitable on the 5 bets is is 29% + 13% +2.2% = 44.2% (sum of the probabilities of going 2-3, 1-4, or 0-5). 4.2% chance of winning your parlay, vs 55.7% chance to profit straight betting. Give yourself a chance to be successful, stop parlaying.

 **** The odds are higher for going 4-1 compared to 1-4 because i ran the scenario you consistently hit 53% of bets instead of 50%****

****This math does not correlate with money line parlays****

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